Things I Think

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326 Responses

  1. Good morning, Michael!
    #` – The fruit of the Word is the fruit of the Spirit.

  2. Michael says:

    Good morning, CK!

  3. Reuben says:

    5) I was going to say 2008. What an epic failure of a company. I suspect this will be the last adventure for RIM.

  4. #3 – and the problem with that is ___________?

    #4 – this kind of stuff gets so tiring. Just another of the many reasons that the world thinks christians are a bunch of hypocritical idiots.

  5. Reuben says:

    Later this week, I will be buying a Samsung product, despite the fact that we are a Mac family. The Note 2 does everything I need a phone to do, plus some.

  6. 1. Ditto
    4. I have noo idea why christians expect that a organization like Google, which is not an expressly christian company, would honor Christ.
    6. Agreed. My first exposure to a large church was just in the last three years. It is disconcerting to go somewhere for 2 years and people are still asking you if this is your first visit. When I get back to Mississippi this year, I am finding a smaller congregation that is closer.
    8. Get ready for worse.
    9. See #8
    10. Yep.

  7. #6 🙂 Gotta borrow that one.

    #7 – no doubt. Still looking forward to sharing a Coke…or Kahlua…or both with you someday.

    #8 – The shock is wearing off for me.

    #9 – Some people are so bold from behind their keyboards. Ruff, ruff…Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain. I am the mighty and powerful Wizard of Oz.

    #10 AMEN!

  8. Michael says:

    CK,

    I always have ample supplies of both for my friends…looking forward to that day.

  9. Papias says:

    Number 1 – VERY TRUE. Even for NT Wright. 😉

    Numbers 8-10 – Does this apply like I think it does?

  10. Michael says:

    Papias,

    #’s 8-10 are an observation on the latest internet phenomena…former believers or “progressive” believers who feel that mockery and scorn alone will lead to the changes they desire.

  11. 6. This is why I want to attend a very wealthy small church. They can hire someone from one of those mega churches to valet park my vehicle. The paid greeters will know my name (that’s what they are paid for). I mean really, if were going to use worldly models for the church, why not choose the country club. It’s far better than the Wal-Mart model mega church. Although, I hear it’s slightly more expensive.

  12. Papias says:

    Michael – Thanks.

    Mockery alone will only allow someone an invitation to eat at the kids table. When people want to be heard, then they need to say something with respect to those who might or might not listen.

    For phones – we just got new ones last week, Sprint Flash. Chinese offbrands… still thinking about trading them in for a Samsung.

  13. Nonnie says:

    My comment was not referring to the book of Numbers but numbers 3 and 6 on your “Things I think.” thus my link. It’s what popped into my mind when I read them. 🙂

  14. PP Vet says:

    “Going to a mega church and complaining about the lack of personal attention is like going to WalMart and complaining about the lack of valet parking.”

    Spot on.

    Told my kids that I was going to go on Easter Sunday to a smallish lively local church, one I visit rarely, and try to claim that I was a “CEO” (Christmas Easter Only).

    My kids said, Dad, churches like that don’t have CEOs.

  15. Nonnie says:

    MIchael, re your number 11. I agree. I love humour; even sarcastic humour, even humour that makes me cringe a bit. But what saddens me is mockery and scorn. That is just plain sad and yes, doesn’t leave a lot of room for discussion.

  16. Nonnie says:

    Thanks, PP Vet! You saved me from being a turkey!

  17. Jtk says:

    “6. Going to a mega church and complaining about the lack of personal attention is like going to WalMart and complaining about the lack of valet parking.”

    Myself with a new staff worker in our small church just helped an old “cat lady” move tons o furniture. And I’m terribly allergic to cats.

    A parent of hers had died and she was moving to care for the other parent.

    And seemingly no one from the biggest church in town would help; she apparently didn’t know anyone though she’d gone there for years.

    We were referred to her by a family member (her coworker) who went the second largest church in town.

    Don’t know if her “lack” was the fruit of her actions or those of the Ocean Hills influenced church.

    As the young man and I talked, I wondered how recently the phenomenon like that sprung up.

    Every church for the past 2,000 years would care for such people, in every nation on earth. What changed in (a few of) these churches?

    Can someone name a year, or even a defining moment?

    I simply don’t understand.

  18. filbertz says:

    sadly, some biblical teachers may want to share in the ‘fruit,’ but sadder still is the fact that those same teachers will not take responsibility for errors, folly, furor, or infamy. All of that gets pushed onto the ‘hearers.’ It’s a win-win if one is a knucklehead, lose-lose if one is honest.

    #3–I’m still not on Facebook. I have enough drama in my seventh and eighth grade classrooms. 😉

    #4–I celebrated Easter with a Cesar Salad. Win-win. 😉

    #6–bingo.

    #10–I reread the first Chapter of Buechner’s book “Telling the Truth” last night–what masterful, imaginative, godly writing. I’d like to be him when (if) I grow up. 😉

  19. Michael says:

    JTK,

    In a corporate model the only people who have worth are producers…consumers are for profit.
    When the church began to adapt the corporate model, it sold it’s soul for thirty pieces of silver.

  20. Rob Murphy says:

    So many of my Christian friends are touting that ‘marriage equality symbol’, the pink equal sign against the red background… maybe it’s vice/versa, I only see red.
    I’m waiting for the rest of the symbols that will complete the deconstruction of 1 Cor. 6.9-11. One of my more intellectual friends said that the symbol is the same that does away with the rest of legalism, and that is the symbol of the Cross. My friend said it was for freedom that Christ set us free. I think that kind of Bible text torture is apart from Life. What rhymes with ‘apostasy’?

    I’m reminded of the Lord’s words where he said that the coming of the Son of Man, it will be as in the days of Noah – every intention was only evil, all the time. They ate and drank – evilly, they married and gave in marriage – evilly. This last ‘Holy Week’, I was made very aware of point #8. We know to expect to hear evil called good and good called evil, but this week was sad in hearing where it came from.

  21. Michael says:

    Rob,

    I spent most of the weekend wondering how to respond to that campaign…and I’m at a loss.
    I taught in 1 Cor 11 this week and once again was reminded that nowhere in the Bible is marriage anything but a union between a man and a woman…with much deeper theological implications.

  22. PP Vet says:

    I remember getting blank stares many years ago when I taught that our opposition to (certain behaviors that I hate to dignify by even specifically referencing them) needed to be scripture-based and not phobia-based.

    But still: What is a healthy, mature, reasonable, loving, and well thought out position on this? Would love to hear it.

  23. covered says:

    Great word Michael. My wife and I spent 3 days just north of you in a cabin. One of those days was spent in prayer for several hours. You were included in those prayers. We didn’t get many answers but it sure was nice to be alone with Him for a while. I’m convicted that I don’t meet with Him as often as I should.

    My comment was in response to your #7. I am glad The Lord put you on our heart, it is good to know you Michael.

  24. Michael says:

    Covered,

    Likewise, my friend!
    Very grateful for you and your prayers…

  25. Michael says:

    PP Vet,

    We need to write that position paper up…and it needs to be all the things you mentioned.

  26. Rob Murphy says:

    Michael – I am with you; when one argues against the clarity of meaning of a STOP sign, what good will any measure of greater intellect bring to a discussion? The Bible IS that clear, but cultural expedience argues the clarity away.
    And the much deeper theological implications that are forfeit, I think, are why ‘we’ will not grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ. We have stunted our own growth, to our own destruction. I just got done studying Jeremiah, and I changed my personal reference to him from “the weeping prophet” to “the pleading prophet” . . . and I tied it back to 2 Cor. 5.20 So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” Jeremiah pled repeatedly the clarity of God’s way for Israel, to return to Him and His ways.
    I don’t want to be a rancorous debater, I would like to try “pleading”. Of course the downside is that often our hearers respond “How dare you say I need to come back to God!!”
    This week we’re looking at Judges and Ruth in our chronological study. The story of Judges – everyone did what was right in his own eyes – and horrors followed.
    But in Ruth, Boaz “dusts off” the simple commands and ways of God and then – WHOA, What??!- simply does what God’s Word simply says in direct obedience, and the way of the Messiah is confirmed.

    Just imagine not arguing with the clear Word of God but living by it…

  27. Papias says:

    Michael,

    Your #23 is a good comment. I too am a loss to discuss this subject. Would like to hear more about these theological implications that you have found out.

    We walk a narrow path between affirming the personhood of gays and the fact that marriage in the Word seems to be strictly between a man and women.

    I thought that your points 8-10 were on this subject.

  28. Last week, I knew the debate was lost in the public sphere when I realized that all these preachers that use the term ‘traditional marriage” have shot us all in the foot. By definition, if you have “traditional marriage” then you can have a multitude of other sorts of marriage. The only problem is there is just marriage without a defining word in front and Michael defined it correctly.
    I think MLD had it right, when the battle is lost on the public sphere (and it will be) and the law is against us, then pastors need to get out of the marriage business and start holding blessing ceremonies. They already sue photographers for not taking their “wedding” pictures and you know the pastors are next. This would protect pastors for a little longer legally and also expose the true motives of the core of the movement, which is to get christians to bless their sin.
    I am so tired of this issue though. This full out offensive is tiresome, especially when I don’t hate them, but I am continually forced to disagree with them and then get called a bigot. The terms keep changing every month and christians are deluded on it also. I can’t even fathom how christians get sucked into thinking this is a good thing though.

  29. #9 shuts down every argument i have seen on TV and then the host and the guest in favor gang up on the christian.

  30. Michael says:

    “But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God. Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head, but every wife who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, since it is the same as if her head were shaven. For if a wife will not cover her head, then she should cut her hair short. But since it is disgraceful for a wife to cut off her hair or shave her head, let her cover her head. For a man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God, but woman is the glory of man. For man was not made from woman, but woman from man. Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man. That is why a wife ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels.Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man nor man of woman; for as woman was made from man, so man is now born of woman. And all things are from God. Judge for yourselves: is it proper for a wife to pray to God with her head uncovered? Does not nature itself teach you that if a man wears long hair it is a disgrace for him, but if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For her hair is given to her for a covering. If anyone is inclined to be contentious, we have no such practice, nor do the churches of God.”
    (1 Corinthians 11:3–16 ESV)

    Very briefly…

    First, it’s obvious that gender roles were important in the early church. Paul makes a point of basically saying that a man should look like a man and a woman like a woman.

    He roots this in the creation narrative…and if you lose the creation narrative you lose a great deal of foundational Christian doctrine.

    Here, as in Ephesians, the relationship between a man and a woman is said to picture something of the relationships within the Trinity and between God and the church.

    There is much mystery here…but the mystery is always concerned with a relationship between two people of the opposite sex, never between same sex partners.

    There’s about three big heavy books that could be written just off those points.

  31. Alex says:

    Rob said, “Just imagine not arguing with the clear Word of God but living by it…”

    “clear”…can’t buy into that due to the example of CC and so many others. “Clear” is about as clear as onyx. Folks twist the words into whatever they want in deed and example and even in word to defend their actions that go against what seems to be “clear”.

    My church is very Lordship Salvation and Transformation Gospel.

    I wish I could buy in, I just can’t…too much evidence to the contrary…even among those who are supposedly “anointed” and Leaders from God (in many church constructs, not just CC…the epidemic is being Human…no one is truly “transformed”…not in this existence).

  32. Michael says:

    Alex,

    I think it’s clear that the historic, orthodox, church knows of no marriage except that between a man and a woman.

  33. Dave says:

    Good stuff !

    #1 I would say we also pretend the wrong use of something or a theology says something against its right use.

    #3 – Since when has a differing opinion or questioning the status quot become paramount to heresy ? I’m feeling like Jesus would have had a very difficult time being allowed to serve in ministry in our nations largest non denominational denomination.

    #6 – And why do we complain when those we treat at rock stars actually act like rockstars?

    #8 – nothing new ! Check out James.

    #9 kinds goes into #1 – The church also uses unhelpful labels.

  34. When you look at Genesis, the first command you come across is in Genesis 1:28.

    And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

    I am no theologian by any means, but the first general command God gives all of humanity involves being fruitful and multiplying. The bible is just overwhelmingly clear about this in so many places.

  35. Michael says:

    Derek,

    The “bigot” card sends me over the edge…

  36. Alex says:

    I want to know one person who has been Transformed, in the context that it is presented in many churches.

    Who among us has no sin? Who is living the “transformed” life? What does that even mean?

    Rob, do you sin? Everyday? If so, how is that “transformed” if being “transformed” (I’m assuming) means you stop sinning? Is it that you “sin less”?

    What sins? Are there recurring sins that you do each year?

    If so, is it pride or lying or something like that?

    If the sin is recurring, does that mean you’re “in sin”? If so, how do you go to heaven if you are a liar or prideful? Bible says both are an “abomination” to God etc and damnable.

    Has to be something else. Can’t be “transformation” until after physical death.

  37. Alex says:

    Michael, agreed: Bible: marriage is between a man and a woman

    However, we aren’t a theocracy and the bible is not our Constitution and vice versa.

    There’s lots of stuff the bible states that is not the law of our land.

    Marriage can still be between a man and a woman from the church’s perspective….and be something else from the State/Govt/Legal System’s perspective.

  38. Michael says:

    Alex,

    I’m not sure what you’re arguing.
    Sanctification is a process…the transformation is often slow and barely perceptible.
    Complete transformation will come when the Lord returns for us.

  39. #37 Yeah, me too. I gotta find a way to ignore that, ’cause one of my primary sins I struggle with in life is getting angry.
    The thing is though, when an unbeliever says something like that, I either don’t get angry or not as angry. I realize we aren’t to judge unbelievers. But it really torques me up to hear christians argue for it. I just have no idea what to say anymore to that.

  40. Papias says:

    Michael – thanks for 32. Agree with the exegesis and the conclusions.

  41. Alex says:

    Michael said, “I’m not sure what you’re arguing.”

    OK. I forget that I need to connect the dots sometimes, my bad, I assume folks see what I’m seeing in these macro-discussions 🙂

    Gay Marriage is essentially linked to the “practicing homosexuals can’t be true Christians!” Position.

    The assumption that is made to hold the position above is that “practicing” a sin necessarily precludes one from Salvation and true saved-ness.

    It is something touted heavily in the Transformation Gospel crowd. You are a “true Christian” if you are transformed (whatever that means). The assumption is you sin less or stop sinnig altogether. It’s not true, it breeds false piety and Pharisetical behavior, but it something that most buy into in our day and age.

    The premise goes that if you aren’t “practicing” the particular disqualifying sin openly, then you’re good to go. Yet, most still commit the same sins or different sins since they were “saved” etc…they just hide it better now, or they minimize stuff like lying or pride or unrighteous anger or gluttony etc.

    Bible is very clear that liars, the prideful, gluttons, sinners…don’t go to heaven.

    The context is “sin no more”…the Standard is perfection…we all know this…yet we try to resolve the Paradox through a False Piety Transformation Gospel and we have created a Selective Fundamentalism that “approves” some sins, looks the other way on some recurring sins of humankind….while isolating and picking out other taboo sins like homosexuality. Hellfire for the “practicing” homos…yet Grace for the practicing liars, prideful, gluttons (etc).

    I’m increasingly convinced it’s a False Gospel.

  42. Nonnie says:

    In reference to 1 Cor. 11: I am not trying to be argumentative, but I have to ask about a woman covering her head or not having short hair. Are those still applicable in your verses sited? Because if I was going to share those verses as proof of what God thinks about marriage, and how we are to live, I would expect someone to ask the question about head coverings and short hair.

  43. Alex says:

    If “practicing sin” precludes one from salvation…then divorcees who are currently remarried are “adulterers” and hell-fodder.

    If you lie once a year, that is recurring, you are a “liar” and hell-fodder.

    If you eat too much food or drink on a regular basis, that is gluttony…gluttons are hell-fodder etc.

    If you deal with pride once a year or more, you’re toast, too.

    You know the stuff is “sin”…the bible is VERY clear abou it, you know it’s wrong…yet you do those sins again and again….they are recurring sins, no? You are practicing the sins, no?

    You’re toast, the power of Jesus and the Gospel is not for you. You’re going to hell. You better clean all that up and be sinless and right quick!

  44. Alex says:

    …and don’t even mention heterosexual lust….if you’re a red-blooded ‘Merican dude…you’re hell-fodder as well. No Grace for you! Recurring sin is “practicing” sin…and the Standard is perfection! That’s the reality of the False Piety Transformation Gospel and Selective Fundamentalism.

    If Selective Fundamentalists treated all the other sin as stringently as they did homosexuality, hell would be packed and heaven would be empty.

  45. Michael says:

    Nonnie,

    Good questions.
    The understanding I came to from my study was that in the cultural context of Corinth how a woman wore her hair was more than just a style choice.

    Women who were guilty of adultery had their heads shaved…thus, short hair could mean that someone had recently been caught in shameful activity.

    Open lesbians also often cut off their hair.

    Prostitutes had uncovered heads…it was a symbol of availability.

    Thus, if a married woman came to church with an uncovered head she would have disgraced her husband.

    While I don’t believe that we need to hold to these cultural norms (because the symbolism no longer is accurate) I do believe the passage speaks to gender roles and marriage today.

  46. Michael says:

    Alex,

    If your point is that we all are guilty of hypocrisy, you’re correct.
    That doesn’t affect the biblical teaching on this matter.

  47. Alex says:

    The above comments are called “polemics” and intended to make a point and get folks to think a little (including myself). I don’t know what the 100% for certain absolute right answer is in these matters. I do know there is a lot of stuff that is inconsistent and makes very little sense if you really think about it…in actions and example and what is emphasized vs. what is not, etc.

  48. The Dude says:

    No wonder the church is having so many problems,we have a legion of church leaders who are full of themselves.

  49. Nonnie says:

    Thank you, Michael!

