Nov 042014
 

timthumb.phpMatt B. Redmond nails it on the Mars Hill story…

Brian Brodersen on the Moses Model…

The seven year too late confession of sin against Bent Meyer and Paul Petry.

“This disciplinary rejection led to great loss to your family in extreme financial hardship, sudden loss of long standing friendships, spiritual and emotional trauma to your family, and the public shaming of your character. We share responsibility for those losses due to our participation in the vote.”

For seven years these guys watched the Petrys lives ripped apart, their names and character slandered and brought to public ruin and didn’t do a damn thing…in truth, their silence roared consent and approval.

I’m glad that Meyer and Petry are publicly exonerated, it is shameful that it took this long to do it.

Jonna and Paul Petry wrote their stories here…

Wenatchee the Hatchet has more…

An interview with Anne Lamott…

Provacative discussion on pre-marital sex on the IM…

Phillip Yancey on the escape of the introvert…

Brittany Maynard has died…

Buechner on marriage…

How do you become a Christian?

Country music and the communion of souls…

What can the average person do about justice?

A single issue voter?

Shame and grace in a pastors life…

10 (controversial) statements about Jesus…

Why Protestants need some saints of their own…

Being a Christian doesn’t always look like you think it should…

Part 2 of Steve Wrights teaching on pastoral qualifications…

  246 Responses to “Linkathon”

  1. Brittany Maynard has died…

    What is the Christian ethical position on assisted suicide in the case of terminal illness?

    The secular press has generally portrayed Ms. Maynard’s decision in a favorable light, perhaps even noble or brave. Because of the intense secular media coverage, this may be the example that baptizes the practice as legitimate for many.

    On the other hand, I haven’t read or heard any vocal pushback from Christian leaders and/or ethicists. Is there a counter argument that needs to be made by the Church, or is this practice consistent with biblical ethics?

    Does the State have an interest here or should this be a purely private decision?

    What advice might a pastor offer to a member of his congregation who is in Ms. Maynard’s situation and wants to know what faith requires of her?

  2. As a Christian I would advise against it. But for the life of me I cannot think of a good reason … other than being told Christians are not allowed to kill themselves.

    If a person is terminally ill, isn’t it just like pulling your own plug? Could it be considered a noble act to save those left behind the pain and agony of going through it with you? Hmmm

  3. Thank you for remembering the “part two” of the link, Michael. I do not know if I have ever received a more supportive response after a message by multiple people in the church. Hugs, handshakes, one person was even in tears…

    I also do not know if I would have given this same message, with the same passion, if not for the experiences shared by your readership, and the articles you have researched and reported upon, as well as my own experiences here at CCLE.

    Since the focus of this message deals with money and family, I think your readership will agree with much of what is said.

  4. MLD,
    Another issue that is relevant is whether there is an ethical difference between refusing a treatment vs. taking a suicide medication, where either decision results in death. Omission vs. commission.

    The conversation has shifted since the days of Dr. Kevorkian.

  5. Jean,
    I even go as far as do you need to be terminally ill to kill yourself? What if you are just tired of life?

  6. MLD is making the point that matters… anyone who has been clinically depressed has been open to clinical suicide… even as a believer I gave up the charade of saying that I have never been suicidal as if that was somehow a denial of faith.

    One downside of assisted suicide is making death seem so beautiful and appealing to so many people who already find life ugly and unworthy of the pain. As one who has been there and has the T-shirt when it comes to praying for death I prefer to pass on the knowledge that I am repeatedly very glad that I did not find a wonderful support group to help me end my misery. Sorrow is in the bargain.

    Now for sure we extend life by extreme medical means far too much with people who have no hope of a better life.

    In the end this is America and CHOICE is god.

  7. As for the Mark Driscoll saga,

    Well he escaped with a public declaration that he has done nothing immoral and that he is not unfit for ministry. Though myriads and myriads of voices are raised in dissent.

    But everyone is fairly warned. So exercise your freedom and see if a guy who is only sorry because he has to be will make a good leader for you.

    Follow whoever you wish… in America CHOICE is god.

  8. “What if you are just tired of life?”

    Disclaimer: The comment I am about to make is not applicable to people who suffer from clinical depression.

    “Jesus answered, ‘The most important is: “Listen, Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one.
    Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.” The second is: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” There is no other commandment greater than these.’”

    If a person wants to throw in the towel because he/she is weary, bored, angry, hopeless, tired, etc., there is a certain selfishness involved that is not in keeping with what one might call the law of Christ. In addition, the disciple of Jesus is commanded to deny himself/herself.

    So, I would push back against suicide for “convenience.”

  9. As for mister burning libido

    I have a healthy interaction with numerous unchristian or ‘christian’ young people who I have watched go through their high school, college and now young adult and into their 30s. Many of these young people have ‘enjoyed’ multiple (as many as possible without being promiscuous in their own mind) sexual partners. They live in tight enough circles that soon or later some of them marry partners who have been lovers to their peer group members and even close friends.

    I never engage conversations with them over these things unless invited. (a very strange case for me since I intrude everywhere with people in my church) Nevertheless the conversations reach me. The method of managing their internal misgivings about their dalliances is amnesia. They go Scarlett O’Hara over the things they would rather not face. Can they sustain it? Who knows it is the world they created over against our religious taboos.

    More power to them… In America CHOICE is god. There is no other.

    Back to the cave

  10. Steve Wright,

    According to Brian Brodersen the Moses Model did and does exist, it was and is a “one man show”, it can be argued from the bible that it is a legitimate form of church government, and if that is what you desire to do as Calvary Chapel pastor “God Bless”.

    Just not BB personal desire, of coarse he did say that if he had an idea and everyone else in the room thought it was a bad idea he would rethink it (wonder what would happen if just most thought it was a bad idea).

    He also said “but at the end of the day the buck stops with me, so to speak, I’m the one who is going to make the final decision.” Chuck Smith at this point said, to fire the others in the room. Still sounds Moses Model like.

    Doesn’t sound like the Moses Model is in the “trash heap”.

  11. The Moses Model is not necessarily the problem … the problem is ‘Moses’… always was always will be. Moses is only a problem if God never shows up or if Moses is actually pharaoh. A man who lives inside the true voice of the living God is never an oppressor. Only a man who leaves the voice and strikes the rock without a word becomes the problem. Every structure will have some horrible consequences without the presence of a living God. No system guarantees good leadership.

  12. Q @ 10

    Yup, it’s double speak.

  13. I don’t like the Moses model…I think it makes corruption easier and it’s ridiculous theology.
    Having said that, Mars Hill was a plurality of elders…who ended up a plurality of oppressors.
    The problem is any system that is defined by a single personality is not usually going to end well.

  14. “No system guarantees good leadership.”

    Agreed.

    But some systems are better than others, Mars Hill had one set of bylaws, then another.

    One provided a better guarantee (accountability) than the other.

  15. A lot of Calvary Chapels are abandoning this method of governance.
    Others believe it is a necessary distinctive.
    What Brian was passively aggressively saying is that he no longer will regard it as a distinctive…which was another shot across the bow for those who oppose any change in CC.
    Those pastors will parse that message much differently than anyone else hearing it.

  16. I have respect for Brian Brodersen and thought that he handled himself well. I do not say that I agree with everything that he said but I like that he stands his ground.

    My heart aches for the Petrey’s. I am praising God that they are healing and that relationships are starting to be mended. This is why I hate the CC adage that “people vote with their feet”. Churches can cause a lot of damage to people. The story written for us to see showed me many areas where we can make other’s vulnerable. Shunning is painful.

    I love Philip Yancey and heard him speak while I attended Chuck Jr’s church. He just seems to get it.

    Brittney Maynard… Was she a believer? Would it matter if she was? Our place in eternity is determined before we end our lives and if there is one and only one sin that changes that, then what can we say? This is a tough one. It just seems that this is a decision one has to make on their own with God. Like MLD, we are told that it’s sin but, is our body being the temple passage enough on this topic?

    Not sure I agree with every controversial statement about Jesus. What came to mind was what Jesus said in Matt 19 four about a male and female?

  17. Did you guys WATCH Brian’s video???

    That is so 180 degrees different than anything you would hear from some of the men who have made the headlines around here. You all should applaud.

    I appreciated everything Brian said, and would likely say the same things about the ministry here at CCLE. I just wouldn’t wear that pink shirt 🙂

  18. Because most people don’t know the internal politics of CC, that video will be misinterpreted.
    In reality it was a bombshell lobbed into the Philadelphia camp.
    Brodersens mistake is in believing that people inside the movement will go along to get along…that both the traditional and progressive sides can move forward together.
    It’s a noble thought that will come back to bite him.

  19. covered,

    You give me an opportunity to clarify.
    I don’t agree with all that’s in every link I post.
    I post links that make me think…and hope they do the same for others.

  20. Hey Michael, I would not hang here if you were a yes man! 🙂 Great links.

  21. Michael, I disagree with your #18. I believe that BB knows exactly what will happen as a result of his comments. How can he not welcome the change that is needed and the opportunity everyone wants to speak their mind? I think that you and I are on the same page as far as the different camps and this is what will start (ignite) some of BB’s haters to speak out. As always, just my .02

  22. Steve Wright @17

    Argument by assertion is the logical fallacy where someone tries to argue a point by merely asserting that it is true, regardless of contradiction. While this may seem stupid, it’s actually an easy trap to fall into and is quite common. (Wikipedia)

    With a little a Appeal to Emotion thrown in.

  23. Covered,

    Thanks for – “My heart aches for the Petrey’s. I am praising God that they are healing and that relationships are starting to be mended. This is why I hate the CC adage that “people vote with their feet”. Churches can cause a lot of damage to people. The story written for us to see showed me many areas where we can make other’s vulnerable. Shunning is painful.”

  24. covered,

    Brodersen is an odd duck.
    He hates conflict and he really is hoping people can get along…but he’s not going back to the dark ages.

  25. Shunning without cause is probably the worst form of spiritual abuse.

  26. Q – You’re #10 made no sense to me – and why you called me out on it. It did get me to watch the video though, which I otherwise had not planned to do.

    Of course, there was not a single question in your post to me.

    But a selection of pick and choose statements, most of which were taken out of the context of the entire video.

    Now, do you want to converse about something?

  27. What are some (things) of the dark ages Brian Brodersen is not going back into?

    Chuck Smith taught that if CC was not distinct, they may as well join the church next door.

  28. “he’s not going back to the dark ages”, I agree with that 100% which is why I think he realizes the backlash from his statements. Some are going to interpret his words as disrespectful to their idol Papa Chuck and I think this sort of attitude will start the dialogue that many are waiting for.