  50. Xenia says:

    1. I think the biggest lie evangelicals have swallowed is that the fruit of the Word should be credited to the messenger of the Word. In that lie is the seed of almost every other ecclesiastical lie.<<<

    No, they have swallowed far bigger lies than this!

  51. Alex says:

    Michael said, “…the biblical teaching on this matter.”

    Pretty subjective when you contrast the definition of marriage with the definition of stoning unruly kids as “Godly” at one time vs. cultural, causing “stripes” on kids (now illegal), women covering their heads described as cultural (no one does that except the EO and the Amish), affirming or at minimum not speaking against Slavery, which is now illegal, etc etc.

  52. “I want to know one person who has been Transformed, in the context that it is presented in many churches.”

    I have been completely transformed. I was given a new man – free of sin and anything bad or negative. 100% of who I am really not.

    However, I still have my old man who hangs around. But my new man and my old man are 2 separate things and they never intermingle.

  53. Alex says:

    “cultural” = Consensus Principle.

    If one is to blame the non-adherence of certain “commands” and teachings in the bible they don’t like from the OT and NT as “cultural” and for that time and not for today…then to be consistent that principle must hold true today. If the “Consensus” of a Culture changes on a particular issue (within the church)…then the issue changes.

    This principle has happened time and again throughout history. It happened in the process of selecting the canon, in the process of defining what is ‘orthodox’…happened with regards to the Church’s position on Slavery, happens all the time in the RCC, all the time in many other denoms in their councils etc.

    Again, there are Liberals and there are Selective Fundamentalists.

  54. Michael says:

    Alex,

    There is absolutely nothing subjective about the Bibles teachings on marriage.

  55. Alex says:

    Yes, and there’s nothing subjective about the Qualifications, about women covering their heads and many other very specific commands that are not adhered to and are explained away. No way around that.

  56. Michael says:

    There is no need to go around anything. Biblical exegesis has always recognized the cultural component.

  57. Steve Wright says:

    Anyone seen the Kindle TV commercial with an attractive guy and gal lounging by the pool that start talking about Kindle. Guy seems to say something that might imply coming on to the girl, so she references her husband at the bar and turns and waves to him. The guy then also references his husband and turns and waves at a different guy standing next to the girl’s husband – who waves back.

    I remember that whenever someone argues that gay marriage makes no difference to my family – as I try to find the remote to change channels before my little one hears the punchline.

    How that nonsense can possibly be good for a society is beyond me.

  58. PP Vet says:

    There is so much guidance in the NT that we disregard, such as head coverings.

    Therefore there is only one intellectually consistent way to interpret the NT: All specific guidance and prohibitions are subject to the law of love and are not absolute in themselves. I do mean, all. We cannot cherry-pick some. That opens a door we cannot close.

    Now this finds some very reasonable opposition. Some would say, Does this mean it could be acceptable to do murder and adultery in certain situations?

    Well, yes, in a way. However, I cannot think of a time when murder or adultery would be acceptable. Although I suppose one could say that when I told the medical team they could stop trying to resuscitate my mother, that was murder. But I would claim it was loving. I felt right about it then, and I still do.

    Once we lay aside the Bible in the context of the NT as having absolute prohibition against any one behavior (other than being unloving), yes we do open Pandora’s box. But there is no alternative.

    There is no law except the law of love.

    So now, in order to oppose, say, you-know-what, we have to come up with an argument that such behavior is unloving, or in other words, unhealthy (a better word than the religious word “edifying”).

    We must develop teaching that we can wholeheartedly promote.

    Then we will know from the core of our being that what we are doing is truly loving and reflects genuine concern for all those whom it impacts. And the Hater charge, which is very effective, just will not work anymore.

  59. #59. Seen it. We are now in the active promotion phase. Society is geared towards making us all into converts to the LGBT cause. Hollywood, commercials, press….and even in some instances churches. It is all getting to be a bit much for me.
    You know though, if people who only support it so they won’t “look like bigots” (and trust me they are out there) were to go and take in a gay pride parade, they would have a whole new perspective. I guarantee you wouldn’t want to take a child there.

  60. Alex says:

    14 For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.

    ^^^

    What’s the “proper exegesis” of that up there?

  61. Alex says:

    It can’t mean what it simply says…that would be too wild. Has to be some long explanation around what seems to be clearly stated.

  62. Read verses 15 and 16 for further analysis. Who reads one verse in the bible without reading others around them.

  63. Michael says:

    This then opens the door to a larger discussion of whether or not divorce should be allowed in a case where one party is a non-Christian. This must often have been the case in the early church, where one partner would hear and believe the gospel while the other one did not. (Paul urges in verse 39, and in 2 Corinthians 6:14, that Christians should only marry other Christians.) Some have even suggested that this was one of the main ways by which the Christian gospel spread in the ancient world; but many Christians at the time might not have seen it that way. Having come from the pagan world where the old dark gods and goddesses were worshipped, and where strange practices of all kinds were encouraged, they may well have felt strongly that they had passed from darkness to light. How could they then continue living with someone who was still in darkness?
    Paul’s response is a striking example of how the Christian gospel stands the old negative codes of purity on their heads. As with Jesus’ healings, in which he touched lepers and other unclean people and, instead of being infected with their diseases, infected them instead with God’s new life, so Paul believed that holiness could be more powerful than uncleanness. The relationship would not need to be damaging for the Christian. The unbelieving partner would be regularly within the reach of God’s love in Christ, shining through the believing partner. (This is the ideal; of course, actual events might be very different, as Paul knew well.) The Christian partner should not therefore initiate a split. There is always the possibility, through God’s grace and help, that the unbelieving partner may be won over.
    So, too, he says, one Christian parent makes the children ‘holy’ as opposed to ‘unclean’. Presumably this means that the children, in coming under the influence of one Christian parent, are within the sphere of God’s love and the power of the gospel, not that they are automatically Christians. The verse says nothing about the practice of infant baptism, though part of the logic behind that practice is contained here by implication.
    If, however, the non-Christian partner wanted to separate (as many might; not everyone would want to be associated with this strange, bizarre new movement), the Christian should not try to oppose the split. At this point Paul has felt able to introduce an important modification into the teaching of Jesus. He has done so, however, not by treating Jesus’ words as mere good advice, but by applying them in detail to a new situation Jesus never faced. We who live in many different situations never envisaged by either Jesus or Paul need wisdom, humility and faithfulness to apply their teaching afresh in our own day. And we certainly need those same qualities when thinking through what the church’s marriage discipline should be in a culture that seems increasingly at odds with the gospel.

    Wright, T. (2004). Paul for Everyone: 1 Corinthians (83–84). London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge.

  64. Michael says:

    Since Paul also identifies the children of this union as holy, the idea of “sanctification” here seems to revolve around the issues of clean and unclean (Baumert 1996: 59 n. 95). The majority of references in the OT to holiness pertain to cultic contexts (Procksch, TDNT 1:89–97). Paul uses the term “unclean” to contrast “holy” in Rom. 6:19 and 1 Thess. 4:7. These references imply that uncleanness is “something which belongs by its very nature to the pagan world outside the church” (Best 1990: 161). The Corinthians’ worry about these marriages could stem only from some anxiety about potential defilement by intimate union with an unbeliever, particularly an idolater (Deming 1995b: 132). Paul turns this apprehension on its head by reassuring them that Christians sanctify their non-Christian spouse. The Christian united to Christ brings the non-Christian partner into a power sphere of holiness that somehow neutralizes the non-Christian’s potential to contaminate the Christian (see Schrage 1995: 105–6). In other words, “clean” trumps “unclean” in this relationship.
    How is this sanctification effected? Paul is not thinking of some magical process. Nor does he believe that holiness can be transferred to another, as in the manner of an infectious disease. The idea hinges on the two becoming one flesh (Gen. 2:24; cited in 1 Cor. 6:16) and on God’s blessing of marriage. In 6:15–17, he argues that Christians are members of Christ’s body and that one who joins himself to a prostitute becomes one body with her. Here, he argues that an unbeliever joined to a Christian spouse is made holy. What is the difference? A Christian who has relations with a prostitute cannot convey holiness, because that union is outside the will of God. Fornication is the antithesis of holiness. Marriage, on the other hand, is a divine institution that accords with God’s will for man and woman. Although it is difficult to trace how Paul might have reached the conclusion that a Christian husband or wife sanctifies his or her spouse, Rosner (1994: 169–70) reasonably claims that Paul was influenced by three ideas: the holiness of the people as God’s temple (cf. 3:16–17; 6:19), the transferability of that holiness to other persons (Exod. 29:37; 30:29; Lev. 6:18; contrast Num. 4:15, 20), and the concept of family solidarity and God’s concern for the welfare of the whole family (see Best 1990).
    Paul is not arguing for “sanctification by proxy” but making an argument against divorce (Guthrie 1981: 671). His basic argument is this: Mixed marriages have the same status as Christian marriages and should not be abandoned. Continuing the marriage accords with God’s design for marriage, and it should be hallowed as “a sphere in which God’s holiness and transforming power operate” (Hays 1997: 122). Contending that the Christian wife has the same power to sanctify her unbelieving husband as the Christian husband has to sanctify his unbelieving wife is quite novel. It accords with Paul’s emphasis throughout the chapter on the mutuality of spouses (R. Collins 1999: 266), but it also expresses his conviction that Christians live in a new and potent field of God’s holiness that works irrespective of gender.
    Paul appeals to pathos to seal this argument against divorce. The phrase “since otherwise” (ἐπεὶ ἄρα, epei ara; cf. 5:10) introduces corroboration for his justification that mixed marriages should be continued because the Christian spouse sanctifies the unbelieving spouse: “But as it is [νῦν δέ, nyn de], the children from these marriages are holy” [ἅγιά ἐστιν, hagia estin]. Deming (1995b: 135) identifies it as an argument ad absurdum that corresponds with Paul’s reasoning in 5:9–13. In this parallel passage he explains that he wrote to them not to mix together with sexually immoral persons, not at all meaning the sexually immoral of the world, “since otherwise [ἐπεὶ … ἄρα] you would be obligated to leave the world” (5:10); “but as it is [νῦν δέ], I was writing about immoral Christians” (5:11). It would be absurd to expect them to bid farewell to the world entirely. The assumption behind Paul’s case here must be that the Corinthians also would have thought it absurd to consider the children of these mixed unions to be unholy or polluted (Godet 1886: 341). We may assume that the children in the illustration are too young to be held responsible for their own behavior. Schrage (1995: 107) assumes that they are unbaptized. How else could they possibly be regarded as unclean? The logic runs thus: if they consider their unbaptized spouse to be defiled in some way, then they must also consider their children to be so.
    Furnish (1985: 43) lays the argument out more clearly with two syllogisms:

    Holy children are produced by holy marriages.
    Mixed marriages produce holy children.
    Mixed marriages are therefore holy marriages.

    Holy marriages should be maintained (7:10–11).
    Mixed marriages are holy marriages.
    Mixed marriages should therefore be maintained (7:12–13).

    In other words, the community did not think of expelling children who were born of mixed marriages, so neither should it encourage the breakup of those marriages. Paul leaves unsaid that, given the prevailing law at this time, wives who divorced their husbands would have to leave their children in the custody of their “unclean” husband. To leave their children under the complete influence of their unbelieving father would be lamentable.

    Garland, D. E. (2003). 1 Corinthians. Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament (288–290). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic.

  65. Andrew says:

    I don’t think “selective fundamentalism” is the correct word. Unfortunately too many people associate fundamentalism with legalism. Or they associate fundamentalism with authoritarianism. Or they associate fundamentalists with being unloving and mean. Or they associate fundamentalism with a particular brand of fundamentalist like IFB. Or they associate fundamentalism with cultural in-sensitivities. Neither of these associations are correct. All of them are wrong and it is all mischaracterizations and misunderstandings. Fundamentalism is more closely linked with historic orthodoxy. We are to be liberal in how we love and fundamental in how we believe.

    Now about the head coverings for women….Why are people so hung up on this? Some of this is obviously cultural. Some is obviously based on the creation story. And some is obviously about Christ and the church. I am not sure how it all breaks down but this is one of the best arguments that homosexual marriage doesn’t belong in the church in any circumstances no matter how you slice it. These are all red herrings. Homosexuality is a sin and not something to put a blessing from the church on it.

  66. Alex says:

    Derek said, “Who reads one verse in the bible without reading others around them.”

    LOL, that can be said of the argument re: homosexuality. How many times did Jesus speak against it? Zero.

    Jesus spoke to Social Justice, but never once spoke against homosexuality…yet that doesn’t seem to bother some.

    I always find that fact very interesting.

    All the red letters of Jesus throughout the Gospels…and not one mention from the Son of God.

    Are you familiar with the “Justices” and the “Jobs”?

  67. Well then who reads the bible and only the red letters?

    Alex, you are childish and petulant and understand nothing of context, audience or genre. For someone who thinks so highly of their intelligence, you show very little understanding of scripture, besides your narrow view that is subject to all your pet peeves.You have demonstrated that multiple times here.
    I will leave you to the host who thoroughly demolished your last argument.

    Oh, and here is the scripture in a bit more context. Pay attention to the last verse ’cause it shows that that verse 14 is not what you would like to imply.

    To the rest I say (I, not the Lord) that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he should not divorce her. If any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy. But if the unbelieving partner separates, let it be so. In such cases the brother or sister is not enslaved. God has called you to peace. For how do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife? (1 Corinthians 7:12-16, ESV)

    Gotta run now, the wife and I need to go to Spearfish and pick some stuff up

  68. Alex says:

    Is anyone considering the “context” that Jesus and then Paul were speaking from?

    Some of you appeal to “exegesis” and “cultural context” to explain away things like stoning children, not eating shellfish, not having sex with your wife during her menstrual period, etc etc. These are “Jobs of the Torah”…and if you do some research, there is a very distinct possibility that ‘taboo sex’ like homosexual intercourse was one of these “Jobs of the Torah” and is to be held in the same manner as the rest of the things (and many others) listed above that we no longer adhere to.

  69. Michael says:

    Jesus did speak of marriage…

    “And Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful to divorce one’s wife for any cause?” He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female,and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.””
    (Matthew 19:3–6 ESV)

    Male and female…

  70. Alex says:

    Derek said, “Alex, you are childish and petulant and understand nothing of context, audience or genre”

    1. I’m not the one name-calling (yet)…but I can…with the best of them.

    2. Have you studied First Century Jewish Law? Are you familiar with the division that existed? Do you understand that “that” was the “context” that Jesus and Paul spoke from?

  71. Alex says:

    Michael, that is an “argument from silence”…Jesus didn’t speak against homosexuality, He spoke “for” men and women getting married…yet Paul the Apostle said it was better to “not marry” and for folks to be single.

  72. Michael says:

    “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality,nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”
    (1 Corinthians 6:9–11 ESV)

  73. Michael says:

    “Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it lawfully, understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine, in accordance with the gospel of the glory of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted.”
    (1 Timothy 1:8–11 ESV)

  74. Michael says:

    It’s not an argument from silence, it’s a clear definition that is consistent with all of Scripture.

  75. PP Vet says:

    So apparently the meaning of these scriptures is obvious to anyone who is not an idiot. And furthermore these scriptures are best explained by someone who throws around insults.

    The truth is, some of these things are not obvious. The more we ponder them, the more we realize that our simplistic, immediate, know-it-all interpretation was more a reflection of a narrow spiritual heritage than an expression out of a deep relationship.

  76. Alex says:

    Michael said, ““Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality,nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”

    There’s a pretty good argument that the greek word that is said to be Paul’s word: ἀρσενοκοῖται means “temple prostitution” in the context of First Century Jewish Law and Culture…which is the context Jesus and Paul spoke from.

  77. PP Vet says:

    Which gets back to the basic point: Don’t do it, because it is bad for you. Period.

  78. Alex says:

    “At the heart of all the problems in the church at Corinth… a city filled with both temples and brothels—where fornication was literally deemed a religious rite…
    The vast majority of the Jewish community in Corinth had rejected the gospel. So the church was made up of mostly Gentiles who, of course, came from a culture that was not inclined to see sexual sin as unspiritual. Just the opposite. Most of the “religion” in Corinth involved temple prostitution and debauched sexual behavior.” -Phil Johnson on Pyromaniacs Blog, January 31, 2011.

  79. Steve Wright says:

    Jesus never spoke against incest either. The incest movement among consenting adults is certainly alive and growing around the world. Especially those who understand the importance of not reproducing and just want to “love each other”

  80. Alex says:

    The “context” of appeals to Leviticus eighteen and twenty to ban homosexuality and Paul’s use homosexuality would very well be out of context. The Sandhedrin Folio 54a provides the First Century Jewish “context” for the passages that were much later translated into our bible loosely as “homosexuality”:

    http://www.come-and-hear.com/sanhedrin/sanhedrin_54.html

    The context seems to be “incest, pederasty and shrine prostitution” and not necessarily homosexuality in a committed non-fornicating non-adulterous relationship (or so the argument goes).

  81. Alex says:

    Steve, the “incest” issue does seem to be addressed by Jesus and Paul in tension with affirming the First Century Jewish Law interpretation of Leviticus eighteen and twenty as well as Paul’s 1 Corinthians 5.

  82. Reuben says:

    I get stuck with folks on this issue. I am damned by both sides.

    I am 100% for civil unions.
    I am 100% against “marriage” of homosexuals.

    I think it is evil, in America especially, to deny legal and financial equality to law abiding citizens, however, marriage can not be redefined. It is not the responsibility of the church to recognize any such nonsense.

    I come from a biased perspective. I have homosexuals in the immediate family. I consider them family. I love them as family. They are not the stereotype for homosexuals by a long shot. Nor are their friends.

  83. Alex says:

    I’ve reviewed the bulk of the arguments, and there are some decent arguments…appeals to “context” of First Century Jewish Law (as interpreted by First Century Sanhedrin and Jewish philosophers), appeals to “Justices vs. Jobs of the Torah”, appeals to the meaning of the greek words in the context of that time period/culture and the fact Jesus doesn’t speak directly to the issue of homosexuality in the NT.

    I’ve got no problem with folks rejecting it, but just try to know the opposing argument before you show your ignorance (Derek) by claiming another doesn’t have the “right context” etc.

  84. Michael says:

    Alex,

    I edited that comment.

    I have reviewed the arguments and found them unconvincing.

  85. Michael says:

    Reuben,

    I tend to agree with you…

  86. @39 “Marriage can still be between a man and a woman from the church’s perspective….and be something else from the State/Govt/Legal System’s perspective.”

    That may not always be so. My guess is at some time in the near future the government will pressure pastors not to say what the bible says about homosexuality. We may not be arrested, but our tax exempt status may be jeoparized and any person associating with a church that teaches what the bible says, or going along with what the bible says about homosexuality will suffer great set backs

    Having said that there is no room for hating gays in the churh. We can love them, help them, and not support the life. I have a couple of gay men coming out of homosexuality attending my church. We are good friends and they are involved in minstry here. They agree that homosexuality is not an approved bilical lifestyle. I also have two former lesbians in our church who have gone on to have husbands and families.

    In the former case of the two men, we dont talk about transformation. They still struggle with their deires and probably always will. But we love them and support them and protect them. For them it has become about choices and the ability to say no to the temptation

  87. “My guess is at some time in the near future the government will pressure pastors not to say what the bible says about homosexuality.”

    We have the 1st amendment “the government shall make no law…”

    What part of this don’t people understand?

  88. Alex says:

    First Amendment will hold up. I think churches will have the right to teach homosexuality as “sin” and “immoral” as long as it doesn’t incite violence and I think pastors and churches will be able to opt out of performing the marriages as there are many other judges, pastors etc who will perform the marriages.

    I and many others would fight hard for the right to disagree and call it “sin” and “immoral”…even some of the very liberal folks I know.

  89. Alex says:

    Steve H, good for you, you sound like you have a pastor’s heart for the gay folks in your church and those who are trying to come out of that life. Don’t get discouraged if they fall, having a gay brother has shown me that it “might” not be something that can be “cured”…no more than I can become “not” attracted to my beautiful wife.

  90. Andrew says:

    Homosexual behavior is a sin. (Romans 1:26-27). Always was and always will be. I have no idea why this is even a debate. This is a given if you even mildly accept Biblical authority.

  91. Rob Murphy says:

    @89, MLD . . . there are some who would argue that other amendments have been infringed for the sake of expedience and that if others have been compromised, how long until this one is? And there are others who believed that the 1st has been infringed by government rulings in favor of unions, for instance, and see the Bill of Rights being eroded subtly and not so subtly.

    @ 90, Alex – “… as long as it doesn’t incite violence” . . . where, and by whom? And what is the definition of violence? Is it like bullying – which is now defined as not making room at the lunch table at school? “Not making room” = equal to violence.

    I am not as confident in this system as some. It’s getting rickety. Or is it rackety? Seems like a racket . . .

  92. Steve Wright says:

    My incest comment was to make a point. There is no argument for homosexuality marriage that could not be applied to incestual marriage – once one eliminates the offspring issue. Incestual couples can adopt too. Problem solved.

    Of course Jesus spoke against incest, AND homosexuality. They are all included in the term, fornication, which Jesus spoke against often. That specific acts of fornication are not specifically mentioned by the Lord equates to silence (and implied consent) is an abomination in its own right.

    Of course, such arguments spring from a Christianity profession that either denies the deity of Christ, or at least argues God changed between the Testaments since the Mosaic Law was given, or a Christianity that denies the God-breathed authorship of the rest of the Scriptures besides the red letters.

  93. Alex says:

    Andrew, there are some opposing arguments that appeal to “context” of that day and proper exegesis and proper meanings of greek words etc.

    Personally, the verses you cite in Romans seem pretty concrete on the surface, but like with the Qualifications and many many other passages in scripture, there is nuance and some disagreement.

    For instance, some would argue that those verse you cited were in reference to people who were born with the natural desire, but then chose to have sex with the same sex and was not an indictment on those who are born with their “natural desire” for the same sex.

  94. Alex says:

    If it could be proven that someone was born with the “desire” for the same sex…isn’t that a “natural desire”? …for them?

  95. Alex,
    If a baby is born with fetal alcohol syndrome or is born as a crack addict baby, is it OK for that person to live as an alcoholic or a drug addict?

  96. Bob says:

    “If it could be proven that someone was born with the “desire” for the same sex…isn’t that a “natural desire”? …for them?”

    The issue isn’t “sexual desire” or even love for a person of the same sex, it is clearly about design. A marriage is two people of the opposite sex.

    The question might be asked if “design” is important then should men and women be performing the same type of intercourse as homosexuals? There might be a case for such thoughts.

    I’ll leave it to Alex to flesh this stuff out.

  97. Alex says:

    The fornication argument is a good one, IMO, hard to get around that one. Those arguing the other position would say that a committed monogamous gay relationship is not fornication, but without any mention of a non-marriage sexual relationship being “not fornication”…it’s a tough one. The best argument is pointing to the fact Jesus didn’t speak to homosexuality and that while He references marriage as a between a man and woman, He doesn’t forbid marriage between same sex couples…it is implied, but it is not specifically prohibited.

  98. Alex says:

    MLD said, “If a baby is born with fetal alcohol syndrome or is born as a crack addict baby, is it OK for that person to live as an alcoholic or a drug addict?”

    Straw man and false analogy, if the premise that “some people are born gay” is true. I don’t know for sure. If it could be proven that there was a “gay” gene or some other empirically verifiable marker that showed a “naturally born” predisposition to being homosexual…I would be open that that would be that individual’s “natural desire” as it could be part of God’s design that “they” were born with.

    Hermaphrodites are a interesting anomaly. Born with both male and female sex organs. What of the hermaphrodite? Damned if they do, damned if the don’t, eh?

  99. PP Vet says:

    I’m an old man. Not many things give me enjoyment. This site is one of them. Would you mind taking your troll act somewhere else?

  100. Alex says:

    Another consideration (and argument) along the lines of “Justices and Jobs of the Torah” is the fact that homosexuality is not in the 10 Commandments. Interesting fact that some don’t consider in the discussion.

  101. Alex says:

    PP Vet, I hope that wasn’t directed at me. I’m presenting the other sides of the argument for consideration since most on here seem to be in lock-step with the more Fundamentalist Position on the issue of Gay Marriage which has become the main topic of this thread. I don’t necessarily agree with what I’m presenting, but it is at least worth knowing what arguments to the contrary are out there and what they are and the rationale behind them.

    I don’t think that is trolling.

  102. mrtundraman says:

    “Marriage can still be between a man and a woman from the church’s perspective….and be something else from the State/Govt/Legal System’s perspective.”

    Not when it’s defined as a civil right like race. A church can’t discriminate in membership or any other practice on the basis of race without losing it’s 501(c)3 status, right? How will sexual orientation be any different.

    The canary in the cage is military chaplains who will be the first to be told they they have to perform gay marriages or be removed from their positions.

  103. mrtundraman says:

    “Another consideration (and argument) along the lines of “Justices and Jobs of the Torah” is the fact that homosexuality is not in the 10 Commandments. Interesting fact that some don’t consider in the discussion.”

    Neither is beastiality. It’s not even repeated in the NT as unlawful. To argue in favor is to make man’s best friend more than that.

  104. Steve Wright says:

    I think before churches are forced to marry (or face consequences) the first lawsuits will come when churches deny homosexual couples from participation at the various ‘couples’ dinners’ or marriage retreats.

  105. Alex says:

    I think the beastiality angle is a good argument.

    The push-back is this: appeals to scripture regarding the differences between flesh of man and animals, appeals to innate desire stating no human is born with a desire for animals exclusively, appeals to choice and informed consent (animals can’t give informed consent, therefore it’s always wrong), and appeals that man and animal are not compatible life partners (citing Genesis “no suitable partner” among the beasts God created).

  106. “I’ve reviewed the bulk of the arguments, and there are some decent arguments…appeals to “context” of First Century Jewish Law (as interpreted by First Century Sanhedrin and Jewish philosophers), appeals to “Justices vs. Jobs of the Torah”, appeals to the meaning of the greek words in the context of that time period/culture and the fact Jesus doesn’t speak directly to the issue of homosexuality in the NT.

    I’ve got no problem with folks rejecting it, but just try to know the opposing argument before you show your ignorance (Derek) by claiming another doesn’t have the “right context” etc.”

    I might be showing my ignorance, but I am not the one resting my case on the same people that Jesus always showed to be wrong. I have looked at stuff from a jewish perspective before and found it lacking. But, we can’t all be as wise as you can we Alex. Funny, the host was not convinced by your arguments either.

  107. Alex says:

    DT said, “Funny, the host was not convinced by your arguments either.”

    They weren’t “my” arguments…I presented the arguments of the Opposing Viewpoint that appeals to “context” and “culture” and “proper exegesis” and all the same things you said you had locked down 100% for certain when you expressed your viewpoint.

    I don’t think you were even remotely aware of the opposing arguments and probably read up on the issues I raised just a little bit ago. When one appeals to “context” of particular time period, it is legit to point out the prevailing understanding and articulation of the words/phrases used by contemporaries of Jesus and Paul in that day.

  108. Alex says:

    DT said, “I might be showing my ignorance, but I am not the one resting my case on the same people that Jesus always showed to be wrong”

    But, I thought Jesus affirmed the Law and Prophets? And, if He affirmed the Law and the Prophets, isn’t it wise to understand the context of the Law and Prophets in light of the First Century Jewish Law? If so, then isn’t it wise to note and discuss the differences the Jews made between “Justices” vs. “Jobs of the Torah”?

  109. Alex says:

    DT said, “I might be showing my ignorance, but I am not the one resting my case on the same people that Jesus always showed to be wrong”

    Jesus said in Matthew 23 to “do what the Sandhedrin says” in essence, but not to do as they do, as they were monumental hypocrites. This presents a contradiction for you.

    It forces you to consider the Law in the context of the Sandhedrin of Jesus’s day that ruled that the verses in Leviticus weren’t about “homosexuality”…

    And we must consider that Jesus obliterated the Law and fulfilled the Law and did away with the “Jobs of Torah” under the New Covenant.

    Either way, it’s a valid argument that can be made from Scripture for the gay christian position…and argument many will disagree with, but it’s got a some merit for consideration.

  110. Michael says:

    The (false) assumption is that the historical church from the Fathers to Calvin and on through to today were unaware of these Jewish writings.

    The church has studied them…and held to the traditional understandings of the texts.

    I will stand with the historical and exegetical work church in affirming the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman and the sinfulness of the practice of homosexuality.

  111. Alex says:

    Jesus said, “Then Jesus tsaid to the crowds and to his disciples, 2 u“The scribes and the Pharisees vsit on Moses’ seat, 3 so do and observe whatever they tell you,”

    Well, what did the Sandedrin of Jesus’s day say about the issue with regards to Leviticus?

  112. Michael,
    You have been very kind to put up with an asshole like me here, but this is my last post. I can’t put up with Alex’s arrogance anymore. He calls me ignorant last week and no one stood up to him, but I say the same today and here come the Alex apologists.
    Does his past abuse let him say whatever he pleases? I can’t sit here and watch him twist scripture and say how subjective it all is. Sometimes, I wonder about that.
    I will read your articles ’cause you have a lot to say, but this is an unhealthy area for me.

    May the Lord bless you all.

  113. Alex says:

    Pretty crystal clear statement: “Do and observe WHATEVER they tell you”

    And, “they” said that Leviticus eighteen and twenty are different than what is commonly said to be the case today.

  114. Alex says:

    Michael said, “The church has studied them…and held to the traditional understandings of the texts.”

    The Liberal wings of “the church” do not agree or affirm this. We either have to cast them into hell as not part of “the church”…or be open that it is a non-essential that there is a possibility we could be wrong about.

  115. Michael says:

    Derek,

    I value your presence here and hope you’ll reconsider.
    I’m finding this a bit wearisome myself.

  116. Michael says:

    Alex,

    The historical church has never been split over this issue.
    If you’re taken by the sophistry of liberal scholars then that is entirely your problem.

  117. The Jews of the day also said that Jesus wasn’t God – perhaps we are misreading the NT texts in that area also.

  118. Alex says:

    Michael, what do you make of the command Jesus gave in Matthew 23 to do what the Scribes and Pharisees said? If one appeals to “context”…then you can’t really get more “in context” than what the Sanhedrin ruled was the meaning of Leviticus eighteen and twenty at that time when Jesus made that specific statement, no?

    Is it more correct to agree with Jesus at that moment and listen to the Sanhedrin’s ruling of that day on the issue of the verses in Leviticus…or to claim “proper context!” based off of interpretations many many years later by folks who aren’t the Scribes and Pharisees who Jesus said to “do as they say” etc.

  119. Because there are contrary opinions out there does not make it right. The Man Boy Association makes a good case for adults having sexual relations with small minors … so what?

  120. Steve Wright says:

    As to being ‘aware’ of the opposing arguments. I can’t tell you how many times I read on the political blogs I follow (which all are quite libertarian or GOP conservative) some guy who goes on for several paragraphs giving both his Christian and his political conservative bona fides and then make the argument for gay marriage. Just read one yesterday.

    The thing is, despite all the rep building, when push comes to shove these guys, like yesterday, end up writing something that gives a very low view (or outright denial) of Scripture. Happens every time.

    Side note to Derek Thornton – Are you on facebook? If so, look me up.

  121. Alex says:

    MLD said, ‘The Jews of the day also said that Jesus wasn’t God”

    Yes, and Jesus deals with that great sin of the Jews further along in that passage (besides their hypocrisy).

  122. Steve Wright says:

    Alex @120 – The answer to that question is that while Jesus walked the earth He lived under the Law of Moses. When He healed a leper, He told the guy to show himself to the priest. When asked a question, Jesus often replied ‘What did Moses write?’

    After the cross and resurrection, things changed. You never see the Church looking to Moses to guide their behavior. In fact, quite the contrary as Galatians, Romans, the Jerusalem council in Acts etc. all show us.

    Progressive revelation is not the same as changing or ignoring Scripture to fit in with a sinful culture.

  123. “Yes, and Jesus deals with that great sin of the Jews further along in that passage (besides their hypocrisy).”

    But if the Jews were right, and 100% of them up to this day will tell you they were, then Jesus wasn’t God and it doesn’t matter what Jesus said later about the Jews.

  124. Steve Wright says:

    You see, to expand my post 124. At the bottom of this discussion of what Jesus said in the red letters is somehow a denial of His authorship of the Mosaic Law. The Law is holy, just and good. Even Leviticus.

    That does NOT mean the Law is prescriptive for today, as the New Testament clearly explains. It is however quite descriptive of God’s attitude, definitions, and opinions about what is sin.

  125. Alex says:

    Steve W said, “After the cross and resurrection, things changed. You never see the Church looking to Moses to guide their behavior.”

    I had to “chuck”le here….a CC pastor saying no ones looks to Moses to guide their behavior 🙂 😆

  126. Alex says:

    Steve W said, “That does NOT mean the Law is prescriptive for today, as the New Testament clearly explains. It is however quite descriptive of God’s attitude, definitions, and opinions about what is sin.”

    Yes, and this very thing is addressed in the difference between “Justices” vs. “Jobs of the Torah” argument…and it’s a decent argument. Look it up (or I can summarize it here).

  127. OK, this has gone on long enough – Alex, just say April Fools and we will all have a good laugh. 🙂

  128. To Alex, Jesus being right or Jesus being wrong are equal positions. Even though he will say that is not true, he has nothing to defend against my statement.

    Talk to John Shelby Spong or John Dominic Crossant – liberal Christians (who Alex thinks hold equal standing) who deny that Jesus was divine.

  129. Steve Wright says:

    Yes, and this very thing is addressed in the difference between “Justices” vs. “Jobs of the Torah” argument…and it’s a decent argument. Look it up
    ——————————————————
    So I googled that exact expression and EVERY relevant early hit is in context of homosexuality acceptance.

    If someone can find me an article written by one who holds to the inspiration of all Scripture, and makes a case for this revolutionary interpretive scheme that does not focus on homosexuality, and instead explains in detail the scholarly discoveries from the ancient texts (not simply quoting some new book) that lead to this new hermeneutic, then I will certainly read it.

    I especially will be interested in discovering why ‘abomination’ means something different than we have known it to mean for a couple millennia.

  130. Steve, you are correct. The homosexuals have invented this new interpretive lens – and they are the only ones who use it. You can find on You Tube “bishop” Gene Robinson doing this very thing to justify his own homosexuality.

    I watched him once explaining this to an ABC interviewer and you could tell that she had no clue to what scripture said and she was buying it all.

  131. But as we know, Mormons and homosexuals have been the backbone of Christianity since the days of the cross. 🙂

  132. Steve Wright says:

    MLD, the thing is, what I wrote (about the Mosaic Law) has been said by the Church for 2000 years. For even longer than that, certainly as long as the 10 Commandments have been commented upon, the understanding that some of God’s commands deal with man’s relationship to God, while others man’s relationship to man, is hardly noteworthy.

    Yet there we have David, speaking of his murder and adultery as being sin against God. As it was.

    The emphasis on ‘love thy neighbor as thyself’ being used as some accept all behavior tolerant sort of license in the eyes of God is hardly new either.

  133. This video is for PP Vet and Alex who question if we know the “official” Mormon position on theology. All can watch – it’s pretty funny.

  134. Nomansapologist says:

    Love this article…
    Excellent, Michael.

    Wanted to weigh in on this discussion as it is close to my heart.