  29. Q,

    Chuck Smith is dead.
    Brian sees CC’s “distinctives” as being a commitment to teaching the Bible and missions.
    Period.
    If others want to institutionalize the rest that’s their choice…

  30. Sure Steve,

    I called you out because if I remember correctly you said the Moses Model had a board and basically was not a one man show, BB said it was, I think you also said it was currently on the trash heap and when all the old timers went away maybe the term would too, and it clearly, according to BB, isn’t. It is still viable option.

    I think the term should stick around so people can see what it was and is.

  31. I am not too comfortable judging the quality of someone’s repentance. Some times it takes seven years for people to see the light. So what if public repenting is the “cool” thing to do right now and puts the white hat on your public head. Sometimes that’s what it takes. God will drag us all into repentance, if we are willing. For those with a tender conscience it doesn’t take much. For those with hardened hearts He will use whatever will get us on our knees, even if it’s public opinion.

  32. So reformed theology is on the table, ecclesiastical polity, soteriology, and eschatology?

    If so then they are not distinct anymore.

  33. I just reread some of C Peter Wagner’s Churchquake. I know, I know CPW is a lighting rod but he is also a thinker and a scholar. I was reading his chapter on the Nuts and Bolts of Apostolic Networks.. and BAM he described an admiration for Chuck Smith and a reservation about the leadership of John Wimber. It gives some insight as the the non-controlling ways of Smith that perpetuated other strong leaders. But between the lines it explained the silence of Chuck Smith that allowed his group to function as a genuinely Non, read NOT denomination. Fascinating stuff… it worked well to perpetuate the brand but it did not work so well to discipline the boys.

    And I think I threw a stink bomb over at Monkdom … I gotta get back to writing.

  34. Michael,

    I was addressing my #32 to you, I want to understand how you see, but it’s is of coarse open to anyone.

  35. Xenia,

    I quit judging people’s repentance based upon their sorrow… tears come and go.

    I now simply look for fruit. Like I told my teenagers when they apologized through painful tears… “I don’t want you to be sorry. I want you to stop.” Repentance has outcomes. The rest is fodder.

  36. Q,

    My best guess is that in five years this wing of CC will look a lot like the Southern Baptists…committed to missions and conservative bible teaching and not much worried about the rest.
    I know no one in the group even close to Reformed.

  37. Ecclesiastical polity has been changing for years already…lots of these churches instituted checks and balances to the senior pastor when we went through the big scandals of the early 2000’s.
    There will be another wing that is strict CC…but all of that is way up in the air.

  38. Michael,

    If no one at CC is “even close to Reformed” it won’t look like Southern Baptist… 😉

  39. I took a quick look at the Internetmonk article and the com box and was instantly reminded of why I never read that blog anymore.

    Good grief.

  40. BD,

    There are no truly Reformed Southern Baptists.
    There are many Calvinistic in soteriology.
    The Reformed scare in CC has been one big load of bullcrap…it’s not on the radar, nor are there many who want it to be.

  41. I said the Moses Model has a board – Yes. It does. (Brian said Chuck was a (as you say) one-man show. Chuck is dead, and no CC pastor, including Brian, is Chuck)

    I also have said the Board should not be made up of yes men or simply the important business people of the church who may be spiritually immature. (Which is also what Chuck said in the past.)

    I said the term Moses Model is foolish, theologically speaking, but the practice is no different than what is going on at MacArthur’s church, Driscoll’s (old) church and thousands of others. I also said, as Brian and Michael both have said, if the people are corrupt the model of government is meaningless. Rome shows us that in recent years.

    I said Moses Model was no longer listed on the CCA website, and was certainly not some requirement – as Brian also clearly stated.

    And I have said, repeatedly, that all Calvarys are independent and going to be governed by the way that local church desires – as Brian also stated.

    In all sincerity, as I run now, I want to thank you, Q, for your initial post. Because it was so surprising to me, that it made me watch the video. In reading your post to the community (and me), I thought Brian was on there giving a full-voiced approval and declaration that CC=Moses Model

    Thus, when I actually watched the video, I was pleasantly surprised – and as I wrote above, in full agreement (except with the pink shirt)

  42. ‘If no one at CC is “even close to Reformed” it won’t look like Southern Baptist… ;)’

    Agreed.

    Some have already signed The Gospel Coalition’s statement of faith, probably not Michael’s brand of reformed, but still reformed.

    Didn’t the whole business model and seeker friendly, purpose driven models also come out of that? I think they a pretty big on tithing in some of those circles also.

    Maybe some think that is a good thing, I don’t.

  43. I know a number of Baptists, probably most of them are Southern Baptists, who claim they are Reformed Baptists. There’s even a discussion sub forum dedicated to them on a well-known apologetics ministry web sight. I don’t know what they really are, but his is what they are calling themselves.

  44. On the BB clip, you all saw that whether it is the MM or plurality style of church gov., it is all dependent on good men leading, right? If you got suspect leaders no church gov. style is going to work. So what is the answer, IDK, but it appears that we should be vetting leaders to the best of our abilities and be in prayer for the leaders.

  45. Q,

    I know some of the guys who are in the GC…they are into the missions side of the group and are decidedly not Calvinists.

    Xenia,

    Baptists have a long and noble history in Calvinism…we used to use the 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith in our own church.

  46. One of the behind the scenes battles is over those in CC who are also aligning with groups like the GC.
    The traditional wing wants them thrown out, the others don’t care.

  47. I agree with Michael – the Baptist are Calvinists and not Reformed
    (All Reformed are Calvinists but not all Calvinists are Reformed.)

    Now Michael will disagree here but I would think that real Reformed theology would have you baptizing babies and being Amil.

  48. MLD,

    Being really Reformed means subscription to the confessional documents and creeds of Reformed theology…and those would include infant baptism with an uncertain eschatology.
    Some Reformed are post mill, some (few) have been pre mill.

  49. Steve Wright,

    Chuck never made the Moses Model a requirement either, it is what he practiced, and Brian said it is still a viable option, so nothing there has changed.

    You stated –

    ‘I said the term Moses Model is foolish, theologically speaking, but the practice is no different than what is going on at MacArthur’s church, Driscoll’s (old) church and thousands of others.’

    I have read Grace Community’s…(“MacArthur’s”) bylaws (he unlike [dare I say most CC’s] post them online, how are yours or Brian’s different?

    Or are they just practiced different, and how?

    Again –

    “Just not BB personal desire, of coarse he did say that if he had an idea and everyone else in the room thought it was a bad idea he would rethink it (wonder what would happen if just most thought it was a bad idea).

    He also said “but at the end of the day the buck stops with me, so to speak, I’m the one who is going to make the final decision.” Chuck Smith at this point said, to fire the others in the room. Still sounds Moses Model like.”

    Throw using the board to buffer the Senior Pastor from the unpopular decisions and you have basically the same polity.

  50. Q,

    If you don’t think MacArthur has the last word in a meeting, you’re smoking something .

  51. The only eschatology that I can see that doesn’t fit well with TGC is pre-trib, pre-mill.

    Hard to see how CC pastors don’t see it.

    Unless that is no longer a CC distinctive.

  52. Michael,

    Brian said the same thing, and Steve said his church operated like Brian”s.

  53. “If you don’t think MacArthur has the last word in a meeting, you’re smoking something.”

    There are times when I wonder if JM thinks he will have the last word at the Judgment. 😉

  54. Eschatology is becoming irrelevant to this wing in terms of a distinctive.
    That’s another splitting point.

  55. Here’s what everyone needs to get a handle on.
    Chuck has been gone just at a year…and that’s a very short time in which to change gears on all these issues.
    It’s a process…and the process is just beginning.

  56. Finished…amen on # 53…

  57. I know Steve has better bylaws than other CC’s and I hope they will follow his example, at least he could be fired…

    But in practice how is it different?

    Steve said JM in practice operates like MD.

    So If JM makes the decisions (which I do not know to be true [and I bet he also wants counsel from others]) and Brian makes the final decisions and Steve operates the same as Brian, what’s the difference?

    I think my questions here and #49 are valid.

  58. Q,

    In every organization outside of congregationalism, someone makes the final call.
    In healthy groups there is input from others.
    In others, not so much.
    It’s not really that complicated…it all depends on the character of the one who makes the call.

  59. Q, is your issue that you want a say-so in the decision-making process? It is naive to think that decisions are not made by the person in charge?

  60. fyi,

    No, not a say-so.

    I do believe everyone’s opinion in the congregation at times should be included, like when they chose seven men in Act’s, the congregation decided that one, and I believe it was the Greek speaking that had a complaint and the seven all had Greek names if I remember correctly.

    In another case the groups concerns were heard and then Peter stood up and gave his account of what happened and James made a decision that had consensus.

    So there is more ways than one.

    At CC you just get an announcement after the fact, like we just bought a radio station…(yeah, I guess are money is being used well…)or we haven’t spoken about this in a while e.g., three or four years, and so we will cover three or four years of financials in fifteen minutes now, your money has been used to….(wow….)

    fyi,

    Is your issue you want to make the final-decision in the decision-making process?

  61. “and I believe it was the Greek speaking that had a complaint and the seven all had Greek names if I remember correctly.”

    Seems pretty wise coming from the lowly congregation.

  62. IMO, the Internet Monk jumped the shark a long time ago. I would contend that if Michael Spencer could come back today and read the site he started, he wouldn’t even recognize it. It’s simply become a haven for those who wish to claim the name “Christian” but live however they please.

  63. Q,
    “At CC you just get an announcement after the fact, like we just bought a radio station”

    Were you told why they bought a radio station? Are you in an area with no radio stations to peddle the sermons to?

    The LCMS has one radio station in St Louis. The Lutheran Hour radio program is on 100s of radio stations around the country.

  64. The guy who is interviewing BB looks like a total cotton headed ninny muggins…just saying. And what’s with that ridiculous cardigan? Chuck NEVER wore a cardigan. If BB really believed in the Moses model, he would have told that guy to go home and change his sweater. Goodness.

  65. MLD, yes and no.

    I do believe if CC got some lowly advice from the congregation in setting up the paper work for CSN, the whole Kestler thing would have worked out different.

  66. insufferablyearnest,

    Chuck Smith believed in the Moses Model and he let you dress how you wanted, so not really a deciding factor.

    Although I believe he may have had some cotton headed ninny muggins around him.

  67. “This disciplinary rejection led to to your family in extreme financial hardship, ….. We share responsibility for those losses due to our participation in the vote.”

    can one assume that the apology includes those doing the apologizing sticking their necks out a little further and dipping into their financial assets to restore some of that loss? … otherwise ? ? ?

  68. Why does Pastor Brodersen seem to imply that the Moses Model was never required amongst Calvary Chapels? That is patently untrue. Our church was denied affiliation (where we previously had it) because we felt the N.T. model of plurality of elders was what the Lord was calling us to do. Our inability in good conscience to “hold to and uphold” the Moses Model of church governance was what prevented us from continuing as a Calvary Chapel.

  69. Jim,

    There had to be more to it, the Moses Model alone would never get you axed from CC.

  70. Well maybe, did you call the Moses Model out, or just not have it?

    You have to be a good ol’ boy.

    Kind of like some who post here.

  71. Not sure what “good ol’ boy” means, but it happened exactly as I portrayed it. The affiliation paperwork we were completing due to a senior pastor change required that we “hold to and uphold” the Calvary distinctives. Not just the statement of faith, but Chuck’s distinctives. One of which was the Moses Model of church governance. Our board had decided to move to an elder form of governance, thus we could not sign what was required. All communication regarding this issue was only between myself, our region’s affiliation overseer, and one letter written by myself and our region’s overseer to Paul Smith requesting a fuller understanding. And it was quite clear. Sign on with the Distinctives, or give up our affiliation.

  72. Q,

    You crack me up.
    The CC good old boys hate me with a passion and wouldn’t post here if their lives depended on it.
    The guys that do post here have the balls to try and dialog and listen.
    The good old boys just curse me behind my back.

  73. Jim,

    That was quite possibly more Paul than Chuck…Paul was much more of a hardliner…and thats why Paul got canned.

  74. Jim,

    So why is Steve Wright and others allowed in?

    Wait Steve supports Brian’s polity.

    Are they not as honest as you guys, or do they not understand what they read as well as you?

    Probably they perceived your hearts were not right.

    By the way, you can Google, good ol’ boy.

    Since you cannot use Google, we have to deny your application.

  75. I hate to be cynical but as far as MH pastor elder apology my guess and this is just my opinion about 80-90 % of it was economically driven. It was a nice letter but if mark did not leave and the financial situation did not change there is no way at all even if God willed it they would have apologized. That could not happen. Now the two elders from what I have seen have been quite gracious. Why is Mark still getting paid? He threatened to punch those men in the face and break their nose and everyone laughed. They were being friends to Mark and trying to tell him the truth. Their “sin” is they got in the way of the revenue stream. You watch this will almost all be about economics and the blame game will be right around the corner and only the laity will get hurt, which of course does not mean anything whatsoever.

  76. “The CC good old boys hate me with a passion and wouldn’t post here if their lives depended on it.”

    Michael,

    You are probably right.

    Yet they do protect the brand, or at least what they want the brand to mean.

  77. SJ,

    The resource you provided is about half right and half wrong.

    Those who take up the Moses Model do put themselves in Moses’ seat, I believe this may be a problem at judgement.

    But all believers are priests, all believers intercede for others but the intention is to work yourself out of a job, not get you through the week, or till Wednesday, or Thursday, or Friday, for the teenagers…

    See I just interceded for you if you are willing to accept it.

  78. actually, brian, nearly everyone on the list was fired or left between 2008 and 2013. Three of the guys who signed weren’t even elders at the time of the 2007 trial. A couple of the guys, I know for certain, left formal ministry altogether in the last few years. It’s hard to protect jobs you don’t have anymore. Only one guy on that whole list is still employed by MH.

  79. The original Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa Church at 1952 Church Street In Costa Mesa is now up for sale.

    As I drove by that little church building this morning I couldn’t help but notice a for sale sign in front with a realtors lock box hang off the front door knob.

    I used to live across the street when I was a kid; that little church was where I first saw Chuck Smith.

    The church sign out front said, “Celebrating 50 years of ministry.”

    http://www.dailypilot.com/news/tn-dpt-me-0723-community-of-christ-building-20140722,0,803602.story

  80. I am still always baffled by he bemoaning of the distinctives. To be a Lutheran Church … at least LCMS you need to subscribe and follow the Lutheran distinctives … all of them.

    So what’s the big deal? Don’t you want to distinguish, don’t you want to walk into a CCanywhere and know what to expect?

  81. davidsurfer51,

    $49,500 original.

    I think many would pay 800k to 1M for the ground and demo on top of that.

    Chuck Smith had a joke about worship leaders “there is no business like show business” (if you do not know the joke you are uninformed [listen to Chuck Tracks]), I think maybe there is one business better. It has a ‘m’ in the first word and a ‘m’ in the second word.

    Can anyone figure out the two m’s?

  82. Hmm, Ponzi Scheme has only one M

    That reminded me when they used to teach you why you had to build up to 3 services ,,, what each service would pay for … but you had to get to 3.

  83. Nope, there are two m’s, they are really big words for the laity, but you can do it.

    I will help you sound it out, you can do it.

    Say mo, mos, mos, es, moses, mod, el, model.

    Say it all at once, you can do it.

    Moses Model.

    Good Job!

  84. Steve Wright,

    You said “that the expression “Moses Model” was (is) stupid”.

    So you are against the expression but like the ability?

    You have not answered my questions @49, are you going to?

    fyi,

    you haven’t either.

  85. This seems like a good time to make a long rant, challenge peoples facts and opinions, say I have to run or go, or sleep, make another short rant, and on the slight insult someone, and sign off, in the spirit of SW.

    Well unless I happen to pop back in.

  86. Q, at least you read it. It was just an FYI. Hey, thanks for the intersession.

    How is it a problem at judgement with it being Jesus centered as proposed? In your eyes can the MM be used rightously, or is it always bad?

  87. Q – Serious question for you. Why should I even entertain discussion with you when you are so rude as in #86?

    I’ve been offline until this moment (I’m sure Michael could check his blog hits and verify that if you don’t believe me)…mostly watching election results and doing some stuff with family. I log on and see you demanding an answer to an earlier question you asked me…about MacArthur. Michael answered it for me immediately it looks like. I have nothing to add to it – nor nothing to add to what I said earlier about Brian’s video.

    If you want a pastor who always has someone else to throw under the bus, more power to you. Others may appreciate the pastor who says, Put the blame on me – which if you had listened to my message posted by Michael last week, you would have heard me say.

    As far as “the ability” of the Moses Model – if you imagine that ability as total dictatorial control, then recognize I do not desire, exercise, or have the possibility of that at our place.

    I have no idea your obsession in this discussion – nor your insistence in ripping on guys like me or fyi who actually post here and are willing to engage a little. But at this point I feel I would only be enabling you in whatever it is that keeps you going. Good grief, how many times have you mentioned Chuck Smith in this thread. He’s dead, Q.

    Peace

  88. SJ,

    No I do not think the MM can be used righteously in this age.

    It can be easier as it only requires man’s manipulation, that requires no miracle.

    It is much more difficult to operate in the Spirit.

  89. Steve,

    You imo are passive aggressive, that seems weird in a big guy like you, but whatever.

    You leave a lot of comments that challenge facts and people and then have to leave for manifold reasons, not just on this thread, it’s part of your MO. Check me on this. Wait I think I may want a third party. Not available at your church.

    You did not answer #49. Michael did not say what you did nor was the questions to him, so he can not answer for you.

    So when you have time, since you made claims about John MacArthur being like Mark Driscoll, and yet affirm the same thing in your polity, please answer the questions at #49.

    And surely, fyi, can speak for himself.

    Also you said “He’s dead, Q”.

    Seems disrespectful.

    Chuck Smith is dead, really? No, just not here.

  90. Q, Steve did answer your question. Just because you don’t like the answer does not make Steve non responsive. Thank him for his reply and move on.

    Why are you so anti MM? If your pastor doesn’t use such leadership skills / model why so you care? If he does why do you stay? If your pastor does, have you had this conversation with him?

    If you are at a CC with a MM pastor – then you are the crazy one here.

  91. MLD,

    Where did Steve answer my questions?

  92. MLD,

    Steve said –

    ‘I said the term Moses Model is foolish, theologically speaking, but the practice is no different than what is going on at MacArthur’s church, Driscoll’s (old) church and thousands of others.’

    I said –

    I have read Grace Community’s…(“MacArthur’s”) bylaws (he unlike [dare I say most CC’s] post them online, how are yours or Brian’s different?

    Or are they just practiced different, and how?

    Where did he answer?

  93. Queue, your comments are not solely applicable to the MM.
    The article and clip were not an our way is best presentation.

  94. WH:

    “Only one guy on that whole list is still employed by MH.”

    I think this statement says it all, “…employed…”

    Now I don’t know the hearts of these men and women, but is seems to me (because I somewhat know heart) could it be they sought the wrong person in their employment?

    Why did they want to become MH pastors or leaders in the shadow of MD. The same can be said for those who seek the same from CC and CS’s MM, why, what motivates us and is it really the Spirit calling or the inner man at it’s lusts spoken of by James? Could it be my motivations are really all about who get’s to sit at his (maybe not so much His) right hand?

    Oh well, back to making an honest wage.

    Keep looking up!

  95. “Oh well, back to making an honest wage.”

    Yes.

    My hands may be dirty but my money is clean.

  96. Steve. I applaud your patience in continuing to respectfully dialog here with certain folks who only want a “gotcha” moment or refuse to acknowledge direct answers when they don’t like the answer. To others who continue to criticize and disagree with the CC distinctives and demand that they change GET OVER IT ALREADY. if you read the distinctives carefully u will understand that there is much grey area and room for individual CC interpretation in the implementation. All are entitled to your opinion on how a church should be run and what they should believe. And all are free to go out and find the church you want. Just don’t force your church on mine.

  97. Jim- you state ” Our board had decided to move to an elder form of governance, thus we could not sign what was required.” Can you elaborate?

  98. Jim- are you saying that all church decisions must be approved by a majority of elders?

  99. Q – LOL, are you serious? His answer was in your question.

    Steve said “…but the practice is no different than what is going on at MacArthur’s church, Driscoll’s (old) church and thousands of others.’” – Note where he says no different

    And then you asked “Or are they just practiced different, and how?” Note where you ask his the difference.

    Now, why would a sane person ask for a difference right after someone stated that there was no difference?

  100. “if you read the distinctives carefully u will understand that there is much grey area and room for individual CC interpretation in the implementation.”