    Divorce is a sin. How many Christians do you see protesting the fact that it’s legal? Gluttony is a sin. How many Christians are standing up at the Claim Jumper Sunday mornings after church in an outcry as men of the cloth gorge themselves with meals 5 times the size of a reasonable serving? Fornication is a sin. How many Christians are fighting to ban p@rnography?
    I don’t question the validity of what is and is not biblical sin. I do however take offense at “pet sins” that are demonized above others.

    I believe that a lack of self control among “Godly” parents will destroy homes, and eventually this country as quickly as the legalism of gay marriage.

    Love is always the answer…

    And Jesus was never found persecuting the persecuted.

  135. Steve Wright says:

    Nomans….Here would be my reply.

    Christians in fact DID protest and seek to ban p@ornography. The so-called religious right favored politicians actually did a lot of (temporary) damage to p@rnographers in the 80s but ultimately were shot down by the courts.

    Same with no-fault divorce. Those stodgy Christian fundamentalists were at the head of the fight but eventually lost out in the courts. Abortion. Yep. Same.

    The issue it seems (at least in today’s Things I Think) is less the ‘pet sin’ argument (for which I am sympathetic with you) and more the current battle raging as to marriage – an argument not yet lost (in fact, despite the publicity the simple fact is there are far more states that have specifically banned gay marriage than have approved it).

    However, like with the others, an issue possibly about to be taken from the people by the court.

    What concerns me is the arguments seen in the comments here. Not some sort of church/state separation argument, but more along the lines of ‘Jesus didn’t speak against it’ and “Paul was really writing about something else”

    Where I wonder how old school friends who often like my Christian posts also change their facebook page to the red and pink flag of solidarity. Why?

  136. filbertz says:

    Nomanz!
    well said.

  137. n o m a n s says:

    Filly! Big love to your awesome familly 🙂

  138. Ixtlan says:

    . The ideal of pet sins will always be with us; people will not condemn what they enjoy. We forget the fact that if we are guilty of one sin, we are guilty of them all.

    Steve Wright raises the fact that the morality of this country has slowly been eroding. Gay marriage is only the current beach head in the moral war in this culture.

    To condemn those who oppose gay marriage of hypocrisy because of the sin in their own lives does not nullify the moral absolutes that are given us by God. The obvious answer is for the gay, the adulterer, glutton, abuser, drug addict, etc, etc ,etc to repent. However, we must consider the hand we are currently being dealt and stand for righteousness. Two wrongs never make a right.

  139. n o m a n s says:

    Steve, I understand that you and I come from two ends of the sea in regards to politics. I frankly don’t see why Christians expect the government of a post-Christian society to carry biblical views within its law.
    I know, I know… Call me a defeatist.
    In my opinion, the government was never meant to be our salvation.
    I fully understand I am not of a popular viewpoint.
    The “christian worldview quiz” basically called me an Athiest! 😉

  140. Steve Wright says:

    I guess my answer would be, nomans, that government should exist to help people. Not hurt them. (Sure there is lots of room for debate about the best way to help them)

    But sin always hurts ourselves and others.

    It’s why God hates it. Because He loves us so much.

    I am a child of the 80s (pre-Christ) and a child of California. I have vivid recollection of the legal battles here which ended up, thanks to the courts, making my state the p@rn capital of the nation. What started as an attempt to stop evil, ended up solidifying it and making it stronger.

    Yet, how does one stop fighting evil?

  141. Steve Wright says:

    . I frankly don’t see why Christians expect the government of a post-Christian society to carry biblical views within its law.
    ——————————————————
    A final word for the night. Every nation has a wiki page and a section on religion for that nation. The one for America is fascinating. (When exactly did the “post-Christian society” emerge, what caused it to emerge, and what makes it grow stronger and more ungodly?)
    To be clear, the answer is not found in politics, but politics sure does hasten the collapse and the apostasy.

    From Wiki

    The United States is officially a secular nation; the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees the free exercise of religion and forbids the establishment of any religious governance. In a 2002 study, 59% of Americans said that religion played a “very important role in their lives”, a far higher figure than that of any other wealthy nation.According to a 2007 survey, 78.4% of adults identified themselves as Christian, down from 86.4% in 1990.

    Protestant denominations accounted for 51.3%, while Roman Catholicism, at 23.9%, was the largest individual denomination. The total reporting non-Christian religions in 2007 was 4.7%, up from 3.3% in 1990.Other religions include Judaism (1.7%), Buddhism (0.7%), Islam (0.6%), Hinduism (0.4%), and Unitarian Universalism (0.3%). The survey also reported that 16.1% of Americans described themselves as agnostic, atheist, or simply having no religion, up from 8.2% in 1990.

    There are also Baha’i, Sikh, Jain, Shinto, Confucian, Taoist, Druid, Native American, Wiccan, humanist and deist communities. Doubt about the existence of a god or gods is growing rapidly among Americans under 30.Polls show that overall American confidence in organized religion is declining, and that younger Americans in particular are becoming increasingly irreligious.

  142. n o m a n s says:

    Yes. I understand where you are coming from…

    If I am being candid, sometimes I think we won’t get down to a “i need God and will die if I don’t have Him” revival as a nation until we lay down the powerless imposter we have created in its stead.
    The relatively new abundance/patriotism/self-sufficient/consumerism/corpmerica brand of christianity.

    I think it’s killing us as fast as anything.

    I will also say that many of the Christians who are opposing Gay Marriage, at least in my line of vision (limited, I know) are making a farce of Christ, and that makes me want to turn tables more than Gay Marriage does.

    I am oppositional. Makes me go screaming in the other direction.

  143. n o m a n s says:

    Thank you beautiful blog family for letting me blather. Love and miss you!

  144. Steve Wright says:

    Nomans, we agree on more than you realize.

    While not being a prophet, I can still understand basic math, An economic collapse is going to hit this nation of a magnitude never seen or imagined by most, and the chaos that will result is going to present opportunity for the Body of Christ in America to have its most shining hour…..

    If we rise to the call.

  145. Steve Wright says:

    I just hope I am hear to see it 🙂

    (Yeah I wrote that correctly 😉 )

  146. Steve Wright says:

    Well…didn’t write ‘here’ correctly….(guess I better go to bed)

    I do hope I am present…and not just my kids have to experience it.

  147. Ixtlan says:

    “If I am being candid, sometimes I think we won’t get down to a “i need God and will die if I don’t have Him” revival as a nation until we lay down the powerless imposter we have created in its stead.
    The relatively new abundance/patriotism/self-sufficient/consumerism/corpmerica brand of christianity”

    I agree but will recognize that is a bit broad. Not every”new abundance/patriotism/self-sufficient/consumerism/corpmerica brand of christianity” is conservative or liberal, democrat or republican…. or even patriotic for that matter. A minor point, maybe but I thought the observation should be made. It is easy to paint our enemies brightly while doning our camos.

    The church has become the mature mustard tree and much of it is manifest in mega culture. We love big, media savvy celebrities, we like their personal fb pages, follow their tweets; all for what? We fashioned our celebrity pastors into demigods that we idolize and yet the church is not for the most part advancing the Kingdom. We have become a sub culture that has lost its moral compass an we want so desperately to be liked and accepted by the world that we are willing to sell the small morsel of what is left of our birthright of biblical morality for bowl relevent soup.

  148. brian says:

    Trust me I understand the “apologetics” and the millions of bits spilled out on the internet. It means nothing to me what so ever, its preconceived rhetoric at best and that is on a good day. The secular world has taken us out back and slapped our collective behind. Of course I could be wrong, most often am, but that is something our apologetic ilk cant admit, on any subject, being wrong. As a teacher I have found students learn far more when they are wrong then when they are right.

    You know when I first heard the “good news” back in early 1980 I clung to it like a vice grip. It offered hope, grace, freedom, meaning and so on. I have come to learn those are emotional responses thus always of Satan, Always. God is a passionless, cold, logical compilations of presuppositions and nothing more and you better believe or you will burn. I will admit I struggled with that, to my shame. I could go on but we live in a world of Probabilities not absolutes, we just dont and none of us operate on a daily basis in a world of absolutes. We just dont.

    Why I hope, because I want to see my students healed, I want to meet my loved ones, I want to make a difference, I want to see Jesus, I want to make a dent.

  149. Here is the difference – if you confront a Christian (lay or pastor) about his / her gluttony, divorce, p0rn addiction, whatever it is he / she will almost 100% of the time confess it as sin.

    Not so with the homosexual. This is the whole issue – they don’t want to come to confront their sin – they want the church to affirm their sin.

    I asked before when we discussed this issue. If some 50 yr old guy came to your church with his 20 yr old girl friend and said “hey, I know my wife and 4 kids are here in the sanctuary worshiping today, but I want you to accept me “just as I am”.

    This is no different than what the homosexual expects out of the church… in case you can’t figure it out – they just want to poke the church in the eye.

  150. Reuben says:

    NOMANS!!!

    I agree, there are pet sins that have achieved celebrity status in American Christian Culture. I also agree that the government is not our salvation. That is a super way of putting it. X said that if we are guilty of one, we are guilty of all. That is true indeed.

    A co-worker asked me the other day how a Liberal can be a Christian. I have not answered the question yet. I refrain, because it is such a stupid question that I don’t know how to answer it without being offensive. It is hard to get past the mental slavery of bias in evangelicals. It is harder still without bringing soteriology into it.

  151. Nonnie says:

    I guess the only thing a Christian should truly be concerned about being liberal in,
    is LOVE.

  152. Not Understanding Why says:

    This is from Pastor Bob Grenier’s book “A Common Miracle” Page 3 last paragraph.

    “Oh yes,I almost forgot to tell you that there was another boy named David who used to sleep next to me in that dormitory; and one night I felt him pulling back the covers of my bed and getting into bed with me. I was not sure what was happening and not sure what to do. I just lay there frozen as David did what he did. No one ever knew about it…not the nuns, the priests, or my parents. Only David and I. Not an uncommon thing to have happen to boys and girls.”

    So if this is not an uncommon event for Bob and he believes it happens to others as commonly as himself, then it is not a stretch to see how he gave himself a pass to molest his son. Why not? Everybody is doing it, right?

    So why does Calvary Chapel Visalia accept a gay pastor as their leader? Is this the new norm?

  153. n o m a n s !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  154. Steve Wright says:

    “i need God and will die if I don’t have Him” revival as a nation
    ———————————————————————-
    I think the self-sufficient abundant patriotic corpamerica etc. folks of this land also have some company among those who want nothing less than a cradle to grave welfare state where the government replaces God as our provider

    I love nomans description that I pasted “I need God and will die if I don’t have Him” but it will take the failure of government to keep its promises for this to be reality in many peoples’ lives.

    Frankly, the homosexual discussions will certainly take a back seat as they do in all other impoverished nations. The sin of Sodom was pride, fullness of bread, and idleness of time. Those factors lead to perversions of all sorts.

    I came back with this post because I just read that Stockton was granted its bankruptcy protection but the court did not yet rule on the most important issue, which will no doubt set precedent around the nation. Does federal bankruptcy law trump state and local law when these cities go under? The issue of course is the tremendously unfunded pension obligations.

    And while I do NOT, repeat NOT, equate the pensioners of Stockton with the cradle to grave welfare state, I do see the similarity in politicians and their cronies in power making financial promises to keep those votes and that power – promises that can’t possibly be kept and that others will be expected to try and pay for.

    It’s a mess. The dominoes will fall. And the Church will (hopefully) be there to aid those in need when the checks stop coming (or when the future inflation makes those checks practically worthless). I know the leaders of our church are already talking about it

  155. Michael says:

    For the sake of peace I retracted my comment and will now retract from the internet for a while.

  156. Ixtlan says:

    @152

    actually Reuben, it isn’t a stupid question. The person who asked is doing nothing more than reflecting the enviroment of his own world. Until you can get past the ideal that the question was stupid, the best you will be able to do is present your answer in a condescending way and sound like a arrogant, dumb-assed liberal…. which sounds just like an arogant dumbed-assed conservative.

    We either win over people, or win them over….. most , both liberal and conservative alike, gravitate toward the former.

    Whether we like it or not, agree or not, are comfortable with it or not, the scripture gives a rather lengthy list of sins which if people practice, will not inherit the kingdom of God.

    just some food for thought.

  157. Steve Wright says:

    No Michael. It is a multi-layered problem. I granted Nomans point and added mine on the subject of an individual’s personal need for the Lord. It’s not ALWAYS about the welfare state, but if you don’t think that is a problem when it comes to the spiritual health of this nation, then so be it. That’s the last thing I would try to convince YOU of all people.

    The Republicans have no answers nor do they have a desire to fix the problems of this nation. They want votes and American voters want goodies from Uncle Sam, paid for by someone else. The Republicans are just as deep in the mess.

    The thing is, which I have yet to see you write, is that the Democrats, especially the ones with power like Obama and Reid are equally as responsible for the thieving bankers and corporate greed.

    That’s the point. There is no solution in the present form. And no will to look for one if there was, and no courage to seek to legislate that solution if it existed.

    Find me ONE Democrat willing to talk about a wealth tax in all their tough talk about the rich and their paying their share. Just ONE Democrat. Wonder why that is? Because they are as rich as anybody, and their largest backers are the richest of them all.

  158. Steve Wright says:

    Well, I replied to a comment you now deleted. So I guess you can delete it too if you wish.

    The point stands though.

  159. Shaun Sells says:

    I spent the last week on the Rosebud Reservation.

    If anyone wants to see the fruit of a welfare state, spend a week in Parmalee. Free housing (trashed within a year), monthly check (gone before the month is up), 70% unemployment many unfilled jobs. Gangs, drugs, alcohol all paid for with a government check. Gargabe everywhere, they have trash cans, they just don’t use them. Why should you when you have a front lawn or an empty lot next door? Desperation as bad as when I did mission work in Haiti.

    107 people gave their lives to Christ, 107 people (mostly kids) who will be harassed, beaten, and abandoned by their friends. I met a 16 year old girl who was part of a gang; I asked her why she joined, she said she didn’t – she was jumped in and can only leave by death. I thought she was exaggerating until I asked the local missionary who told me about a man who just a few years back from that gang gave his life to Christ – he was murdered within the year. No suspects, no justice, no hope…

    It was aptly described to me as “The Lord of Flies” the kids were raising themselves on the streets in roving packs of wild savages while mom or dad shot up at home. When you ask them why they don’t try to get out they say “why should we, we have everything we need here provided for free.”

    Churches have come in and built community centers, skate parks, basketball courts, and playgrounds just to have them completely destroyed within a year.

    I don’t consider myself a democrat or a republican, but I would pull funding immediately for any community that can’t take of what was given to them. In my opinion (and it is just that, an opinion) that is where our nation is headed.

  160. Tried to lurk, but #161 pulled me out.

    Just so we’re clear, Shaun, did you say you would de-fund the Native American Reservations?!?!?!?!

    You do realize why they are on that reservation…right?

  161. pstrmike says:

    “The last chapter in any successful genocide is the one in which the oppressor can remove their hands and say “my God, what are these people doing to themselves, they are killing each other, they’re killing themselves, while we watch them die…. Prisoners are still born into prisoner of war camps long after the guards are gone “……………..Aaron Huey.

    http://www.ted.com/talks/aaron_huey.html

  162. Some ne said “I guess the only thing a Christian should truly be concerned about being liberal in,is LOVE.”

    I would agree. But what most describe or think of as love is actually sentimentality or total acceptance of all behavior. To say “no”, or “I disagree”, is considered by many as the most unloving thnk another person can do. Total tolerance is now considered a virtue. A person driven and adhering to a standard, say the bible, is for many, a bad thing. We must be open and accepting of all ideas even if they are destructive or harmful because there is no one standard for everyone

  163. Nonnie says:

    Steve, I hear you and I agree. Love, truth and grace don’t contradict each other, although I know a lot of people don’t understand that. I know people whose lifestyle and choices concern me and I believe are harmful, but it doesn’t mean that I don’t love them and truly hope the best for them.
    If a child of mine was trying to kill himself, obviously I wouldn’t stand back in the name of “tolerance, ” and call it “love.”
    I stand by my statement that as Christians we are to love liberally. Love doesn’t necessarily imply we agree with that person’s lifestyle or actions.

  164. Nonnie says:

    Here is some liberal love:

    Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

  165. Steve Wright says:

    Truth has been sacrificed on the altar of love. Or maybe the idol of love.

    Tolerance today is not simply live and let live. It is to refuse to draw lines of right and wrong, or even to say one thing is better than another. It is to insist all choices, all behavior is equally positive (and this is far broader than just the homosexual discussion)

    Speak the truth in love is the Scripture command. And God’s Word is truth.

  166. mrtundraman says:

    Alex wrote – “Yes, and this very thing is addressed in the difference between “Justices” vs. “Jobs of the Torah” argument…and it’s a decent argument. Look it up”

    OK, I did look it up and it appears to be a relatively new variant (Michael Wood, 2011) on an older argument. I only know it’s older because someone told me 10 years ago when I quoted Leviticus “men should not lie with men” they quoted the passage about different threads in material being forbidden. I thought I had a clever response at the time, but wonder if their argument was based on this argument (or a forerunner).

    I haven’t read all 160+ comments on here so please forgive me if I repeat what someone else has written.

    1 – The core argument in the “decoded” argument is that the key to decoding is to categorize the particular passage or subpassage into “Jobs” and “Justices” as you note above.
    2 – Justices have continuing force but jobs don’t since they were particular to the Israel cult.
    3 – How is that any different than the traditional division of the Law into ceremonial, civil and moral as particularly exposited by Theonomists?
    4 – It seems to me that it’s the same as the ceremonial (no longer in force today since it related to Israel’s cult) and the moral (based on the holiness of God and therefore unchangeable).
    5 – What is the criteria for determining whether a particular Law is a “Justices” or a “Jobs”? Particularly in places where there seems to be a mix of uses.