    Mark,

    One of the issues right now is not all CC’s agree with this. There are some that believe that all CC’s should be pretty much the same, allowing for only very minimal “interpretation” on what they believe the distinctives are or should be. I should know. I am in one of those churches. That is why there is confusion/misunderstanding/disagreement when these things are discussed here. While I also applaud Steve and some others in their patience in discussing these things here (i.e. I have a heck of a time trying to follow the point(s) that Q is trying to make, too), there is bound to be disagreement with the way that Calvary Chapel has in the past and continues still at this point to be ambiguous and inconsistent in the way they apply/enforce the distinctives. With Chuck having passed, it looks as if the environment is now set for these things to come to a head. Just look at the things going on within the Smith/Brodersen family and CCCM themselves. While some of those issues go deeper than just the distinctives, I think they are reflective of the confusion/misunderstanding/disagreement and differences of opinion which exist within Calvary Chapel as a whole as to how the movement/association should move forward.

  101. Kevin H,
    Good morning – as our resident East Coaster with a CC background, if you were not here on the PP would you know any of this rift between CCCM and Philly? Do you hear it while sitting in the Pew or reading the bulletin – or is it all behind the scenes?

    I ask, as we both await the arrival of Spring Training – 101 days if anyone is counting.

  102. MLD, come now; it’s basketball and hockey season.

  103. MLD,

    If I did not read here at the PP, and to a lesser degree, other places on the internet, I would be unaware of the rift between CCCM and Philly. I would venture to guess that 98% of my church is unaware. If I did not read here, I would be under the impression that all Calvary Chapels are supposed to be essentially the same because that is what Chuck Smith said and that the way that we do things are the way that things are supposed to be done in a Calvary Chapel. This would be my impression because this is what we are told. I would know that a Calvary Chapel in our general area was removed from being a Calvary Chapel a few years ago because they changed in their “teaching style” and this would be a no-no in Calvary Chapel and so they could no longer be a CC. I would not know that there are other Calvary Chapel pastors and leaders who may think differently on this, most especially at CCCM.

    “People ask me what I do in winter when there’s no baseball. I’ll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring.” – Rogers Hornsby

  104. Jean, that ranks up there with Bird Watching season.
    This time of year is called “The Void” for very good reason.

  105. 105,
    Larry Bird is retired.

  106. From the Preface of the “Distinctives”:
    This is not to say that all Calvary Chapels are identical.

  107. Further from the Preface:I ’m always amazed at how God can
    take simple basic elements and create such variety out of them.

  108. Also- Kevin- I dnt see how the CCCM lawsuit has anyhting to do with the distinctives. That lawsuit is all about the $$$

  109. Finally- dont know where some people get the idea that there is some sort of “Distinctives” police out there enforcing the CC rules on every church. It does not exist

  110. Main CC focus is on teaching of the Word- Led by the Spirit- fellowship and the breaking of bread together- and prayer

  111. Thats been the focus of all the confercnes Ive attended

  112. Mark,

    Those “police” have existed in the past and will exist again if Philly has it’s way.
    That’s a fact.
    Those police didn’t care if you could keep your pants on in the presence of a woman or if you were an ethical tyrant…but you better not be burning any candles.
    Your vision of CC past and present is seriously skewed.

  113. For the most part, the teaching ministry of Calvary Chapel is expositional in style.

  114. Distinctives: I t doesn’t
    mean that on occasion we don’t address a particular topic or give topical messages.

  115. Distinctives: We’re
    not saying that topical messages are wrong or evil. They have their place. We don’t want to
    fall into strict legalism

  116. Michael- the incidents of so called CC police have been extremely few and far between and you know it.

  117. Mark,

    I’m not debating what is written in the distinctives or what the proper way is to read or take them. What I am pointing out in contrast to your point that there is room for different interpretation and implementation of them, is that not all CC pastors and leaders agree with that. I am in a church that believes all CC’s should be like McDonald’s in that one should know exactly what to expect when stepping into one because the large majority of the practices are, or should be, the same from one to another.

    As for the CCCM lawsuit, I did state the family and CCCM issues go deeper than the distinctives. However, I do think it is reflective of what is happening with Calvary Chapel as a whole in that there are people on differing sides who are all under the impression that they are doing things the way that Chuck would have wanted.

    Lastly, as to the “Distinctives police” which Michael has already responded to, I don’t think there is anybody who believes this supposed group is enforcing the CC rules on *every* church. However, the truth is that it happens to *some* churches and the application of the “CC rules” has been inconsistent over the history of Calvary Chapel. Just in this thread, we have Jim’s testimony of the CC rules being enforced on his church and we also have the example I shared (that I have shared several times before) where it happened in your own state. I would venture to guess that there have been multiple more times where this has happened.

  118. Mark,

    I know the exact opposite from what you posit.
    You are and always have been in some sort of serious denial about the facts concerning CC and it is wearisome to say the least.

  119. Michael:”I know the exact opposite from what you post”.
    Really. So lets talk numbers. Of the 1500 affiliated churches- hw many have been victims of the “police”?

  120. You r the one in denial my friend. Denial of the fact that for the vast 90%+(at least) of CC attendees, pastors and churches- there r NO problems of which u constantly harp

  121. No pastoral abuse- no CC police- no infighting- no treating the chruch like an ATM- no treating the sheep like cattle. (All of which u have accused CC of)

  122. If you don’t have the distinctives police, what does keep a CC from being an apostate church – or a group of them.

    When the ELCA and the smaller groups that make up the ELCA stopped following the Lutheran distictives and began denying scriptures, allowing women to become pastors, started associating with several Reformed groups and then allowed homosexuals in the pulpit, you can believe that the LCMS called in the distinctives police and cut off all altar and pulpit fellowship with such scoundrels.

    Why is this not acceptable in CC?

  123. Mark,

    I have proof for everything I post.
    As I said before, if the blog offends you, you’re going to come unglued when my book comes out.
    I try to be fair here…I get flack from people like you who think I make this stuff up and I get flack from those who think I’m not hard enough.
    I’m not going to debate you…you are emotionally incapable of any sense of balance on this issue.
    I don’t say that cruelly, it’s just a fact.
    I let you post your objections…but they will seem foolish sooner than later.

  124. “Really. So lets talk numbers. Of the 1500 affiliated churches- hw many have been victims of the “police”?

    Mark, why don’t you tell us the number since you seem to be an expert!

  125. Michael u do a great job of avoiding my questions. U imply widespread abuse. U post few real examples. U claim inside knowledge but u rarely share examples. I ask again where is the evidence that more than a very small minority of CCs across the world have problems? I have never said there are no problems NEVER. I have complained that CC has been singled out. And that the good OVERWHELMINGLY outweighs the few and far between problem CC pastors. U only focus in the bad and grossly exaggerate the problems. Even if there were 50 really bad apples in CC that is less than 5%

  126. So here on the liberal coast under the liberal leadership of Brian Brodersen where the distinctives have now become suggestions – Steve Wright decides to hire a woman assistant pastor to preach every fourth Sunday … is he in fear of the distinctives police?

  127. Mark,

    Speaking of avoiding questions.

  128. Steve Wright would not do such a thing.

  129. But if Steve Wright did do such a thing, would Steve Wright have any reason to look over his shoulder for the distinctive police?

    I think distinctives are necessary in an organization.

  130. The problem in your hypothetical is you assume a man has a dramatic change in pastoral philosophy (or doctrinal beliefs) and yet this same man, in being true to his new convictions and implementing them into the church, does not have the integrity to remove himself from the affiliation – which by the way is what all of us already agreed to do when we affiliated.

    You could ask the same thing of the guy who turns amill. Why would he stick around?

    That’s why your hypothetical makes no sense – especially when the only “benefit” to being an affiliated pastor is the fellowship among like-minded pastors (and having the church on some list)

  131. But how do you know what is “like minded” if you don’t have it written down somewhere?

    You have said many times, as have others in the organization that you don’t agree on everything, so why does my hypothetical get picked out as the one that breaks this like mindedness.

    What if the guy down the street says, well I am like minded on everything except this one issue – I had to ordain my wife to be my co pastor.

    I think there are other things that lead up to the big change that could have been headed off by the distinctives police taking notice. It started in the LCMS when some started denying the literal 6 days of creation and the Jonah story. Nip it in the bud there and you don’t have women and gays in your pulpits.

  132. “I think distinctives are necessary in an organization.”

    That depends on what they are, what their purpose is, and how their used. Distinctives in a church is an extra-biblical (perhaps even unbiblical) concept and could just as easily be sinful as virtuous.

  133. I don’t subscribe to the school of thought that because something can go wrong, do nothing. I want to have some assurance that JW doctrine will NOT be taught at a Lutheran Church I stop at on vacation.

    If some think that their churches are no different from others, that nothing distinguishes them, or if they are it doesn’t matter, well who am I to interfere.

  134. Distinctives in a church is an extra-biblical (perhaps even unbiblical) concept <<<

    If you are saying that the deposit of faith and practice as handed down from the Apostles is what all churches everywhere should be using as their rule, then I agree with you. No church should schism away from the main body to practice its own distinctives.

    Is that what you mean?

  135. MLD – They are written down. Male pastoral leadership is specifically cited on the CCA website. (Moses Model is not). You asked about some sort of police, and I said THAT is what makes no sense – why would the guy stick around. He sure is not going to find much fellowship with other CC pastors, .

    What you also are neglecting is the power of the local church. How many people would leave their particular Calvary if what you suggest took place. How many people looking for a new Calvary would stay beyond the first visit. (Making being on some CC list very irrelevant)

    The people who insist on a police force, like Chuck’s brother, show very little respect for The Lord and His ability to build, maintain, and discipline His church.

    That is a far better example of “having begin in the Spirit will you be made perfect in the flesh, than any example used in Chuck’s prior books.

  136. Ah Steve, we can surely imagine a scenario where a CC senior pastor who does some outside reading falls in love with some non-CC doctrine and is inflamed with a missionary zeal to convert his possibly-large-church-and-only source-of-income to his new vision. If he persisted, would he be kicked out? “Integrity” is problematic in this case because the pastor might think his New View is the Gospel Truth and he is obligated to convert as many to his cause a possible. His idea of integrity might cause him to stay and preach.

  137. “If you are saying that the deposit of faith and practice as handed down from the Apostles is what all churches everywhere should be using as their rule, then I agree with you. No church should schism away from the main body to practice its own distinctives.”

    I don’t know what you mean by “rule.”

    I would agree that the deposit of faith and practice handed down by the Gospel writers and the Apostles, and as further elucidated in the creeds and canonized in the Bible, should be the distinctive that the body of Christ is known by.

  138. Steve,
    First it happens slowly. You could teach your congregation for a year, little simple “truths” in the scripture if understood correctly and allowing for a little elbow room, that the installation of a woman pastor could eventually happen with no objection from the congregation.

    The pastors did not just get up in the pulpit one day and say “Betty Lou will now be the associate pastor.”

    It’s naivety to think that a pastor would up and leave because he had a change of heart and wanted to teach topically or explore with his congregation varieties of end times scenarios – otherwise the Reformed issue would not exist in CC… they would have left before being asked.

  139. Distinctives by nature are extra biblical – but they set you apart.
    Verse by verse or liturgical using a lectonary ? A distinctive some may want to be aware of.

  140. Distinctives by nature are extra biblical – but they set you apart.

    Like I said, they are just as likely to be sinful and virtuous. What are they, what is the purpose, and how are they used? Those are the key determinates.

    In addition, setting one apart from another Christian, is counter-biblical, and the burden falls on the one doing the dividing to show that the benefit of dividing the body of Christ is greater than the harm to the body of Christ caused by the division.

  141. The problem in this hypothetical discussion is twofold. One involving the pastor, one involving the church.

    MLD, did you not have integrity when you chose to leave CC based on your changing convictions? Why not grant the same to your hypothetical CC pastor? I can’t imagine you guys constantly imagining the worst of these men.

    I will repeat. Every CC pastor is voluntarily agreeing to a minimal number of precepts, and asked to voluntarily leave the affiliation if their convictions change. Why would the man not do so?

    Maybe the problem is the delusion this is 1990 when the name “Calvary Chapel” on a new local plant meant an instant following from people tired of commuting long distances to the bigger Calvarys Those days are over. Most of our visitors have never heard of Calvary Chapel, and the ones who have I am certain would flee immediately if we had some sort of non-CC teachings or philosophy of ministry.

    What pastor would want to continually have to deal with every CC-seeking-visitor, some no doubt much more pugnacious than others, challenging them on the non-CC issue, when the church could simply continue on, off the list. Especially when there could be fellowship and church growth to just formerly align with some other group that he now is likeminded with.

    I see why your Lutheran and Orthodox pastors/priests would have an issue. But I am not sure you understand the idea of the independent local church. Unlike Mars Hill, the property, leases or whatever are not connected to some central CC church. There would be nothing to “lose” in simply taking the existing church, assuming the people are in agreement and want to stick around, and continuing to be independent, just off the list.

  142. “Why did they want to become MH pastors or leaders in the shadow of MD.”

    Well, Bob, it varied from person to person. If memory serves Driscoll recruited Meyer and Petry to be elders. Some felt called to be pastors. Not being particularly interested in assuming the worst about motives for people who go into ministry I’ve tended to look more at what the sales pitch was. Driscoll was selling legacy and early on he successfully sold this as a vision of a collaborative effort. Maybe even he really believed it was early on. Some time after he started recycling his sermon ideas into books the narrative began to change in subtle and not-so-subtle ways.

    Most of those guys would probably have wanted to say they’d be the exceptions in the Milgram experiment. None of us were in a place where outright questioning the legitimacy of Driscoll’s calling was on the table because of a combination of the halo effect and the sunk-cost investment. There were guys who gave up their full-time employed jobs because Driscoll more or less recruited them. Some nominated themselves but some were recruited.

    As long as people didn’t want a legacy that involved being in ministry at MH they’d be immune to the allure of the recruitment process.

  143. Jean, why would you think it was dividing to state what you do?
    If I state that we have a congregational style of government and we read from the lectionary, baptize babies and believe that the true body and blood of the Lord Jesus Christ is in the Supper … where have we divided?

  144. Steve,
    I think the conversation has gone astray. The original points dealt with the east / west divide.(#129) Are the distinctives enforceable. I brought you up in the conversation with the intent to show that you did not need to look over your shoulder because BB has taken the more liberal position that the didtinctives are suggestions and not only not enforceable but that he does not have the stomach to enforce them.

    The folks back east seem to have a different opinion.

  145. MLD,

    Your asking me to retread this well worn ground with you.

    Here is the upshot of your “distinctives”, straight from your denominational website:

    “Drawn from God’s Word, the Lutheran Confessions are a true and binding exposition of Holy Scripture”

    “We hold that there can be only one Truth, and that denominations exist because some Christians have departed from what is faithful to biblical doctrine.”

    Right there you are saying that all the other churches and denominations don’t have the “true” exposition of Holy Scripture – the “truth”. The Confessions cover a multitude of doctrines and practices. So, on any one of them, it’s either all or none. You’re either in or out. Orthodox or heterodox.

    Now in fairness to the LCMS, it’s not alone. The EO and RCC and probably several other Christian groups believe likewise about themselves.

    So, your message communicates not only to yourselves, not only about yourself, but it communicates to other Christians about them. A lot of it is the height of idolatry. And IMO it causes injury to the body of Body of Christ.

  146. MLD – Agreed about the going astray thing. Except Brian has not taken a more liberal approach. The CCA philosophy if ministry (the new ‘Distinctives’ if you so prefer) that is on the website is something Brian is in lockstep with. As am I.

    You might want to watch that short video again, because he says nowhere there (or for that matter at the last SPC) anything close to your summary about some new “liberal position”

    To my knowledge, the Distinctives (old or new) never said anything about Rick Warren. And THAT, far more than anything else, (plus jealousy and coveting of power and assets) is what any sort of schism is really all about.

  147. Good find Jean.

    You know how I say it??

    “Sure there can be only one truth with otherwise mutually exclusive teachings. And sure each church seeks to be faithful to what they see as the truth. But at the end of the day, we won’t know until we all are with Jesus, and so as long as the church down the street holds to the foundations of Christianity in the Person and Work of Jesus Christ, then we are brothers and agree to disagree on our differences”

  148. Example: I have a strong conviction against baptizing babies.

    A) If I find out that the Lord wanted me to baptize babies (when I am one day united with Him), then so be it. His grace is sufficient for any of my unintentional errors.

    B) If I had a belief that I should be baptizing babies, convicted by God it was wrong not to be doing so, but I refused to baptize babies because I might lose my role at Calvary Chapel – then that would be a true sin.

    C) Likewise, if I excluded other churches down the street, as heretics and enemies to Christ, simply because they baptize babies – then that too would be sin.

    I don’t do the last two, and don’t worry about the first.

  149. #150,
    I agree and would push for one more thing at the end of your sentence: “and will work together where we can to bring shalom to our communities.”

  150. Jean, so you will not state your position on anything because you might hurt feelings?

    I know that you have had your nose in the Lutheran confessions long enough to know that they take pages to explain the differences. In fact in many places the confessions are laid out
    1.) Here is the discussion / argument / debate
    2.) This is what we teach
    3.) This is what they teach

    We all do it.

    Steve, I am sure that if someone from your church brought their 6 week old baby to you and asked you to baptize that child unto salvation, that you would do just like I would (in reverse) and you would tell her why it was (1) wrong or (2) why there was a wrong understanding and then you would refuse to do so.

  151. Of course I would. I teach and practice my convictions. I have reasons for what I do and believe. Just like you guys do.

    I just don’t conclude with that part Jean cited that implies difference of interpretation to be akin to apostasy.

  152. It’s funny I was typing my statement about baptism as Steve was typing his.

    But no matter what they say, re baptizers think infant baptism is wrong and say so when they advise you to re baptize.

  153. “We hold that there can be only one Truth, and that denominations exist because some Christians have departed from what is faithful to biblical doctrine.”<<<

    If that's what the Lutherans say, I agree with them. Of course, I do not think the Lutherans 100 percent have the whole truth, but I agree with the statement.

  154. MLD – try to keep up. 🙂

    You think not baptizing babies is harmful. You say it here all the time.

    I think baptizing them is mostly meaningless, but can also be harmful depending on the false impression it leaves them, through their parents, as they age.

    Now, only one of us is right before Jesus Christ. We both think we are right, but we both can’t be right.

    The difference is you guys say I have departed from faithfulness to Scripture. I don’t say that about you. I just say you are wrong in your interpretation without some crack about the Scripture. And of course I also say you are still right on Jesus (unlike JWs or Mormons for example)..

    And by ‘you guys” I don’t mean some random pastors (like you could then accuse some random evangelical guys of nasty things with anecdotal comments) – but I mean your entire denomination, as Jean rightfully cited. It is your official stance…

    (no matter how many pages it takes you to justify it 😉 )

  155. Steve answered for me. I would add that Steve and I have beliefs, but don’t hold all beliefs with the same conviction. Something like the bodily resurrection of Jesus would be an absolute conviction, but not every belief is held at that level of certainty. And we hold our beliefs on some issues, like Paul did, with a measure of humility.

  156. The difference is you guys say I have departed from faithfulness to Scripture.<<<

    I would say you have departed from faithfulness to the Apostolic Tradition.

  157. Steve – that’s my point (don’t take it personal). We don’t have a problem saying other positions are wrong. As I stated, if you look at our confession we go into great detail why we hold to what we hold to and the reasons the other positions are deemed wrong.

    I don’t know a group that does not do that … ours just happens to be in a 600 page book.

    If some of you took the time to read the Smallcald Articles, they were written to tell the RCC what are the non negotiables Lutherans held as to what the RCC taught or wanted the Lutherans to teach.

    Why the big deal about stating what you believe? As to saying that someione isdeparting from faithfulness to scriptures – well that’s the only thing we hold people accountable to. So if they are off, it’s not about some other source.

  158. I would say you have departed from faithfulness to the Apostolic Tradition.
    ————————————————————-
    Fine by me. As to the era of the apostles, given the problems from day one of the church, and the rebukes from Jesus found in Revelation, that has never concerned me. What the Scriptures teach is what concerns me.

    Throw in the “tradition” word – and the teachings of Jesus found in the Gospels, I can almost wear the charge as a badge of honor.

    But as Jean said, there is something also about humility in many of our beliefs, which I think is best shown in not being wishy washy or indecisive, but in joining with others as brothers and sisters.

  159. I don’t have a problem saying you are wrong either, MLD. 🙂

    I would not say though that you have departed from faithfulness to Scripture though. Just that you are wrong. Why would those two very different statements seem equal to you.

    A lot of my CC brothers (I think) are wrong on some interpretations too. Should I say they have departed from faithfulness to Scripture??

    You either see the arrogance, or you don’t.

  160. At the risk of being charged with some blogging sin like last night….duty calls and I have to depart now.

  161. Steve, Go study for tonight.

  162. “I know that you have had your nose in the Lutheran confessions”

    That’s because they’re an excellent depository and exposition of many important Christian doctrines. I cheerfully commend them.