    Let’s start there. I’ve waited all day till I got home for work to get into this discussion. Hopefully Alex is still in this discussion. Let’s let the Scriptures fall where they may.

  167. Nonnie says:

    Steve Wright, I agree !

  168. mrtundraman says:

    The discrimination criteria appears to be:

    “The Justices were all the commandments based on the precept, “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
    The Jobs were all the rest.”

    But isn’t this question begging? Is it loving to your neighbor to have homosexual relations or is it a disordered form of love?

  169. Steve W,
    Tolerance has completely changed meanings. Think about it – to tolerate something is to put up with something you don’t agree with – but you do put up with it while disagreeing.

    You are right, tolerance today means to agree with or be the outcast.

  170. Fly on a Wall says:

    Oh dear…. the world really must be coming to an end, I agreed with Dougie and Steve Wright in the same week.

    I’m a little curious what Michael wrote about the “welfare” state…. it couldn’t be any worse than the drivel spouted by Driscoll and Calvary Chapels (correction, the majority of Calvary Chapels, as Steve Wright will be the first to point he was the first to disagree with Michael).

    Shaun Sells equates the Indian reservation with our future welfare state? HAHAHAHAHA. Typical.

    Oh you holy ones, the keepers of the sacred vine juice and crackers, you are filled with the Holy Spirit, yet you fail to see what is crumbling our society? It’s so obvious, why don’t you talk to a child? Yeah, put your iphone/ipad down for a second, and have an earnest chat with some of your dumb sheep, probably the same ones that have been supporting you for years, and find out what is wrong with our society.

    Steve Wright, there is one thing I disagree with you, and that’s US going into an economic meltdown. I believe US will continue to be fat and happy, as it sinks further into a “welfare” state (I prefer the word socialism) and it will continue to pay a debt it never intends to recover. If Satan and his minions really wanted to wreak havoc in this world, he’d destroy China, and all the other third world countries that are supplying our slave labor.

  171. Fly on a Wall says:

    Correction, I meant to say “owe a debt” not “pay a debt”.

  172. Steve Wright says:

    , as Steve Wright will be the first to point he was the first to disagree with Michael).
    ——————————————————-
    Actually, Michael jumped in to disagree with me. 🙂

    My 159 basically can be deciphered to figure out what he wrote that was later deleted.

  173. Michael says:

    Fly,

    I’m the resident “liberal” and I couldn’t possibly disagree more with most of what Steve writes.
    I got off my own blog before it got ugly.

  174. PP Vet says:

    “It is asented yt Isack Shelden and Samuell Rockwell shall keepe house together in ye house yt is Isackes, so thay cary themselves soberly and doe not intertayne Idel persones to ye evell Expenc of time by night or daye.”

    Actual words granting permission for two men to live together in 1652 in New England. No thought of the sort of unspeakable thing that is brought up day. Only concern was the potential for frat house behavior. Or just too much hangin out wasting time.

    Who knows, perhaps my ancestor Isaac Sheldon had an ale bong. 🙂

    We live in a sick, sex-obsessed culture. There are no laws that can fix it, and the laws we must concede to are disgusting in themselves. Disgusting disgusting sick sick.

  175. Steve Wright says:

    I think history shows that we can look to Europe and see our future more often than not.

    The big difference now is that the member nations of the Euro can’t print their own Euros – so we have Greece, Cyprus, Spain and so forth being forced to try and deal with their economic problems. We see how well the people are reacting to that. (Unlike America though, most of them aren’t armed with more than rocks)

    The USA on the other hand can, and does, print their problems down the road but eventually there will be a day of reckoning.

    The Fed is buying 75 Billion dollars a MONTH in order to finance our debt and keep interest rates at around 0%. This is insane. They have publically said they see no reason to stop this policy. This is not black helicopter conspiracy stuff. It is what is actually happening

    If our debt had to be sold on the open market, even to China, interest rates would skyrocket. Even with rates so artificially low, look at inflation’s toll on the things people actually buy – food, gas, education, healthcare. The official CPI is a joke and there is no incentive for people to save money, nor is there an incentive for banks to lend at such low rates. So everyone with cash rushes to the stock market which is exactly what the powers that be want to happen.

    One of Satan’s greatest tactics is the Chicken Little approach – messengers of the past have been such nutcases and fleecers of the public that now nobody can talk about what is happening without being dismissed as a crackpot. Then its back to the bread and circuses for the masses.

    Sort of like the Second Coming. In all the nonsense from false prophets the fact that Jesus is actually going to return one day is being denied by more and more.

  176. Fly on a Wall says:

    Steve Wright: If US doesn’t pay back their debt to China, what happens? Isn’t China in bed with the US (or I should say Walmart)? Isn’t the US their biggest importer?

    To answer my own question in #172, let’s talk to a child:

    Adult: Do you know why you’re homeless?
    Child: Because daddy doesn’t have a job.

    Adult: Why can’t he find a job? Is he lazy? Does he think wealthy people have to support him? Man who doesn’t work, doesn’t eat, it’s biblical.
    Child: Well, daddy had a business, but he lost it because he paid his workers a fair salary. Next, he said he’d buy things locally from suppliers that have been with him for years. But big corporations with ties to China, India, Malaysia, and other places kept bringing in cheaper products and driving the cost down so that mom/pop shops couldn’t compete. Also, they get tax breaks/loans that normal Americans do not have.

    Adult: Nonsense. It is more efficient to send jobs oversees and close up these mom/pop shops so big corporations can take over and turn them into minimum wage earners.

    Child: daddy says the products are so cheap because little Chinese children don’t get paid to make these products. They are treated as slaves.

  177. Steve Wright says:

    Fly – Why wouldn’t the US pay back their debt to China?

    (And FYI – you will never hear me argue in favor of shipping jobs overseas. Or for that matter, hear me touting how great Apple and their products are – you have me confused with others at this blog 🙂 )

  178. Fly on a Wall says:

    Steve: maybe I’m not understanding you. I’m lumping you with all the other doomsday people who think there will be a great economic collapse (I agree but other things have to happen first) and the collapse will occur because of our national debt and Obama (I’m being sarcastic). And this collapse will lead to the end of the world.

    Correct me if I’m wrong.

    But I disagree, I think the US and China are in bed together. As things are now, one cannot exist without the other. People cry about the US looming, exponential debt, but my thought is this: does the US have to pay it back? Just let it keep growing. What can China do?

  179. Fly on a Wall says:

    “you will never hear me argue in favor of shipping jobs overseas.”

    I agree. that was the beginning of the end.

    But now US and China are in too deep, there’s no way out. Republican or Democrat, neither will risk cutting their ties with China.

    So… we just wait. IF I was the anti-Christ, I wouldn’t think the US was the way to world power anymore, I’d look more towards exploiting China. I think China could create a bigger economic meltdown than the US.

  180. “Truth has been sacrificed on the altar of love.”

    Yep, that damn “love” thing again!
    Pretty soon someone’s gonna welcome sinners, dine with ’em, be counted part of their company, be seen consorting with crooked political graft artists, whores, shellfish eating wearers of mixed fiber clothing, disobeying the ancient law’s demand to stone disobedient children…

    Now where’s that pesky bible passage again?
    Ohhhh, yeah, 1 Cor 13.

    Let the equivocation begin…

  181. Steve Wright says:

    What a silly implication, G. By all means take a couple words and mock away.

    I thought you were chiming in to defend the greatness of all things Steve Jobs and Apple. 🙂

  182. Not silly at all.

    We strut around acting like we’ve got it all figured out when in reality one can either be right or one one be loved but rarely can one be 100% of one or the other.

    Paul’s genius authorship of 1 Cor 13 compliments the life and narrative of Jesus. Jesus rightly subjugated “truth” when he practiced love.

    Jesus’ practice of love put “truth” in its proper place, not “sacrificed” but rather “managed” by love, so that mercy can triangulate and produce faith that God will work with us as we are imperfect.

    This bears repeating…
    “…as Christians we are to love liberally. Love doesn’t necessarily imply we agree with that person’s lifestyle or actions.”

  183. Much like I left fundamentalism, I’ve left Apple, mostly for the same reason, how it treats the least among them

  184. “Truth has been sacrificed on the altar of love.”
    …is the most mock-worthy statement I have ever read from the heart of a fellow believer, regardless of context.

    Sometimes a face palm is just a face palm

  185. The joy and beauty of music and art beckons me.

  186. Ixtlan says:

    1Corinthians 13 isn’t red letters. So to the “red letter person” it doesn’t count, that is unless the rest of the book counts too. That’s hermeneutics 101.

  187. Ixtlan,
    That is the most disconnected and ridiculous statement I’ve seen here in awhile.

    Any free thinking person can choose to appreciate value where he/she sees it and it is an illogical jump to demand that just because Paul wrote something of value I cannot praise it and appreciate it on its own merit. It is an absolute absurdity to demand that someone equate every word within a bible with every other. Jesus is God, by our recognition. Paul is a fellow follower, a human, a person capable of penning creative and poetic genius, and such is 1 Cor 13, recognized by those in and outside of our faith.

    Jesus practiced and lived what Paul recognized and wrote of. He got it right in this beautiful chapter.

    Why not celebrate it with me instead of using your silly illogic to rob yourself of a moment of clarity?

    Your loss.

  188. BTW, that’s Freedom of Thought & Belief 101

  189. A “Red Letter Person”, as I self define, is one who values the words of Jesus above all others, not in spite of, or instead of.

    You really need to get out more.

    My EBEF#BE tuned guitar beckons me.

  190. I like the love Jesus showed in John 6 – where he made it so hard for people to get close to him that they had to flee in disgust.

    How about that Jesus?.

  191. Oh No says:

    Yeah we stole their land from them, put them on reservations, they don’t need any funding! Isn’t that called “Promote the general welfare”?

  192. Steve Wright says:

    Jesus rightly subjugated “truth” when he practiced love.
    ——————————————
    Talk about mock-worthy. The One Who spoke about truth over and over. The One Who called Himself ‘The Truth’ Who said, All who are of the truth hear my voice.

    Of course, Paul wrote in that Corinthian passage the following:

    “Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.”

    To which I give a loud, Amen. Thanks for the reminder, G.

    So to repeat, within the context of the new tolerance for homosexual behavior including the stamp of validity known as marriage, my usage of the IDOL of love today, 100+ posts in the thread prior ALL bears weight on what I wrote. That is not equivocation. It is asking a critic to be intellectually honest in their criticism.

    Of course, G’s examples of our Lord eating and conversing with sinners is unrelated to anything said in this thread so far. Nobody HERE is talking about shunning conversation and friendships with those we may know in the gay community.

    But I wonder if it is noticed just what happened when Jesus ate with the sinners. Zaccheaus, Matthew. They repented. Today salvation has come to this house. Today for many, as long as the dinner (or church service) ends with the sinners saying ‘For a Christian, that guy is really cool” – well, that’s all that matters. How it is loving to not share the need for the cross…the reality of a heaven to gain and a hell to shun is beyond me. Wait, I forgot. Universal salvation and hell does not exist. Love wins. My bad.

    So I go back to what I quoted earlier (ignored by G) – though in its greater context.

    Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming.Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.

    Speak the truth in love.

  193. “The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.”
    Jesus

    So, there ya go.

    Don’t make it so hard on everyone. Someone recognizes Jesus, that is far different than requiring them to make a declaration of faith about a book and playing a silly game that unless they believe all things equally that they are disqualified from believing what they DO believe.

    If one chooses to recognize His reality, then build from that moment of beauty and clarity and stop beating the crap out of those who have not yet recognized it for themselves, or refuse to see the ancient texts as a mythic “unified whole”, a message system from outside of the time domain, as if God’s greatest miracle was a bible instead of it being His Son. A person isn’t required to revere the bible more than Jesus. One can disagree on the value of the other parts and still cling to the narrative and His quotes within the Gospels.

    Unplugging from this rehashed stuff. You do really need to get out more.

  194. Steve Wright says:

    Fly…If you are still there. I’ll clarify a little.

    I’m not looking to make some detailed doomsday predictions, nor do I think America’s fall has any connection whatsoever to the return of the Lord.

    The simple fact is that one can’t spend more than they bring in forever, one can’t spend borrowed money forever, and one certainly can’t have a thriving stable economy by printing the money when one can’t borrow it anymore. How the details will work themselves out is hard to say. But it won’t be pretty.

    I’m not an expert on China. I believe the European Union is as big or bigger a trade partner with China than we are. China has the most of our debt of any foreigner (though Japan is a close 2nd and has taken the lead on a couple occasions in the recent past) but as a percentage of their GDP, the amount of our debt held by China is relatively modest compared to several other nations. I also know that China is harvesting natural resources from all over the world, especially Africa.

    So again, while no expert and without making any predictions, I think it is accurate to say that China could destroy us, which would certainly cause a lot of pain to herself…but I think coming short of destruction for her.

    It does seem the Bible’s “The borrower is slave to the lender” is quite a truism – even on the geopolitical scale.

  195. G has a funny way of recounting the stories of Jesus as if sinning and not sinning were of no concern to Jesus.
    For the woman at the well, he all but called her a liar, for the woman caught in adultery he told her “STOP IT!!!”
    I am sure that at dinner at Zaccheaus’ house that he had strong words about others who take advantage of the weak – Zaccheaus got the message.
    To his mother, he spoke sternly.
    He called Peter a satanist.
    He chewed out the mother of James and John for suggesting that the boys be given a special place.
    And he denied hungry people food for not having their theology right in John 6.
    Not to mention all the pigs he killed just for being pigs.

    Who is this Jesus that G talks about all the time?

  196. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    Was wondering if MLD was going to mention the fig tree.

  197. Wenatchee,
    Thanks for the reminder – here is this fig tree, just trying to live out his life, minding his own business providing shade for passersby, with roots that help prevent ground erosion. Along come G’s lovey dovey Jesus and just because he can’t get a fruit from the tree… he kills it!

  198. Fly on a Wall says:

    What is better: love or truth? I have to side with love.

    So G-man wins! Just kidding, I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t agree with G’s theology, but look at his actions. He exudes love. I think what he’s trying to say in words how he lives his life, full of love, for God and for his fellow man.

    Therefore I don’t think we should squash his spirit.

  199. Fly on a Wall says:

    Steve W: “I think it is accurate to say that China could destroy us, which would certainly cause a lot of pain to herself…but I think coming short of destruction for her.”

    I was afraid this would happen. I should’ve worded my comment better.

    I’m not saying China would destroy us. I don’t mean to start mass pandemonium and hate-groups. I’m saying that the US is almost an after-thought now. Who really is the world power? Sure, we’ve got really cool stuff that blows up a lot of stuff… but are we the world power?

    IF I was Satan, Anti-Christ, someone out to destroy the world, I wouldn’t destroy the US. Pffft… I would start with China. Destroy China’s trade and some ugly things may start.

  200. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    G, EBEF#BE isn’t one I’ve tried. Been more into DGDGBE (aka pseudo-Russian). FADGBE is a fabulous, under-rated option because you can obtain the same set of natural harmonics on the guitar you’d get with the viola, just an octave lower. Which, of course, is pretty cool if you happen to be into playing viola and guitar duets.

  201. Steve Wright says:

    Fly – The chief way the US is still the world superpower in my opinion is the dollar being the world reserve currency. Not sure that many understand just what that means internationally, how trades between nations are transacted in dollars.

    However, literally TODAY I read the news of China and Australia uniting in direct currency exchange without the need for the US dollar. That is huge (and I doubt is on any newscast in America). What happens as other nations make similar changes?

    We have coasted the last few decades in large measure due to the reserve currency status we have enjoyed since WW2. If that goes, then the US dollar will be judged based on solely our economic condition, just like other currencies.

    And our economic situation, (running trillion dollar deficits that are financed by printing the money we can’t borrow from others), ain’t lookin’ so hot.

  202. Steve Wright says:

    One point I make repeatedly when I preach, as to the attributes of God, is that one attribute is not, nor needs not, to be subservient to another.

    God is perfect love, mercy, grace. ALWAYS

    God is perfect holiness, righteousnes, justice. ALWAYS

    The cross makes this point to the full. Yet, somehow many balk at the idea that a loving God might damn someone for their sins that rejects the gift of God’s love in Christ

    Likewise, that somehow God is less than holy and righteous by allowing sinners into heaven, that have not rejected Christ, but rather have received forgiveness.

    I do not see one example in the life of Jesus where His love showed itself at the expense of the truth.

    I do not see anywhere in Scripture where love and truth are somehow in conflict with each other.

  203. Fly on a Wall says:

    “I do not see one example in the life of Jesus where His love showed itself at the expense of the truth.

    I do not see anywhere in Scripture where love and truth are somehow in conflict with each other.”

    I have to agree with you. You got the theology down pat. And you’re absolutely right, if there is love, then obedience follows. If there’s love, then truth follows.

    But we, who reside in this fallen world, know this is not true.

    Lonnie Frisbee comes to mind. I have no doubt he loved the Lord and loved others. But his sin kept back and ultimately destroyed him. While his sin may have stunted his ministry and ultimately his life, I have no doubt he was still exuding love till the day he died. Love for God, love for others.

    Love is followed by obedience is followed by truth.
    But it’s never truth followed by obedience followed by love.
    Love is essential. Obedience, faith, truth, all these other beautiful things are essential too, but they are nothing without love.

    As a veteran Christian, I can attest I first came to the Lord because of love. I couldn’t believe that God came to earth to die for my sins so I wouldn’t go to hell. It was exciting. It was life-changing. I had no idea of theology, or even the law. I just knew I found God.

    It took many more years of abiding in the faith to be the cynical old-fart I am today.

    I think every Christian will eventually come to that ugly day, they may think now, “I love homosexuals! I love everyone. Let’s tell everyone the good news and accept everyone.”

    But eventually they’ll see homosexuality (you can substitute divorce, pornography, greed, etc…) creep in and destroy. And they’ll realize the law was written for a reason, not as a kill-joy. That truth will be born out of love, not the other way around. Love cannot be born out of truth (or so I’ve never seen it happen in my life, except for the truth that I will go to hell if I do not repent).

  204. Ixtlan says:

    @189 typical liberal pick and choosing and getting his panties in a wad when someone calls him on it. take a peace-pipe hit and relax.

    @203 aka Open E tuning

  205. Steve Wright says:

    Fly, we are actually, I think, in agreement. I’m really not talking at all about obedience.

    It goes back to MLD’s comment about the difference between Christians recognizing that sins are sins, and seeing the need to repent, even if they fall back into those sins, and the discussion where someone is actually pro-homosexuality.

    That is what I go back to ‘speak the truth in love’.

    In this hypothetical dinner G was talking about, if a homosexual couple were to dine with Jesus and ask Him ‘What does God think of our sexual relationship’ any answer that stops short of the call for repentance is not an answer that Jesus would give. Nor should His followers either. Of course, the WAY Jesus would have answered would show His love, and that is where we need the Holy Spirit to guide our words.

    There are born again Christians that are addicts in many ways, Drugs etc. and often sexual addicts. P@rn, prostitution, one-night stands. They know it is wrong, they want to quit, they keep falling. I put the Christian involved in homosexual behavior in exactly this place – no worse than the others…ASSUMING, that he/she also sees the sin of their desires and actions and is seeking to repent. Our message for one involved in that behavior is no different than what we would be saying to the drug or p@rn addict that keeps falling. You are forgiven in Christ, but you need to stop too.

    Of course, that is not the typical homosexual agenda in the church today. And to the one who flaunts their sin and excuses it with a reinterpretation of Scripture. Argues that Jesus supports the sinful behavior, and that there is nothing to repent of. Love would seek to correct such faulty thinking rather than allow such a one to go on believing those lies.

    When you wrote above in your post of the great love you understood at the moment of your salvation, you wrote “. I couldn’t believe that God came to earth to die for my sins so I wouldn’t go to hell.”

    you are also writing a truth statement. THAT is my point. Jesus is God. We need to speak that truth. Most don’t believe that. He died for our sins. We need to speak those truths (His death for us, and our need as sinners for that death). Most don’t believe that either. To save you from hell. Truth statement. Hell is real and people will go there apart from the forgiveness of sins in Christ through the cross. Most don’t believe. They may even get angry when the whole package is laid out. So be it.

    This is what I mean by no conflict between love and truth. It is not some cold, theological statements like we were doing higher calculus. The cross speaks to God’s love. I often point out that when God’s love is mentioned in the NT the reference is always to the giving of His Son for our sins.

    On Easter I emphasized the TRUTH of the resurrection. That it is not some fable in mythology but actual history that happened on a certain date, in a certain place, involving certain people etc. But I also sought to emphasize that we must personalize the cross and resurrection. Just believing it happened means little. But to see our need and God’s great love and His willingness to forgive any from all things.

    Speaking the truth in love.

  206. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    lxtlan, if it were Open E shouldn’t it be EBEG#BE? What G wrote was EBEF#BE. Did you mean G#, G?

  207. n o m a n s says:

    I keep thinking about the time Jesus turned His back on His Fathers law to protect the woman caught in adultery… Before He had actually fulfilled the law with His cross.

    His love for her trumped the power of the letter.

  208. brian says:

    I was watching the movie King of Kings, there is a part where John the baptist is talking with a roman centurion about Jesus and Lucius the roman centurion asked do you doubt, John said, no, I just want to hear it from His lips. I understand how revolting this is to the evangelical ear, basically if Jesus actually speaks to us in any form it has to be of Satan that is sure. God speaks to us in His written word only defined in dogma, refined in apologetics, and even then most likely Satan will spill his seed into the faith. At every single moment of our lives we most likely reject Christ because we may make a mistake, have even a tiny thought, which will cast our soul into eternal hell.

    I love movies about Christ, they are a bit off on many points but the story echoes. I understand from an apologetic point of view any emotion what so ever, especially grief, should be repudiated with a passion. God loathes emotion, God wants rational, logical, systematic thought, all other such human interaction is of Satan, all of it. I will admit at times I want to see, experience and even “feel” God. Of course that is all sin, God does not enter on those plains, God is rational, logical, apologetically oriented, and He manifests His holy presence in blog posts, winnings of debate, the gotcha moments online or off, and a good slam dunk on Richard Dawkins. I would prefer He would show up in the normal lives of us peons. That is heresy I get that. But I dont understand it.

    I know I have spent hours on my face for the people of Mexico and begged God would restrain Satan and the many deaths. Well the body count continues to grow. Now I understand that this makes me an apostate because it is emotionalism, and God hates emotions, if I have learned one thing that is it, God hates emotion and at the very top of that list is grief. I can say that I have buried several family members with no tears and not even a hint of emotion. Now it ripped the very foundations of my soul, a very vile sin, but I was able to get through the public issues showing no grief what so ever.

    You know from the cheap seats, its not good news it really is not.

  209. “Typical liberal”?!? Bwahahahahahaha! That is SO WEAK!
    I’m anything but a “typical liberal”!

    Someone mentioned a hypothetical dinner?
    That’s the real kind of dinner I like. It’s only hypothetical to someone who cannot count himself among the rest of us sinners.

    Fly, you’re too kind.

    n o m a n s! =)

    WenatcheeTheHatchet, Definitely gonna try it!

    Spent the evening enraptured with my Boss loop pedal and 5 new patches which complimented a newly tamed quacky piezo equipped acoustic in that unnamed tuning, a standard tuned Martin and a Yamaha SG that unleashed my inner Stephen Stills while successfully avoiding any further theological wrangling.

  210. brian,
    These cheap seats are where you write your best and heartfelt stuff

  211. brian said “I love movies about Christ, they are a bit off on many points but the story echoes.”

    It’s the parts that are “off” that make Jesus acceptable. People cannot take Jesus as he really is, so people like G have to “soften” him up, clean him up for public consumption.

    This is what was done in the recent History Channel creation of The Bible – the fact that it was rated PG instead of R or even X just lets you know they took out the “offending” parts.

    2 good books-one by Mark Galli titled “Jesus Mean and Wild
    And Steven Mueller’s “Not a Tame God”

    Jesus has to be taken straight up – no water, no ice.

  212. Bob says:

    Nomans

    “I keep thinking about the time Jesus turned His back on His Fathers law to protect the woman caught in adultery… ”

    If you understood the Law/Torah you would know He fulfilled it with perfection. Jesus never violated the Torah once or else He wouldn’t be the Messiah and couldn’t save a worm from its sins.

  213. “People cannot take Jesus as he really is, so people like G have to “soften” him up, clean him up for public consumption.”

    …this from a gent who dresses Him as bread and wine for public consumption.

  214. Shaun Sells says:

    Josh –
    Just so we’re clear, Shaun, did you say you would de-fund the Native American Reservations?!?!?!?!
    – NO. I said communities. Millions of dollars are being spent on individual communities within the reservations building infrastructure and new homes. Some of them are destroyed within a few years time (like Parmalee). I would not put another penny into that community. Others are pretty well maintained (like Sigagnu), they should be used as the example. We will help you if you help with the upkeep. The land is theirs by treaty and law, I am not saying we take away land, I am saying we selectively fund renewal projects in communities that are willing to work to keep what they have been given.

    You do realize why they are on that reservation…right?
    – YES. I have studied the history, spent time there, know people who live on, and others who work or minister on reservations in Wyoming, South Dakota, and Arizona. I have seen the poverty first hand. The Pine Ridge reservation has the highest poverty rate in America. Reservations have the lowest graduation rates of any counties in America. What we are doing is hindering not helping. Starting in the 1970’s American Indian advocates began asking to have more self-determination. I am simply suggesting that a big part of self-determination is self funding of areas that don’t care for what was given to them.

    Fly –
    “Oh you holy ones, the keepers of the sacred vine juice and crackers, you are filled with the Holy Spirit, yet you fail to see what is crumbling our society? It’s so obvious, why don’t you talk to a child? Yeah, put your iphone/ipad down for a second, and have an earnest chat with some of your dumb sheep, probably the same ones that have been supporting you for years, and find out what is wrong with our society.”
    – I speak to people from my congregation everyday, they are not dumb. I talk to and hang out with children. I give food to people from my community every day. I give rental assistance to people in my community everyday. I know my community better than you do, or than you ever will. I spoke with children on the reservation, they have no hope because they had none passed on to them. The attitude is why should I work – everything is provided to me. I spoke to a teen at the Juvenile Detention Center on the reservation who did not want to leave the detention center because it was the only place where he felt safe and where he felt like he could do better. I have cried with and for the people I am speaking about.

    Oh No –
    “Yeah we stole their land from them, put them on reservations, they don’t need any funding! Isn’t that called “Promote the general welfare”?”
    – Please comprehend what you read before you comment. I said “I would pull funding immediately for any community that can’t take of what was given to them.” I did not say pull all their funding, I said only fund communities that are going to use what you give them wisely. We are killing them, but you don’t know or care about the truth – your anger anyone who disagrees with you clouds your reason.

    —————————————
    I am again reminded why every time I come here I leave in anger. Ignorance and hostility; not the community and conversation that is promised. That is my mistake, doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Don’t bother posting follow up questions or accusations – I won’t be responding to them.

  215. erunner says:

    Shaun, Maybe someone should have asked you for clarification. It’s sad when people immediately think the worst and pounce.

    For five years I have hosted a blog trying to offer help and encouragement to Christians and others who struggle with mental illness and all the baggage that carries. Shaun, who is a dreaded Calvary Chapel pastor, began a ministry in his church that reaches out to those who suffer with or have a family member who suffers with mental illness. For some that is a CC no no. In my communications with Shaun back then he proved to be an upstanding person who truly has a pastor’s heart.

    Hopefully none of the heat that came Shaun’s way wasn’t because he is a CC pastor. That would be very sad.

  216. Erunner, check my #162.

  217. Steve Wright says:

    Nomans, Bob is correct. The story of the woman in adultery was not a case of Jesus violating the Torah.

  218. erunner says:

    Josh, My apology for not noticing you asked for clarification which was staring me in the face.

  219. Steve Wright says:

    It’s only hypothetical to someone who cannot count himself among the rest of us sinners.
    ——————————————————————–
    Unbelievable.

    You know, I would be more persuaded that “He exudes love.” if I had not discovered this morning that apparently I was defriended on facebook at some point in the past. Whether yesterday or months ago I don’t know since it was silently, without notice or explanation (so much for all the big importance of reconciliation talk I read too)

    I’ve never felt more like Michael. 🙂

    Amazing that my many atheist/agnostic friends, my many liberal friends, my several pro gay marriage waving the red/pink flag friends, and my one openly lesbian friend somehow continue to keep relationship.

    As I do with them.

    It brought to mind another FB incident with a mutual friend that he also defriended and then publically criticized that I had to minister to behind the scenes.

    Talk is cheap. Internet talk even cheaper.

  220. Bob says:

    Nomans

    If I could be more clear in my response.

    Jesus did show great compassion and restraint in this account. He not only showed it to the woman He also showed it to the men who dragged her there and the men who were testing His knowledge and application of the Torah. In Jewish thought, especially the 2nd Temple period, the Torah is not just a set of rules it is life, God’s instructions about how to live. Jesus was being tested on both His knowledge and application of the Torah and as I said previously had He failed to follow it He would not be the Messiah and all this Christian cross stuff is a farce.

    When the woman was dragged in front of Jesus He was put into a position of judge according to Deuteronomy. As a Judge He had to be absolutely fair and could only make a ruling about the issue (adultery) based upon witnesses. Remember He had not witnessed this woman’s adulterous acts and it required at minimum two witnesses to even be brought to trial.

    In the Torah if a person is found guilty according witnesses and the evidence presented the one who brought the accusation is the one who gets to initiate the penalty. Jesus’ stated, “he who is without sin cast the first stone,” is a reference to this instruction from the Torah. You will also notice He says to the woman when the men have dispersed, “Where are your accusers?” which is again a reference to the Torah.

    Without going in to more detail Jesus followed the Torah to perfection in this matter, as He did with His entire life.

  221. Ixtlan says:

    @208 Hatchet,
    I stand corrected, thanks.

  222. ( |o )====::: says:

    “Talk is cheap. Internet talk even cheaper.”

    Methinks someone simply cannot take someone disagreeing with him.

  223. “…this from a gent who dresses Him as bread and wine for public consumption.”

    As I said, I take Jesus straight up … the exact way he presented himself.

    John 6 Jesus presented himself as THE Bread and the people walked away, because they knew exactly what he meant and they believed him. Sometimes unbelievers know whats what before the brethren..

  224. Steve Wright says:

    After my post 221, G – your brief 224 reflects much of what you have stated that you despise about dismissive, there’s-the-door, don’t-bother-me pastors, in the five years I have known you on this blog.

    And I truly think that is sad.

    My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.

    (Which is the Apostle John’s way of saying ‘talk is cheap’)

    May God bless you, G. And the relationships you enjoy.

  225. ( |o )====::: says:

    Love it, He’s literal bread & wine… gonna have to deal with Him being a literal “gate”, which would leave His hearers unhinged as well

  226. erunner says:

    I unfriended people on FB awhile back. If I didn’t know them, things were quite often negative, or there was zero communication I pulled the plug not thinking I might have sent a terrible message by my actions. I don’t mind or even notice when it happens to me so that was my mindset which was not good.

  227. Nomansapologist says:

    Bob,
    Thank you for your explanation.

  228. Alex says:

    Hey G! and LOL on #227.

    RE: the Gay Marriage issue:

    I think it’s possible that monogamous homosexuality in a committed/marriage relationship could “not” be sin…but it probably is (if we are interpreting scripture correctly).

    However, Paul the Apostle tells us we should be single…yet it’s better to marry than to burn with passion…and that sex is OK inside of marriage…but Christ seems to define marriage between a man and woman w/o specifically barring homosexual marriage, the implication is still there that it’s man and woman.

    Some considerations are: If it is fact that some folks are born gay, then that could possibly be their “natural”…as they would have had no real choice in the matter as they were wired for such. Hermaphrodites are a specific real-life example. Hard to fault the hermaphrodite for being such, they were literally born with both sex organs and are predisposed (desire) toward one sex or the other (in most cases). This would put them at odds with a “homosexuality is sin no matter what” positions vs. a position that believes homosexuality is sin if one is wired for heterosexual sex and deviates.

    I would guess (and would give advice) to gay people that sin or not sin, the best option for gay folks is monogamous committed marriage. Safer for them, better for society. Why would “Christians” discourage gay folks from entering into committed monogamous marriage relationships, if they are going to be gay anyway? Seems it would be wise to encourage gay marriage in that context…much like we would probably encourage divorced folks to get remarried vs. having sex with multiple partners and not being committed (and supposedly divorcees who remarry are in the sin of adultery…but we don’t bat an eye at that…cough cough, Don Stewart Calvary Chapel…cough cough).

  229. ( |o )====::: says:

    SW,
    You’re used to sitting in your pastor chair having admirers.
    I’m treating you as a regular guy who is at a party, equals, and I’m giving you my straightforward responses. I still respect you as a guy with a different outlook, but just as you refuse to buy my views, I refuse many of yours. We might agree on other things, just on theology, I’m in a different perspective having found dispensationalism and pastor-ism unworkable. You and others will dismiss me as not being a christian for it, and that’s fine, but where I differ is that I accept you and those other’s as fellow followers of Jesus, and that will remain where we differ most.

    But it’s still a nice party, and the host is a great guy

  230. Alex says:

    Steve W, the FED is buying up $85 billion a month (not 75).

    I agree with much of your comments above re: macro-economics…and have been beating that drum for years (since 2008 really, when I and others saw the coming storm and policy responses).

    The “End Game” (as I’ve said many times) is new World Central Bank system with the ushering in of a new World Reserve Currency to transact global trade etc to replace the US Dollar (which is the current WRC).

    We’ll have another huge crisis, the G20 will convene…and the answer will be a World Central Bank body to set monetary policy globally for the new currency regime.

    There will still be a US Dollar and other national currencies…but they will all be tied to the new world reserve currency that will be backed by the leading world economies currencies as well as gold, oil, and some other commodities.

    It’s a very Keynesian solution the dude theorized back in the 1940’s…but it has since been tweaked some and articulated most recently by the IMF in 2010. The Basel III accords are a step in this direction, as well as more coordinated G20 monetary responses to the global crisis. The fly in the ointment is the continuing Currency Wars and devaluation/currency manipulation of the major currencies like the US Dollar…that pressures other foreign central banks and govts.

    Austerity won’t solve the problem without a huge Depression. Accelerating debt and massive currency devaluations and Currency Wars will blow up eventually. The seeds of Crisis are firmly planted and it’s just a function of time. MIT predicts it’ll all blow up by 2030. Could be sooner, could be a little later, but the End Game looks to be certain. We’re at the dawn of a new age in global money and the System we’ve grown used to since the 1970’s is long in the tooth and about to melt-down for good, nuclear style.

    When it does, it’ll be the end of a America’s enormous advantage globally due to our WRC status and our ability to print our own money and buy our own debt at will, with little impunity.

  231. Alex says:

    G, I’m not sure if Steve W is even “truly saved” myself. Being a “pastor” and adhering to a more orthodox view of Christianity doesn’t seem to be the litmus test. I have no clue whether the guy is saved or not. He certainly doesn’t seem to be any more or less sinful or special than the rest of us.

  232. Alex says:

    Steve W, are you “saved”? If so, how do you know for sure? Do you have any doubt, any at all, that you are “saved”? Tell me “why” you believe you are saved.