  163. I have some questions about the authority and sufficiency of scripture but those discussions almost always go straight downhill really fast so I thought I would do it this way. If it is ok to engage in that I will post a long post with scriptural ref and my thoughts. Thanks brian

  164. brian,

    It’s ok (according to some) if in doing so, you make a long rant, call out people, be passive aggressive, and the say something towards the end like ‘I am going to say this and go’.

    I think they call it gaslighting, which is probably a sin.

    ‘if’ you return, throw in a ‘how dare you’, and act above it all.

  165. MLD,

    Steve did not answer my questions nor did I in the question.

    I do believe, if I understand you and Xenia correctly, that counting on integrity to convictions will lead to some deciding to stay against their agreement to advance their new found beliefs (convictions).

    Isn’t that how the liberal’s advanced, woman ordination, gay marriage etc. into their denominations?

    It’s funny when someones livelihood depends on seeing clearly even the obvious gets skewed.

  166. @ 168

    “It’s funny when someones livelihood depends on seeing clearly even the obvious gets skewed.”

    I did not mean “it’s funny” like laughable, but common, and not good.

    If your integrity is good, then writing whatever you agree to down, signing it, and being accountable to your agreement should not be a problem, you are going to do it anyway, right?

  167. Q I dont want to call anyone out let me clarify as its no big secret, I hold to the validity of the Theory of Evolution and the evidence that supports the concept of of common descent and that was achieved via genetic drift, mutation, and natural selection. A big bang cosmology as held by M theory but this is not as definite as is evolution. How life first arose on Earth is not truly known. I agree these concepts are an antithesis to consistent revelation of Scripture as understood by the historic church. My views are not historic in the Christian tradition.

    My focus question will be on medical intervention as compared to how the Bible deals with illness, the causes of illness and remedies to illness. I am not a deep thinker, I am not a scientist, I am not a theologian, I dont want to win, I do not want gotcha moments, I dont want people to leave the faith based on what I write and so on. If it caused even one person to stumble I would / will stop. I will need a day to formulate the questions in a format that may be discussed. I am also willing to just discuss this via email or IM. I just want some answers. Thanks brian

  168. brian,

    I kind of get the idea that you have had these discussions and are having trouble with the answers that have been provided.

    You may have been told that some believe, according to the bible, we live in a world that is fallen, this and other biblical answers probably would not fit some of your theories.

    If ill, it would be good to pray, seek the best medical care available to you, and if you know any real elders ask for prayer.

    Your questions would not likely cause me to stumble, but maybe others, and I may not have the answers you need, but I am willing to help if I can.

    Have you consulted the pastors on this sight for answers? They seem to be the professionals.

  169. brian,

    Please excuse my misspelling, I should proof read before a press post comment. Thx Q

  170. “Have you consulted the pastors on this sight for answers?”

    Because said discussion would require more than say five seconds no I have not consulted with pastors, that is aptuse and I am not a revenue generating scheme I should be repudiated. I get that. My basic point is the bible does not even contain a rudimentary concept of Germ theory it just does not. So billions suffered and dare I say billions died before we ever, as a species acquired understanding to the spread of pathogens. God, in His holy word could not even confirm the value of washing someone’s hands to avoid the spread of disease.

    From my experience if God kills everyone of us, we have it coming, if He kills our kids, our great great great grandchildren in His holy Wrath then we come close to how much God hates the vast majority of humanity. Basically and this is emotional thus on the level of worshiping satan I feel and I hope, two ideas I repudiate a true follower of the Lord Jesus never does that, I e hope that is. I get the idea God wants to kill me, personally and with great hope. Taking me out is really a hope.

    I dont get it, I just want to make some type of agreement with housing consortiums to help people find affordable housing.

  171. Q my eyes went into park about 5 hours ago this is on audio, it sort of happens well most of the time, one reason I dont drive much any more. Please forgive the emotionalism, I hope to try to be a bit more logical on thursday. Have a nice day.

  172. “I agree these concepts are an antithesis to consistent revelation of Scripture as understood by the historic church. My views are not historic in the Christian tradition.”

    Brian,
    I don’t think we can say that there has been a consistent historic Christian tradition regarding the creation stories in Genesis 1-2 or death before the fall. BioLogos includes a couple articles on the views of several pre-Darwin church fathers and theologians. Without having independently verified the citations and interpretations of these sources, it appears that post-Darwin much of the church evolved a more literal reading of the Bible as a defense against the claims of science and the Enlightenment in general.

  173. Jean. Jesus was pretty consistent with his historic interpretation of the Creation Accounts. In fact he is the only one who can give a scientifically oriented stamp of approval since He was there as the one who planned the event, controlled the experiment and observed the results. Oh yeah, he supplied the raw material for the experiment too.

    All other ideas of interpretation were proposed by men who either neglected this assumed and authoritative account or marginalized His perspective.

  174. Victorious,
    I was referring to the Church’s historic interpretation, not Jesus’. What specific interpretation by Jesus are you referring to?

  175. Jean

    I challenge you to compare the Genesis account of creation with the historic Egyptian account and I think many will be amazed. We often forget Moses brought a large mixed group of people who had spent all their lives living in an Egyptian controlled culture. At the time there was no written Torah, only the influence of their Egyptian hosts and their views on creation.

    Also interesting is the fact the Genesis account continues to hold up as a spiritual explanation of creation in light of all the historical and scientific discoveries over the millenniums. If your debate and separation is ends with the age of the earth then I think we as Christians are really shallow people.

    When people ask what I believe about creation it gets really simple, “and God said…” I believe that fully!

  176. Bob,

    You don’t have to challenge me, because I agree with you that in Genesis 1-12 there are many points of contact between the Hebrew story and other ANE accounts, including the Egyptian account.

    I also agree with you that it would be shallow if the only thing one gets out of Genesis 1-2 is the age of the Earth. Picking up on your first paragraph, I don’t see in any of the ANE creation accounts a debate or polemic between ancient peoples over the age of the Earth.

  177. brian,

    I’ve never told you that you couldn’t ask questions here.
    I have allowed you to say whatever was on your mind for many, many years.
    To posit that we wouldn’t answer your questions because there is no financial payoff is not only really hurtful and insulting after all these years, it’s a lie.
    I know most of the pastors who post here.
    None of us are even in the neighborhood of being wealthy.
    None of us here are in the ministry for profit.
    The god you are always speaking of is not the God I teach about or worship.
    I understand the hurt, but at this point throwing all of us into the same bag and tossing us in the dump is getting more than a little old.
    The Bible isn’t a science book…it’s a book about God and it’s a book about faith.
    It doesn’t address germ theory, fantasy football, or carberators.
    It isn’t about how many people God wants to kill, but how He is saving as many as possible.
    It promises suffering in this life.
    Guarentees it.
    God doesn’t explain the suffering, he comes and suffers and dies with us and for us.
    The only “answer” is the Cross.
    In my darkness and ignorance, that is enough for me.
    The irony here is that I believe that God is is carrying out His great plan of redemption and re-creation right now…and you are an active agent of it.
    Post your questions…most of them will not have sufficient answers as both scientists and theologians grapple endlessly with them
    Understand that even the paid clergy that post here have a lot on their plates and things called families that preclude being online on demand.
    We’ll do the best we can…but I expect you to be fair as well.

  178. Michael,

    Steve Wright said that he and guys like him and fyi are only willing to engage a little, and you are limiting yourself with social media, so brian may have a point, even so, there are probably better sites to discuss evolution and m theory, I personally have not been very interested in m theory so would not be very helpful.

    One thing for certain is both young earth and old earth proponents can’t both be correct. I personally believe in a young earth and a global flood. I also believe the bible is authoritative on the subjects in which it speaks, and it does appear to speak some on the age of the earth.

    Does any one think at judgement, the question will be on the above mentioned topics, or did you repent and put your faith completely in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, for the forgiveness of your sins.

  179. I’m going to take post #180 and copy it, print it out, laminate it, then set it on my desk.

  180. I think the bible is very clear as to the age of the earth … In the beginning.

  181. Q,

    I think Christians can believe that God used evolution to created the world. I don’t personally believe this, but as long as God is directing things, I suppose theistic evolution is not damning.

    But when it comes to humanity, a Christian must believe that God created Man in a special way, in His image, and that Mankind did not descend from humanoids. There has to be a real Adam and Eve that God created out of the dust of the ground and placed in Eden. Otherwise, redemption history doesn’t make any sense. How could Christ be the Second Adam if there was no First Adam? If there was no Eve, who ate the forbidden fruit? If it’s all allegory, when exactly did sin enter the world and if sin has now become an ambiguous concept, why do we evolved animals, who are just acting on our instincts, even need a Savior?

    When people begin to deny the first chapters of Genesis and maybe come to the place where they think Adam and Eve were allegorical, no more real than, say, the Navajo creation story, the next step is to begin questioning the entire Christian narrative . Everything is up for grabs. The Serpent is still hissing into itchy ears “Did God really say?”

    So… I guess I am saying I agree with you that The Question at the Pearly Gates will not be “do you believe in theistic evolution or are you a Young Earther” but we may be asked “Who do you say I am?”

  182. Xenia has hit the sweet spot.
    The loss of the story of Adam is a loss of any theology of sin and thus the redemption story is pointless.
    Conservative theologians waste a lot of time arguing over the age of the earth when what’s really at stake is an understanding of sin and spiritual anthropology.

  183. “When people begin to deny the first chapters of Genesis and maybe come to the place where they think Adam and Eve were allegorical, no more real than, say, the Navajo creation story, the next step is to begin questioning the entire Christian narrative . Everything is up for grabs. The Serpent is still hissing into itchy ears ‘Did God really say?’”

    A few thoughts:

    (1) My original comment on this topic at #175, was that varying interpretations of Genesis 1-2 have existed from well before Darwin, and by well known theologians. So, wrestling with the meaning of Genesis 1-2 is nothing new.

    (2) Using the term “deny” is not helpful to the discussion. Deny what? Although interpretations vary, there are various interpretations given by scholars, none of which deny the first chapters of Genesis.

    (3) If our interpretive lens is asking the text to answer the questions we are asking, we run the risk of missing the answers God is actually giving us through the text. Therefore, while a simple, literal (in our 21st century sense) reading of the text may satisfy some, others may choose to dig a little deeper. I understand this is unsettling to some, but when you consider that Genesis may have been written around $3,500 years ago, it’s unlikely that at face value we can apprehend all of the imagery, idioms, and literary conventions in use at that time.

  184. others may choose to dig a little deeper. <<<

    I find comments like this to be very condescending. What you are saying is that if I were a deeper thinker and not so shallow I would accept modern "unsettling" ideas about Scripture.

    So be it.

    Just sign me
    Shallow Xenia

  185. “I challenge you to compare the Genesis account of creation with the historic Egyptian account and I think many will be amazed. We often forget Moses brought a large mixed group of people who had spent all their lives living in an Egyptian controlled culture. At the time there was no written Torah, only the influence of their Egyptian hosts and their views on creation.”

    The Torah, or Jewish Written Law, consists of the five books of the Hebrew Bible – known more commonly to non-Jews as the “Old Testament” – that were given by G-d to Moses on Mount Sinai and include within them all of the biblical laws of Judaism. The Torah is also known as the Chumash, Pentateuch or Five Books of Moses.

    True, those that came out of Egypt with Moses brought with them the culture of Egypt. However, God gave Moses the Torah and the Ten Commandments to adopt and to integrate into their lives something quite different than what they had become accustomed and in bondage towards. For those that held on to these things, they were destroyed.
    As for the creation account being found in Egyptian history, I would be surprise not to find this, due to the oral tradition of passing on the history of the Jewish people through Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and their descendants. For a very long time, prior to the Jews (Hebrews) being taken as slaves by the Pharaohs, it was through Joseph that these were permitted to live in the land of Egypt. Thus, they would have an influence as well upon the Egyptians also.

    As for keeping them in the desert and causing everyone to die off except for those under a certain age, 40 years is a long, long time to get rid of those cultural beliefs that did not align up with what God wanted them to know and to believe. Not all had forgotten those things passed onto them by their forefathers, prior to being taken into bondage. If they had, then it would be unlikely there would have been even one person who believed that God is one. But they did remember and they did look towards the covenant made to their forefathers, and they clung onto this, in faith even while being in bondage to a pagan authority.

    What more, think about King Solomon and the Queen of Egypt, Sheba taking back a faith that she had adopted to her country. Also, those who converted to the faith, as reported in Acts 8:27. What more in 70 AD Jews and Christian Jews, alike left Jerusalem and the land of Israel (Canaan) and traveled in all directions, some settling in Egypt. David F. Kessler authored the book. The Falashas: A short History of the Ethiopian Jews. All saying that what was quoted does not prove that creation was derived from Egyptians as a result of being under their influence during the time of bondage and slavery.

    I think in terms of culture having an affect upon how another comes to believe about various things does indeed take place, however, I think that when it comes to those things pertaining to God, his universe, including the created account is greatly minimized and thus greatly discredited when in truth, we sorely God is quite capable and historically have given evidence to be able to sustain His people, while bringing to their mind and hearts, whence they have come, who by, and how it all came about, and what is and what is not of Him.

  186. Adam is as essential for coherence in this story as Jesus…
    Our defense is not of some particular view of literalism … our defense is covenantal family history… Jesus is the the son of David the son of Abraham the son of Adam and that linkage is the story… that IS HIStory…

  187. What I did when I became a Christian was to dig deeper….into evolutionary teachings. Having been taught (indoctrinated) my whole life in education, public elementary, private college prep school, then undergraduate degree at the university level.

    I was stunned how bankrupt the idea really is. Once you stop looking at higher primates and say “Hey, that gorilla looks a little human and acts pretty intelligent”

    We laugh at how naive many of the pagan concepts of the “gods” happen to be…but the biggest laugh of all is expecting evolutionary theory to explain the existence, complexity and variety of life in only 4.54 billion years. Sure sounds like a lot of time, but it is just a blip.

    But we teach kids that a million monkeys typing on a million typewriters for a million years would one day result in one monkey writing Hamlet. (i.e. anything is possibly through random chance if you have enough time)

    Except the laws of mathematics and compound probability prove that none of those monkeys would even successfully complete a comprehensive sentence. And Hamlet is far simpler than the (ahem) “simple cell”

    What I do recognize is that humanity still does not have a complete grip on what exactly “time” happens to be – especially relative to outer space. Since mass, acceleration, and gravity all affect time in absolute terms, I rest that our scientists are far more likely to not fully understand what they are studying, rather than the Christian community is incapable to understand what God wanted communicated through the pen of the guy who wrote four other books (plus a Psalm) that are all self-evident and read pretty clearly.

  188. correction: last paragraph, line 4

    “we sorely need to be reminded that God . . . “

  189. Xenia,

    I’m sorry you took offense and for my poor choice of words. You are the furthest thing from shallow.

    For some strange reason, God in his infinite wisdom gave us a very unsettling book. The Bible unsettles us by showing us the depths of our depravity. It unsettles us by not directly answering some of our deepest questions. It unsettles us by sometimes answering in parables and apocalyptic. It unsettles us by communicating through a variety of human authors in all sorts of genres: historical narrative, poetry, wisdom, apocalyptic, etc., not always making it clear as the text moves from one genre to the next. It unsettles us in the way that God is sometimes portrayed anthropomorphic terms, as though he has mood swings.

    I think the combination of the Protestant reformation and the Enlightenment have lead many parts of the church to ask more of the Bible than what it originally was meant to provide. Here is an example:

    “if I delay, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of the truth.” (1 T. 3 :15)

    In the apostolic era, it was the church, not the Bible (which didn’t exist), that intermediated God’s truth. Now, in this era, for some, it is solely the Bible. For many, in this era, it is each man’s/woman’s individual interpretation of the Bible that constitutes the truth.

    Where this will lead, I don’t know.

  190. Jean, I accept your apology and apologize myself for being so snippy.

    I’ll be away from the computer for the afternoon and I look forward to reading “where this will lead” when I get home.

    All the best,
    Xenia

  191. The most unsettling thing about the Bible is the declaration of a holy God who is both active in this life, and Judge after this life.

    That’s the reality the majority of evolutionists seek to avoid.

    But there is nothing new under the sun. There is a reason that deism is not very much en vogue today, as it was pre-Darwin. It no longer is needed.

  192. Jean,

    You have just articulated the first steps to pursuing an apostolic faith… what Christianity ought to do is accept that our quest for an inerrant authority has proven illusive

  193. I knew the minute I responded to Brian’s email, because the issue of Gen 1-2 is a litmus test among evangelicals, that the condemnation would be quick and severe. That’s fine; it’s nothing new.

    For anyone who actually is exploring these issues, I would encourage you to Google the Martin Luther Bible. What some may not be aware of is that Luther was a decent artist who provided pictures in his Bible. There is a picture opposite of the beginning of Genesis 1 which accurately depicts the cosmology of Genesis 1-2 from the perspective of a literal reading. See if the literal reading stands up to what we now know to be true.

    As an aside, I am not taking a shot at Luther; his understanding of cosmology, astronomy and geography was consistent with a medieval understanding.

  194. Michael, I’ve got a comment stuck in moderation.

  195. Jean,

    I’m searching for the quick and severe condemnation you reference and I simply don’t see it.
    I see the beginning of a discussion and I see you are deciding what people believe before that conversation is fully engaged.
    Hyperbole leads to chaos on blogs, especially when dealing with biblical debates.
    It’s not helpful.
    For myself, I agree with Dr. Packer and others that the framework hypotheses best explains what we can glean from the creation account in Genesis.
    I’m also convinced that I could be wrong.
    I do agree with BD and Xenia on one point…Adam is as crucial to the biblical redemption narrative as Christ.

  196. “You have just articulated the first steps to pursuing an apostolic faith… what Christianity ought to do is accept that our quest for an inerrant authority has proven illusive”

    So, just maybe we have to live on faith, and ask some of the same hard questions as Job, the Psalmists, Jesus on the cross, and Paul who at the end of R. Ch. 11 wrote:

    “Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!”

    …and perhaps never receive the answers we demand.

  197. Also, I believe the illustrations in Luthers bible were by Martin Cranach .

  198. My conclusions against evolution are directly related to mathematics (time), mutations, and fossils. A purely scientific objection based on what we today know of all three.

    Thus, I have no problem resting in the Genesis narrative, as written.

    If one expresses their personal journey and the conclusions derived from that journey, it does not equate to condemnation of another……

  199. Michael,

    So far here is the feedback I’ve received on this topic, where, by the way, I haven’t even stated my view on Genesis:

    Out of step with Jesus,
    Denying Genesis,
    Evolutionary teaching is bankrupt; the creation account is self-evident and read pretty clearly if one isn’t indoctrinated by the educational system,
    a deist.

    So, actually, I think that I have tried to approach this topic with some objectivity and except for a bad choice of words which Xenia rightly called me out on, I think the feedback has been less productive than my comments.

    You have rightly called attention to certain church attitudes that cast a bad light on the gospel in the realms that interest you. However, unless and until the church gets it’s arms around the intersection of faith and science and learns how to teach and communicate that intersection, I believe that this issues presents an artificial stumbling block to the faith of many and to the gospel, which is also serious.

  200. Jean, If you do not think children are indoctrinated into evolutionary thinking, watch some kids shows. I remember a PBS show called ‘Arthur’ (that is still on) where after the cartoon part a real child comes on with some skill and shares – and one girl was on the jungle gym, swinging from her legs and she tells my son who is watching “I am really good at this because I used to be a monkey – and gives a quick evolutionary nugget to what is a pre-K show.

    I already mentioned the typewriter example. That is just flat out, mathematically wrong, but was used in my education. And I also still distinctly remember in 7th grade life science class, (because I felt bad for the kid and had the same question myself) when the teacher began to discuss evolution, a kid asked “What about Adam and Eve” and rather than saying something with respect about this being a science class and not a theology discussion he said with a condescending smirk “We are not going to entertain fairy tales”

    As for my deist claim – am I wrong? Deism was huge before evolution came on the scene, and has mostly disappeared in its wake. Its not needed as a fallback to unbelief in a personal, active God, because deism just needed a creator and evolution says we don’t even need that.

    As to being bankrupt – I’ll own that as personal opinion, but as I said, opinion rooted in study of the actual theory, reading how guys like Gould had to alter the theory because Darwin was so colossally wrong.

    And as far as Brian in concerned, he and I have had this discussion many times over the years. I even pointed him to a message, which he said he listened to, where I spoke on it at church. He may not agree with my conclusions, but he has been engaged many times in the past on this topic.

  201. “deism just needed a creator and evolution says we don’t even need that.”

    Steve,

    Only atheistic evolutionists believe evolution doesn’t need a creator. There is a category of evolutionary creationists who believe in teleological evolution. These same evolutionary creationists believe in the Genesis 1-2, but they don’t interpret those chapters as a scientific explanation of creation. I understand that is not your belief, but at the same time not all evolutionists should be lumped in the atheist basket.