  233. Michael says:

    I don’t mind if this becomes a discussion on the doctrine of assurance…I’ll mind a lot if its some stick to beat Steve with.

  234. Alex says:

    It highlights a key point that many miss in attitudes and discussions on here and would become very evident if Steve answered the questions. It’s Steve’s stick not mine…just pointing it out in my unique way.

  235. Alex says:

    …in other words, I was going to beat Steve (and those like him) with his own stick 🙂

    But, I guess I’ll let G and the other perceived heathes who don’t fit Steve’s more orthodox boxes fend for themselves.

  236. erunner says:

    What a surprise that a CC pastor is the subject of so much negativity. I saw this coming the moment Alex was allowed back.

  237. Nonnie says:

    Oh, please ! Come on! Someone needs a time out.

  238. ( |o )====::: says:

    Alex,
    My code is simple, I always, always take a person at their word, plain and simple, even when there are disagreements, then I just observe behavior and respond to what comes from the person, leaving plenty of room for me having misunderstood or that the other is having a challenging season and might just be weary of me.
    Just as we’ve worked thru dark time and are both the better for it, Steve and I will remain in relationship, regardless of theology or brand affiliation.

  239. Alex says:

    G. I’m with you on that. Good example, IMO.

  240. Alex says:

    E, it had nothing to do with Steve being CC, it had to do with him being a judgmental jerk who was essentially questioning G’s salvation, IMO.

  241. Fly on a Wall says:

    Shaun said: “but I would pull funding immediately for any community that can’t take of what was given to them. In my opinion (and it is just that, an opinion) that is where our nation is headed.”

    From your wording, it sounds like you’re equating what is happening on that Indian reservation to what is happening in our country. Just by your wording, “welfare” state tells me where your position is.

    I feel very bad for the Native Americans, but honestly I don’t know much about them. I’m sorry they abuse the system and have trashed buildings others have built for them.

    BUT what is happening in the US now is not the same as what is happening on that Reservation.

    I’m not attacking Shaun, I’m attacking the indifference of mega-church pastors towards their community (which I’ve inferred from this site that is what Shaun is). But I’ve also inferred from this site that Shaun isn’t one of them, so I’m confused as to why he wrote that comment. It sounded very condescending and uncaring. And yes, erunner, I’ve found Calvary Chapel pastors to be one of the worst culprits, I almost walked out on a Raul Ries sermon because of it, but I was afraid his goons would harass me at the door.

    Just for the record, I’ve NEVER had charity given to me by a church or by a congregant. I remember only one instance of anyone ever offering me any money to help out in a difficult circumstance. And I turned it down, telling her to give it to someone who needs it more. Actually, one of the reason I left my old church was that no one signed up to volunteer at the local food bank to help sick people but they were falling over each other to help out at a wedding.

  242. Fly on a Wall says:

    Shaun: I take it you pastor over a mega-church and a Calvary Chapel at that. You’re used to having people cater to you, agree with you, in general think you’re an all-around great guy. You can call our country a welfare state and no one will think you’re a jerk.

    But you’re on Michael’s blog, where it’s acceptable to say that a Calvary Chapel pastor is acting like a dipwad. Actually it’s encouraged.

    So, I don’t understand why you would get upset at us when we call you out on your comment? I wasn’t going to say anything for fear of being labeled a CC-hater, but Josh called you out first.

    Welcome to the party, pull up a seat, join the convo. You’re just a regular Joe here.

  243. mrtundraman says:

    “What a surprise that a CC pastor is the subject of so much negativity. I saw this coming the moment Alex was allowed back.”

    Why the negativity and blaming of Alex for anything perceived of as negative? I saw that as coming the moment Alex was allowed back, too!

  244. mrtundraman says:

    Alex, not sure if you caught my #168. Here it is:

    Alex wrote – “Yes, and this very thing is addressed in the difference between “Justices” vs. “Jobs of the Torah” argument…and it’s a decent argument. Look it up”
    OK, I did look it up and it appears to be a relatively new variant (Michael Wood, 2011) on an older argument. I only know it’s older because someone told me 10 years ago when I quoted Leviticus “men should not lie with men” they quoted the passage about different threads in material being forbidden. I thought I had a clever response at the time, but wonder if their argument was based on this argument (or a forerunner).
    I haven’t read all 160+ comments on here so please forgive me if I repeat what someone else has written.
    1 – The core argument in the “decoded” argument is that the key to decoding is to categorize the particular passage or subpassage into “Jobs” and “Justices” as you note above.
    2 – Justices have continuing force but jobs don’t since they were particular to the Israel cult.
    3 – How is that any different than the traditional division of the Law into ceremonial, civil and moral as particularly exposited by Theonomists?
    4 – It seems to me that it’s the same as the ceremonial (no longer in force today since it related to Israel’s cult) and the moral (based on the holiness of God and therefore unchangeable).
    5 – What is the criteria for determining whether a particular Law is a “Justices” or a “Jobs”? Particularly in places where there seems to be a mix of uses.
    Let’s start there. I’ve waited all day till I got home for work to get into this discussion. Hopefully Alex is still in this discussion. Let’s let the Scriptures fall where they may.

  245. erunner says:

    Alex, You’ve treated Steve terribly quite a bit. You revealed his identity, where he pastored, when he was posting under another name. You did that to MLD as well. Now you’re back to dominating threads and going after Steve. And you just called him a judgmental jerk which shows a lot of class. It’s not safe for CC pastors to post here. Just read Flys comments as she seems to have followed you here from your blog?? You need to grow up Alex.

  246. Alex says:

    E, that’s so in the past, “forgive”, “leave it to the Lord”, “don’t be bitter”,
    “move on”, “get a life” etc. 😉

    I disagree with your assessment, I think I’m staying inside the lines and have cut way back on threads and have also been plenty nice to Shaun and Steve H and A Believer and other CC guys for quite a bit now…and mostly to Steve W recently, but his judgmental attitude toward G prompted me to respond in kind.

  247. mrtundraman says:

    Erunner- Really? Really? Are these CC pastors men or weak children? “Not safe” = hyperbole.

  248. erunner says:

    Alex, I have nothing to forgive you about so that’s a moot point. You and I see things quite differently.

  249. Alex says:

    MTM, I think you did a good job deconstructing that position and you ask some good questions….very similar questions that I’m asking myself (elsewhere).

  250. Alex says:

    Ya, I think the “not safe” thing is a bit melodramatic. I think Steve W feels plenty safe, irritated at times, miffed at times, tweaked at times…but “unsafe”? Really? Not buying that…hyperbole IMO as MTM stated.

  251. Steve Wright says:

    G, first you claim I don’t see myself as a fellow-sinner. Then you claim my pastorate is about sitting on a chair surrounded by admirers, and finally write that I claim you aren’t a Christian? All of that seems to go quite beyond taking issue with simply the opinions of another.

    But as I said, I just found out a few hours ago that at some point G felt the need to defriend me from facebook. No warning, no reaching out to attempt reconciliation. For all I know it happened months ago.

    And as I said, this is not the first time there was a FB incident from the one who lectures so much about love and being able to hang out with people of different beliefs. The other incident required me to pick up the pieces after a sister was shocked to also be defriended and then publically criticized to the rest of the FB world.

    I do think it shows the power of a false witness. G claims I said something here doubting his salvation, and Alex runs with that as total fact and it prompts multiple posts.

    False witness and personal attacks. The new ‘love’

  252. Alex says:

    Steve, I came to my opinion of you independent of G’s statements.

    I think you can be quite a judgmental jerk just based off of your own comments and attitude.

  253. mrtundraman says:

    Alex, I think that the most the argument could do would be to classify the acts Paul is describing as related to the cult of worship. Pagan cultures had odd sexual practices in their religions and Christians were to not have those practices in the cult. Wouldn’t make every practice within the cult then acceptable behavior

    The early church had an argument we would consider esoteric related to eating meat sacrificed to idols with people on both sides. If I remember the conclusion it was OK to eat the meat sold on the market as long as one didn’t ask if the meat was part of the pagan worship. It certainly wasn’t right to participate in the pagan worship but it was OK to benefit from it (being able to get a good price on protein).

    I’d like to work on this subject since most of what I read here was a knee-jerk reaction to the argument. So far, I didn’t see anyone take on the argument and provide a good counterargument. I think that could be a worth project especially if this is the latest argument.

    The question of how to discriminate in random passages is the first question.

    The second is related, ie why does the “love your neighbor” become the other discriminating factor and how does it get applied?

  254. mrtundraman says:

    The “decoded” claim seems especially weak since the categories of the Law have long been understood. At least in some camps. I don;t think that CC has a clue on that subject since they tend to see all of the Law as inapplicable and then go to the Law to condemn behavior they oppose.

  255. Fly on a Wall says:

    Steve: Okay, I’m going to be snarky, I can’t help myself…

    How did you know G de-friended you? Don’t you have a thousand friends? You visit your friends page every day making sure you have the same number?

    LOL. Steve, I love you. How can anyone not love you? You’re like the puppy that constantly needs to be reassured you’re loved and you’re good. Admit it. That’s why you’re on this blog. You can’t stand anyone telling you’re anything less.

    If it makes you feel better, I’ll friend you! I don’t use FB for anything but Chefville, but you can be my FB friend.

  256. mrtundraman says:

    Alex, have you reduced the arguments to a list of propositions or rules of interpretation? If you have, we can run various Scriptures through the test and see if it works.

    There are thing which were part of the cult (Don’t sacrifice your children in the fire like the pagans do) which it seems to me were in both parts. Don’t have that as a part of your cult practices and it’s wrong to kill your children as a moral good. I wonder how that works with the paradigm?

  257. mrtundraman says:

    I’m never amazed at how immature I am but I am often amazed at how immature others can be. Some people need to grow a pair. Me included.

  258. Steve Wright says:

    I’m in a different perspective having found dispensationalism and pastor-ism unworkable. You and others will dismiss me as not being a christian for it, and that’s fine, but where I differ is that I accept you and those other’s as fellow followers of Jesus, and that will remain where we differ most.
    —————————————————————-
    Well…I would think that five years here is enough evidence to show that not only have I never challenged G’s salvation, but I have interacted with him as a brother. Maybe the “will dismiss’ me is an attempt at prophecy, predicting the future – rather than a description of past interactions. If so though, it will be a failed attempt. I consider G a brother, and always have.

    Of course, even the slightest suggestion that I would see a non-dispensationalist as not a true believer is truly laughable. Especially given the five years here.

    It does take an artist to weave such a false claim to also set himself up as the loving hero that ‘accepts’ yours truly and the unnamed ‘others’ as fellow followers of Jesus.

    But if five years isn’t enough, then a few more posts in this thread sure won’t be either.

  259. mrtundraman says:

    Listen, G. Smug and self assured are required features in CC pastors so we shouldn’t be surprised when we see then. I’ve known a lot of CC pastors and they all have that characteristic.

    Your buddy, Chuck the Junior, just didn’t have it. That’s why he got shown the door. Too little self confidence and too much self effacing.

    There’s a reason the early church chose their bishops from men who lived in holes in the ground in the desert. And there’s a reason that those chosen bishops ran away and hid in the desert at their first chance of escape.

  260. Michael says:

    Enough.
    I’m in no mood for this nonsense.
    Treat each other respectfully or go somewhere else.

  261. Steve Wright says:

    How did you know G de-friended you? Don’t you have a thousand friends? You visit your friends page every day making sure you have the same number?
    ———————————————
    I know because I was looking him up to send him a kind word in the private message feature and could not find him. I thought maybe he left facebook but saw he was still on there with all the other mutual friends we share from here at PP.

    And that’s why, like Michael has shared in his similar experience, it stung a little.

    And because I don’t pay attention to my friends’ list or total number, is why I have no idea when he made that decision.

  262. Fly on a Wall says:

    Ok, I apologize Steve, Shaun, and the half the entire population. I’m sure that’s how many people I offend daily.

    But that’s me. Trust me, I’m no different with Alex, but I tend to agree with him more.

    But now I’m curious about FB… how come I can’t find anyone on there? Is there a secret FB circle I’m not aware of?

  263. ( |o )====::: says:

    Steve,
    My friendship on Facebook, as in the 3D world, is a privilege, not a right. The fact that you feel compelled to publically complain about some imaginary social etiquette about being “de-friended” only confirms I’ve made a wise choice.

    I owe you no warning or heads-up if I choose to limit your or anyone’s access to my life. I’m far from being a public persona and since I irritate you here so much it’s inconceivable to me why you would want to be a friend on social media.

  264. Candace says:

    Erunner, I did a count of comments.

    Alex is not dominating them as you claim.

  265. Steve Wright says:

    Well G. I appreciate the help you gave me with my art question some time ago on there. And sorry we never had that coffee you mentioned wanting to have.

    Peace.

  266. mrtundraman says:

    If Michael is up for us having the discussion here I’d like to work on a counter apologetic to the latest homosexual argument that Alex stated earlier. I haven’t see many people taking on the claims of the argument but I think if it’s the latest argument having a counter apologetic, particularly given the times, would be a good thing to have. Maybe there’s already one out there against this particular argument, I don;t know.

  267. Alex says:

    MTM, that’d be cool. I think it’s an argument that should be looked at and examined. I haven’t found anything yet that formally addresses it. It does seem to be gaining some momentum in some circles.

  268. erunner says:

    Now we have MTM and Alex setting up a thread on the PP. This is pathetic.

  269. covered says:

    One needs a tetanus shot to play in this sandbox… Michael, you are a patient man. There must be a reward for that. 🙂

  270. Michael says:

    MTM,
    That might be helpful.
    Go for it.

  271. Steve,
    You wrote,
    “I know because I was looking him up to send him a kind word in the private message feature and could not find him.”

    Here’s the thing, our disagreements are very public, here at Phoenix Preacher. If you wish to reach out to me with a kind word then nothing has prevented you from doing so here, any time, nor will it ever prevent you in the future.

    This has absolutely nothing to do with anyone being a Calvary Chapel pastor anymore than it has to do with me being a dreaded “Emergent Liberal”.

    We’re just two men who are working through our differences the best we can.

  272. mrtundraman says:

    Thanks Michael.

    One of the arguments (that it is a liberal position) is, I think, true. At least I suspect it comes from a liberal point of view. However it is an argument that at least on some level claims to be taking Scripture seriously. As such, the argument deserves attention since we are people of the Book. At the least, if it is a liberal argument, they are arguing using our toolset (exegetical argument from a historical context).

    Here are the claims: http://www.paulonhomosexuality.com/

    For instance: “the Apostle Paul solely considered the Justices to be the Law”

    I wonder if Bahnsen’s book covers this argument? I know the book is dated, but there are few people who know the OT Law like a theonomist (like Bahnsen was).

  273. mrtundraman says:

    It might be helpful to use the more traditional terms. Rather than jobs and justices using ceremonial (related to the practices of the religious cult) and moral (derived from God’s own character so therefore unchanging).

    It seems to me that NT Wright’s writings are helpful here since he does deal with the Jew’s understanding of the Law. Might be interesting to see if he has anything on this particular subject.

  274. Alex says:

    MTM, agreed, the arguments I reviewed were an appeal to historical context and proper exegesis of the text…so as such, it’s right up that alley.

    The arguments appeal to First Century Jewish Law and the Sanhedrin as the authority interpreting the text of Leviticus…which seems a decent argument since the Sanhedrin was the governing body of that day…the same day and age Jesus instructed folks in Matthew 23 to “do what they say” etc.

  275. mrtundraman says:

    “the Apostle Paul solely considered the Justices to be the Law”

    I think there’s some equivocation here. Paul considered both the ceremonial and the moral Law to be law, but he did clearly differentiate between the Law and probably did put things into the two categories. I think it’s wrong to say that Paul didn’t consider the ceremonial to be a part of the Law. He did clearly also believe that the ceremonial ended with the resurrection of Jesus and was ended in fact with the Jewish nation.

  276. mrtundraman says:

    Alex, although it might be more more an argument from silence if Jesus didn’t deal with the Sanhedrin’s position on this particular subject explicitly. It is true that there was a cultural sitz en laben which is presumed and we rarely know about.

    On the level of principle, the passages about different threads and such were all about being distinct from the pagan cultures. That same principle does seem to transfer to the NT although perhaps more and less separate at the same time than the OT.

  277. Alex says:

    Agreed, would be good to review NT Wright’s take and thanks for pointing out the affinity with ceremonial and moral, that will be helpful.

  278. mrtundraman says:

    Even Paul had a complex relationship with the ceremonial aspects of the law. I remember a story about a vow in Acts 21. Plus a story about speaking ill of the chief priest in Acts 23 Those would have been great time to preach the end of the ceremonial law but perhaps Paul found some expediency in not condemning something that most of the people around him still believed in..

  279. mrtundraman says:

    Even Paul had a complex relationship with the ceremonial aspects of the law. I remember a story about a vow in Act. 21. Plus a story about speaking ill of the chief priest in Act. 23 Those would have been great time to preach the end of the ceremonial law but perhaps Paul found some expediency in not condemning something that most of the people around him still believed in..

  280. mrtundraman says:

    Even Paul had a complex relationship with the ceremonial aspects of the law. I remember a story about a vow in Actz 21. Plus a story about speaking ill of the chief priest in Actz 23 Those would have been great time to preach the end of the ceremonial law but perhaps Paul found some expediency in not condemning something that most of the people around him still believed in..

  281. MTM,
    Thanks for your post about ChuckJr and the monastics.
    He remains my favorite guy in religion, followed by other names which shall not be mentioned lest there be a new round of stonings 😉

    Regarding the approach to dealing with marriage, do you have an opinion about a distinction between “marriage” and “holy matrimony”?

    Alex,
    A quick word of thanks. Glad we’re back on cordial terms. We’re so often in agreement about so many things, and befuddled about the same as well. I’m glad Jesus clings to us more desperately than we cling to Him, there’s even hope for the hopeless.

    Steve,
    Thanks for being faithful to Jesus as you understand Him, even though we disagree on very much I can expect a person to do no less.

  282. mrtundraman says:

    G, I have an opinion but it’s just that.

    Christ put his blessing on weddings by doing what He did at Cana and preaching what he did about God’s “original intent” of the man and woman.

    The problem is that marriage has a civil contract aspect which makes this the state’s business. But once the door is opened to changing the definition i fear there will be no end.

    The test case I have in mind is the case where three people a marriage of one woman and two men. The two men are both “straight” so they don’t actually considered themselves as married to each other but they both consider themselves married to the woman. How does the Law propose to handle such a case?

    The limit of two in a marriage is only there for traditional religious reasons and once we jettison the idea that it’s between a man and a woman, then polyamory can’t be long behind. After all, what other contract can only be between two people? I can’t think of any other contract. If marriage is only a contract and a state function that will be the inevitable result.

    Right now the homosexual community is telling the polyamorous community to shut up and that their time will come after the homosexual community gets what they want.

    I can picture the ceremony now. Jane do you take Steve and John? John do you take Jane but not Steve? Steve do you take Jane but not John?

  283. mrtundraman says:

    G, I think Chuck the Junior would rather live in the desert like those desert fathers. They are the ones we remember now (at least those of us who aren’t afraid of contemplative prayer).

  284. MTM,
    Thanks for weighing in, gonna have to think about the variations and permutations.

    ChuckJr has this whole “I just want to love Jesus and others” thing going on. Gotta love that.

  285. mrtundraman says:

    You know it’s kinda funny but I had a class at seminary where the professor was a former CCCM pastor (Chuck Mettier who was the College and Career pastor IIRC). The class was on the Spirituality of the Egyptian Desert Fathers and he had become very much into contemplative spirituality. He took us on a retreat to a monastery for an overnight. Pretty neat experience. Wish I had spent more of my life in that sort of thing.

  286. Steve Wright says:

    G, I don’t know that we have any theological differences that we did not have five years ago when I joined this little family, nor a couple years ago when the facebook connection was made, nor today. Thus my confusion.

    And just as I would be surprised and as the pastor look for answers if someone left our church after a multi-year relationship (which I know does not fit the stereotype but is true nonetheless with me),

    So I have similar feelings when it is a friendship. Even an online one.

    Your post 265 could not be clearer, and you don’t owe me a thing. If it takes privilege to enjoy civil relationship with you, then so be it. Often I have had profitable email conversations concerning the blog family with many of the folks here. Discussions that were better served there than here. It’s nice to have that opportunity.

    But 265 really can stand as the last word. It speaks volumes. And yeah, I’m just trying to be faithful to Jesus and what He said about such things that I know you hold in high regard. Relationships, reconciliation, love.

    As for saying kind words, I think I’ve said a few to you today, and will close again with wishing you the best. To the ‘guitar symbol’, G-man

    From Another Voice / Steve Wright

  287. Vicki says:

    Can someone tell me why or where a pastor is coming from by saying that as a Christian you are not to look up your ancestry, ie. Ancestry.com?

  288. ( |o )====::: says:

    Steve,
    Every relationship is a privilege, and perhaps that distinction is one I hold so that I try to keep myself from taking any for granted.

    Stay your course and trim your sails as you believe Jesus guides you. May your voice never be silent here.

    I will remain a wreckless heretic and hope to interact from time to time.

  289. MTM,
    Chuck Mettier?! I used to lead worship for him when he had a home fellowship up in La Cresentia! Oh, my, small universe! Back in my narrower days the word was that he “went Vineyard”. So he discovered Christianity was around for millennia and had value to brin, gotta love that. I’m sad that it was only in the past decade that I started to realize the same things.

  290. mrtundraman says:

    I wondered if you knew him…

    I had the class with Chuck Mettier probably around the late 90’s. I think if he said that if he wasn’t married he would have joined a monastery. Funny how CC bred this. Maybe that’s part of why they are acting this way now in condemning “contemplative spirituality” – curse words at CC now….

  291. I think the greatest fear the anticontemplatives have is the fact that there is an openness, a willingness on the part of those who quiet the soul and seek a direct interaction with God, and that means someone might dare to speak and share an experience that cannot be controlled or explained by chapter and verse quotation.

    It always seems to be about control

  292. mrtundraman says:

    That and seeing a Catholic under everything…

  293. Ain’t it the truth, MTM!

    Gotta split for the night.
    Thx for the conversation.

  294. Pardon My Interruption says:

    If I might chime in here. I look at sin as a condition rather than a series of actions. If you look at the NT, sin referred to as a noun (person,place,thing) rather than a verb ( action) 10 to 1. We get caught up in quibbling over what are sins when the overarching theme is that we are all born into brokenness. To bear this in mind keeps me from sin management and brings me to a better understanding of the human condition that Christ came to heal.

  295. This talk about homosexuality being legitimate in the church is laughable. So, the Bible goes on about sexual sin between heterosexuals, adultery, incest you name it – but 2 guys or gals getting it on is just fine.

    Unbelievable.

    So, whatever one wants to say about misunderstandings of the text, or the cultural and ceremonial vs the moral etc – why not apply the same arguments to apply to heterosexuals? It’s not what it seemed to be, fornication just meant, don’t hurt your lover or make sure your wife doesn’t find out so she won’t be hurt.

    Unbelievable

  296. Fly on a Wall says:

    Non-sequitur: I finally found Michael’s facebook. I’d ready to add-a-rama… only problem is I don’t know everyone’s real names?

    Yes, I play Chefvile and Farmville A LOT but I’ll try to adjust the settings so you won’t see those.

    Alex, you don’t have a FB??? Oh my… it must be under another name.

  297. Fly on a Wall says:

    MLD: I agree with you wholeheartedly.

    I don’t know why the homosexual thing keeps popping up and I don’t want to read through the 200 comments to find out.

    I think it was Alex and equating homosexuals-wil-be-saved-because-child-beaters-are-saved. Which he is correct, they are saved. Does it make homosexuality biblically correct? How about instead we remove child-abusers from the ministry?

    People don’t consider the flip-side to the argument that you keep pointing out…. if you accept the homosexual lifestyle, then you have to accept every sexual-deviant lifestyle. So, adulterers, incest, pedophiles are all allowed equal access to the church.

    C’mon people. You know this logic is wrong. That’s what I say to PxP family.

    As for the gay person/friend, I’d take a different approach. This matter is much closer to the heart. But if this person want to pursue ministry and keep his homosexual lifestyle… there’s a different set of questions I’d ask, such as… are you really willing to give it all up for the calling of God?

    And yes, I’d still tell that him/her it was wrong.

  298. “As for the gay person/friend, I’d take a different approach.”

    Why would you take a different approach.When friends of mine are talking about their sexual exploits, in or out of marriage, I tell them it is wrong. My best friend left his wife and kid for a younger woman – I had no trouble telling him the evil he created and the evil he was living in.

    I have homosexual friends, 2 couples who married here in CA when it was legal – they know how I feel.

    This is not hard – just leave them with “Jesus is there when you come to your senses.

  299. Reuben says:

    Jesus is there when they are out of their senses, oh great and wise Taurus owner.

  300. Fly on a Wall says:

    “Why would you take a different approach.”

    MLD: you sound like you need an FB friend. C’mon, give it up for the add-a-rama!

    To answer your question, because the whole point is win them over to God, not win them over to the Law. Homosexuality is very important to them, just as your marriage is to you.

    They have to understand it’s not a kill-joy but the inerrant word of God and rejecting their homosexual lifestyle means obedience to God, not because MLD says so.

    This takes spiritual maturity. And even better, it makes them sit down and really think about the cost of going into ministry, the sacrifices that will have to be made. This goes for your friend too. He had to give up the younger 2nd wife if he went into ministry. Just as your other friends will have to give up their marriage. Unfortunately there’s many that do as your former friend does and gets away with it, but that’s because of the word, but because our current church framework is imperfect. The former is just as bad as the latter.

  301. Fly on a Wall says:

    but that’s NOT because of the word

  302. Jesus is there when they are out of their senses,

    He is there, but not for them. I don’t believe that Jesus is there welcoming people into his kingdom while they are living openly in unrepentant sin. In fact I think he is standing back and allowing them to live in their own condemnation.

  303. Fly on a Wall says:

    Well, friend-a-rama was a bust.

    But honestly, who cares? I feel so sorry for the people who get wrapped up with their FB friends, or take their online persona so seriously. I was a yelper at one time (before I found how about their extortion tactics) and had over 300+ friends at one time. People would get wound up over de-friending, or getting review-of-the-day.

    But I’d go to events and hear the dumbest stories, such as “I de-friended her because she eats at Jack-in-the-Box not Mcdonalds.”

    As much as I’m addicted to this site (it’s really an addiction, I’d be lying if I said I’m spiritually fed here, but I do like it here) , I would never jeopardize my real life relationships for something online. Actually, I wouldn’t even let it get me down for more than 10 mins.

    Make your own application.

    PS: I’m changing my FB avatar back to Cheffy, and posting Chefville stuff again. If I get more than 5+ PxP friends on FB, I may reconsider changing it. But tbh, I want to stay anonymous with my FB friends unless they’re from here.

  304. Bob says:

    I fully understand the issue of why gay marriage is being sought and the barrage on the church to recognize them; these things culturally legitimize what is naturally wrong.

    Now somewhere in this mess we keep thinking “salvation” through Jesus is my right, but it’s OK to live a life where you stick a middle finger up at the God of creation. To me this kind of behavior, knowingly doing what is wrong (and not just by biblical or any religious standards), just smells very bad. When we cheat on taxes, knowingly violate driving laws and even worse, keep the change when we hand the clerk a ten and get change back for a twenty isn’t rebellion it’s what is known as a “transgression.”

    Folks loving God and His salvation through Jesus and then giving the finger to Him as you stomp out of the house like an overgrown teenager just isn’t right.

    Make your own application.

  305. Nonnie says:

    Good words Bob. I agree, it isn’t right. However, I have to ask, are those you have talked about “saved?” The one who keeps the incorrect change, cheats on his taxes, speeds on the freeway, sleeps with his neighbours’ wife? If they are Christians, then what about the professing Christian who has a loving homosexual relationship??

    It’s an honest question, I’m not being snarky. A sincere question.

  306. Bob says:

    Nonnie:

    Good question and my answer is one you won’t like, I can’t judge anyone’s salvation.

    All I know is those who claim to love their parents honor and respect them in some form and never show them the middle finger (yes many of us did so in our youth and repented of it). Notice I am leaving out those who hate their parents because the issue here is loving God and Jesus.

    When I know a behavior is wrong it may take a life time of struggle to overcome it and who knows I may never overcome what I know is wrong. I love God so I will never state what is wrong is right nor will I encourage others to engage in the same wrong, no matter how long I struggle with it, because to do so is to both hate God and hate my neighbor.

    Now salvation? That is God’s domain, not mine

  307. I think the difference is that if you confront the “christian” who cheats on his taxes and his wife etc, will usually admit to wrong and repent (even if just for a short time).

    I have yet to meet the “christian” homosexual, when confronted with his sin, of homosexuality, admits wrong or repents – they usually make their case for why me and the bible are erong.

  308. Nonnie says:

    308 and 309… Yes, I agree with you both.

    I truly believe there are men and women who struggle with their sexuality just like there are men and women who struggle with drunkenness, gluttony, etc, etc. and yet, they cry out to the Lord for mercy, for deliverance, for grace and forgiveness, for new beginnings…they struggle, stumble, but walk in hope that one day they will be free. I believe He meets each one of us in our need.

  309. Alex says:

    Fly, I sent you a friend request 🙂 I kind of figured it out.

  310. Alex says:

    MLD said, “I have yet to meet the “christian” homosexual, when confronted with his sin, of homosexuality, admits wrong or repents – they usually make their case for why me and the bible are erong.”

    I’ve met some homosexuals who don’t know if it’s sin or not, as they were born with the desire (which is “natural” to them). They figure that if it is “sin”, they hope for grace and mercy in Jesus Christ and they figure being in a committed monogamous marriage-type relationship is best.

    Dunno about you, MLD, but there’s stuff I do that may or may not be sin…and I can’t shake it all the way…and I simply hope God has mercy on me a sinner and I appeal to the Cross and Jesus Christ for my salvation.

    How is it any different with you or me vs. homosexuals?

  311. Alex says:

    I’ve yet to mee the “christian” who is without sin, especially “leadership” who seems to be able to loophole their way out of all sorts of what is supposedly “sin” in the bible and then there’s the loopholing out of the very specific Qualifications etc etc.

    Seems there’s a TON of grace for pastors and heterosexuals out there. Not so much for homosexuals. I guess Grace* does come with an asterisk.

    Selective Fundamentalism at it’s best…

  312. mrtundraman says:

    I’m really only interested in arguments about homosexuality which have to do with Scriptural exegesis. If someone claims that they find something different in a particular Bible passage or they bring a different principle to the table, I will listed and evaluate what they say against Scripture. Few arguments are Scripture based – on either side.

  313. Alex says:

    MTM, understood. You view Scripture as authoritative and are very consistent in appealing to Scripture as an Absolute (I think from my interactions over the years with you). This would put you a bit at odds with Tradition or the Pope as an equal authority.

    The trick with Sola Scriptura is that it is still a function of interpretation and the real appeal to Sola Scriptura is an appeal to “this particular interpretation of the Scripture”

    For the RCC, the counsels and the Pope interpret the Scriptura, in protestant circles, it’s a particular prophet or guru or consensus of theologians that do the interpreting and render the “proper interpretation”…in other protestant circles, it’s a function of the individual interpreting the Scriptura for themselves etc.

  314. Alex says:

    Councils above, not counsels, LOL

  315. “Seems there’s a TON of grace for pastors and heterosexuals out there. Not so much for homosexuals. I guess Grace* does come with an asterisk.”

    Where do you see grace? I see no grace from God for the unrepentant.

    Oh wait, I get it, you equate guys covering for each other with God’s grace. Where the heck did you ever come up with that idea? It is either from the pit of hell or from you worship of men.

    Do you really think if Skip covers for Bob and if Chuck covers for Skip etc that it has anything to do with grace.

    I think I just gave you the answer to all the issues that have been troubling you these past 2 decades.

  316. brian says:

    “Do you really think if Skip covers for Bob and if Chuck covers for Skip etc that it has anything to do with grace.”

    I understand your point but I wish I would have seen some of that “grace” back in the day, I no longer have that expectation but I would have like to had seen it. Even if it came in the form of a kick in the pants and a helping hand instead of the great ignore. Its hard being invisible.

  317. Fly on a Wall says:

    brian: you’re not invisible here. 🙂

  318. Fly on a Wall says:

    “3. Amazing to me that people unfriend me on Facebook because they’re afraid their churches will find out they like me…”

    Michael: as you know, I recently friended and looked through your friends to find other PxP peeps…. and I must say you have a fascinating array of friends. I’ve recognized (work) colleges, people I went to church with, people whose church I attended, and recognizable celebrities of the Evangelical world.

    It’s obvious that you are very loved and liked.

    I’m sorry people unfriend you, I hope you don’t take it personally. But if they care more about what their church thinks of them rather than your friendship… well… the loss may be all theirs.

  319. Kathy says:

    And I may change my moniker from Fly On A Wall (yes, it was stupid, I don’t put much thought into my blogging/commenting/online persona), and start using my real name, Kathy.

  320. Alex says:

    Currency War is intensifying. Guys like Soros are freaking out over Japan’s aggressive moves to be like the US. Japan is now aggressively devaluing their currency (a la the US) and this will result in jobs leaving the US for Japan and Japan strengthening its Exports at the expense of the US and other Nations. Japan is now the #3 economy in the World…so their moves are quite significant. If Japan continues this massive currency devaluation effort, which is in response to the US moves over the past 5 years…you’ll see the US and other Nations respond more aggressively as well in the continuing Currency Wars…until we blow up the Current System….and then BANG! World Central Bank and new World Reserve Currency Regime.

  321. Alex says:

    …or the US will be forced to take its medicine and embrace some Austerity and have another mini-Depression (or worse). But, we won’t go that route, we’ll crank up the Debt and the Printing Presses and we’ll respond in time by trashing our currency worse than we have already. This is the perpetual QE cycle that will result in my prediction above. It is as inevitable an End Game as there is and is just a function of time.

    The X factors are Black Swans like War or another huge crisis like a Lehman Bros. or a huge default like Spain or Italy etc.

  322. Alex says:

    This video is from 1999. Consider that if/when you watch/listen to it. It explains some of the economics and strategy behind the Current System and the move toward a World Central Bank and predicts the steps and progressions that have happened and are happening toward that outcome.

    However, this vid is 14 years-old and the argument for a World Wide Fiat Money has moved from “cheaper easier transaction costs” to the need for policy coordination to stave off World Financial Crisis and to an argument that a World Wide Fiat Money won’t be manipulated at the expense of other Nations by a Single Nation World Reserve Currency (currently US Dollar).

    It’s fascinating stuff. The talk was given right at the time the Euro was being implemented.

  323. mrtundraman says:

    “MTM, understood. You view Scripture as authoritative and are very consistent in appealing to Scripture as an Absolute (I think from my interactions over the years with you). This would put you a bit at odds with Tradition or the Pope as an equal authority.”

    I am interested in testing the strengths of various arguments. Good Tradition informs our knowledge of Scripture and our knowledge of Scripture allows us to process Tradition. We would not be here in the faith without those in all the faithful traditions who were caretakers of the Word for us.

    Sola Scriptura suffers from the lack of the principle itself in Scripture. It is yet another tradition of men which is exalted above God and His Work itself.

  324. mrtundraman says:

    I just saw that Dave Hunt died.

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