  202. Xenia,

    I agree with your #184, well said.

    I do not believe that believing in theistic evolution will get someone condemned, perfect doctrine is not required, although we should strive to get understanding, but it seems those who hold it would at some point realize they are blending ideas that don’t work well together.

  203. Steve Wright @201.

    Agreed.

  204. Jean,

    You’re right…the intersection of faith and science isn’t very compelling to me.
    I never have and still do not believe that they are incompatible.
    Rationalism can never explain God and His ways…to expect it to is unwise and unprofitable.

  205. I wonder at times why Christians question the first several chapters of Genesis and say “look what science says” or “it must be allegory” – whatever it is, it’s always “let’s be reasonable and bend to science.

    But the virgin birth and the resurrection from the dead are just as fantastic or fanciful claims and get accepted out of hand.

    Just believe the Bible – it’s not that hard

  206. MLD,

    “because what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world his invisible attributes—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, because they are understood through what has been made.” (R. 1 :19-20a)

    I agree with you. And Scripture teaches me that I can learn things about God through His creation. Since modern science has revealed that the Earth is not flat, that there is no dome covering the Earth to separate the waters above from the waters below, nor that the sun circles the Earth, I might like to read and believe Genesis and other parts of the Bible which reflect ancient and outdated science in a non-scientific way, which doesn’t conflict with the creation that God has made plain to me through the things He has made.

    For any of you who remember the TV series, Star Trek, Star Fleet had a “prime directive”: They were not to interfere in the development of aliens civilizations with whom they made contact. Think of that principle here. God did not reveal modern science (or for that matter future science we haven’t even discovered yet) to the Hebrews living 3,500 years ago. God taught them (and by extension us) what we need to know about Him through the common understandings and science possessed by those people. The ancient Hebrew science was the same science as their surrounding neighbors. It was their belief in God, who was in charge, who was responsible for creation, what He wanted for humanity, etc., which was (and is) at stake for God’s people all throughout history.

  207. Jean, you may just want to check the bible closer – it never claims the earth is flat. The dome covering the earth to separate the waters etc was before the flood (so nothing to check out today) and people may have believed that the sun circled the earth, but I don’t think the bible makes such a claim.

    Now, I said last week that I believer absolutely everything science has proven … 100% with no doubts. What I question at times is what the practitioners of the philosophy of science do with that material.Now those guys come up with some crazy stuff.

  208. Jean:

    You sure lit a fire here.

    You said: ” I don’t see in any of the ANE creation accounts a debate or polemic between ancient peoples over the age of the Earth.”

    The reason is they didn’t care. Quite frankly I don’t care either; if it’s young the so be it and if it’s old so be that. To me neither of the ideas invalidates scripture and both its authenticity and holiness. As I have studied the scriptures in great detail over the years I see influence of local myths, external documents, and experiential doctrines. Do these invalidate God’s words contained in the text? No!

    What I do object to is when many say if you don’t believe in this or that doctrine then your relationship with the God of creation is in question. An I find such ideas in all denominations and sudo denominations.

    BTW evolution is not a viable means in my view of creation. Those who believe such have to return to a point where it all began and quite frankly it would take a miracle of God for inorganic matter to come together and form even the simplest forms of life, let alone random chance.

  209. I say that sex disproves evolution. One of man’s greatest needs is to throw our seed into the next generation. When I was a one cell being 5 billion years ago everything was perfect. I could make an exact duplicate of me just by dividing my one cell … poof another me – and then poof another another me. Pretty soon, there are a billion little me around – life was good..

    Evolution comes about by the need to improve the species – how can you improve on the perfect splitting of my cell. Now, evolution has developed where now I need to go find someone to mix and dilute my seed and what do I get? only half of me.

    Case dismissed – evolution is false.

  210. Okay, MLD, I checked my Bible closer and just for you, here is what’s in it:

    Post Flood:

    “The fountains of the deep and the windows of the heavens were closed, the rain from the heavens was restrained, and the waters receded from the earth continually.” (G 8 :2-3) [dome windows closed up]

    “Can you, like him, spread out the skies, hard as a cast metal mirror?” (Jo 37 :18) [Sounds like a solid dome]

    The Earth has a Foundation:

    “For the pillars of the earth are the Lord’s, And He set the world on them” (1 Sa 2: 8b). [Would a sphere be placed on pillars?]

    “‘Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding, Who set its measurements? Since you know. Or who stretched the line on it? ‘On what were its bases sunk? Or who laid its cornerstone,'” (Jo 38 :4-6).

    “‘The earth and all who dwell in it melt; It is I who have firmly set its pillars'” (Ps 75 :3).

    The Earth has an End:

    “You whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, And called from its remotest parts And said to you, ‘You are My servant, I have chosen you and not rejected you.'” (Is 41 :9) [Does a sphere have ends?]

    “‘The tree grew large and became strong And its height reached to the sky, And it was visible to the end of the whole earth'” (Da 4 :11). [Can you see around a sphere?]

    “The Queen of the South will rise up with this generation at the judgment and will condemn it, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and behold, something greater than Solomon is here” (Ma 12 :42). [Most if not all scholars believe the “Queen” referred to here is the queen of Sheba and place Sheba in Southwest Arabia or possibly modern Yeman. Are either of those locations the “ends of the earth”?]

    The Sun Moves:

    “Then Joshua spoke to the Lord in the day when the Lord delivered up the Amorites before the sons of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, ‘O sun, stand still at Gibeon, And O moon in the valley of Aijalon.’ So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, Until the nation avenged themselves of their enemies. Is it not written in the book of Jashar? And the sun stopped in the middle of the sky and did not hasten to go down for about a whole day”.

    “Also, the sun rises and the sun sets; And hastening to its place it rises there again” (Ec 1 :5).

    “Its rising is from one end of the heavens, And its circuit to the other end of them; And there is nothing hidden from its heat” (Ps 19 :6).

    The Hebrew science of that time was just like their neighbors.

  211. It’s sad but funny… for most of church history people could recognize metaphors for what they were.
    We’re too damn smart to do that these days.
    I’m out for the weekend.

  212. Bob, we share a lot in common on the topic based on what you wrote in 211.

    Personally speaking, I think it’s humorous whenever I hear a Christian say they believe in a literal interpretation of every word of the Bible or the Bible is inerrant in every statement made. I wonder if their faith is in the bible instead of in the Trinity. So, I tend to push back against Biblicism.

  213. The Moses Model will never go away as long as there is only one appointed leader (Moses) per affiliation who claims chief among equals.

  214. One last word.
    In all my years I’ve never heard someone say they believe every word of the Bible “literally”.
    That’s a cheap trick to make people who believe in the authority of Scripture appear to be idiots.
    I simply won’t put up with that sort of nonsense…
    Now, I’m gone.

  215. Jean,
    “The Hebrew science of that time was just like their neighbors.”

    Really, you have never heard used or used it yourself that someone had “searched the 4 corners of the earth?”
    How about the Iowa newspapers where farmers count on very accurate scientific information to be reported – give a look and tell us what time the sun will rise and the sun will set.

    Do you really think that the OT folks were that ignorant?

    I had someone tell me the other day that “heaven smiled down on us.” Does heaven have a mouth to smile?

  216. My line of inquiry is out of line on the blog, so out of deference to the moderator, I am going to bow out of this discussion.

  217. Wow. Cut and paste posts like 213 were pretty common several months ago around here, but I am frankly shocked that Jean is going down that road.

    So I’m out too. But for the record, Jean. I never said all evolutionists are atheists (your 204). I never said that there aren’t Christians who also believe in theistic evolution. When you make such claims, it is unfortunate. .

    I said that deism, (and yes, in which there is no salvation), is basically a forgotten faith today. Because there is no need for a creator with evolution. And that is all deism really was – practical atheism with a means to explain the existence of matter and life. No need to add words and beliefs to me that I do not hold or speak.

  218. Sorry I did not respond earlier first michael I was referring to real world local experiences and most blogs I dont include this one, Wartburg watch, Alex’s blog and Spiritual sounding board. Sorry about that. I will try to be for specific I generalize way to much. I got hurt rather badly at work so I am having trouble with my hands. Will respond to the other questions tonight. Thanks

  219. it will take a bit longer than I thought so if it is ok I thought I would just post something happy for once.

    http://www.godvine.com/This-Man-Asked-For-A-Divorce-But-He-Got-This-fb-gv–6273.html

  220. I started this so it is unfair even dishonest for me to leave this to Jean. Steve you may not believe this but I think you are a good pastor and a kind man, it is just how I feel about it. My point is evolution presents a real alternative to the Gen account and that it has robust evidence from a variety of disciplines that support the validity of the theory of Evolution. I do know that the evidence offered by answers in genesis is lacking and could go line by line if wished but it would be the battle of the links. My point is this, I struggle with it, I actually want you folks to be right, but I cant honestly say I see it that way. That is not my point. When I first started in the state facility I was thrust into a paranormal world of Agnews Developmental Center, it was a city within a city. It really was a time that has been passed. I saw things, issues people struggled with, I cant post many exact issues do to confidentiality but be it said, it struck me deep in my faith. I saw medical, psychological, behavioral interventions work really well and prayer alone, no offense not so much. Yes this is anecdotal and far worse and anathema it was emotional.

    It lead me to try to understand demonic possession because it was told me they must be possessed if they act the way I observed. I did not get real specific because I did not want to betray any confidence. Usually I am told I am emotional yes it is emotional to me. I dont think the fine folks I tried to help where possessed. I saw such grace among this populations is subtle ways that I am in awe of.

    I dont know what to do with it, I find it confusing. All I ever wanted to do was love Jesus, but I just got so tired trying to do that. I would appreciate your prayer. I am not hard to find but I do use a throw away email because I got such nasty emails my real email is brianinsanjose@gmail.com. I am sorry if I offended anyone but I started this so I am answering the best I can tonight. One of my hands was injured rather severely but worth it. I think this is better carried on via email with some folks. Look I know I come off as a jack blank, and yes I am at times, I exaggerate, use rhetoric and often feel sorry for myself. All I have ever wanted to do was to love Jesus and to serve Him. That is about as basic as I can get.

  221. The creation account in Genesis is not meant to be a science book any more than the theory of evolution should be. Neither really belong in the science text books in my opinion. They belong in the realm of history and who’s interpretation you want to believe. Your personal world view will most likely dictate how you view our origins. From a Christian perspective I don’t see any compatibility with evolution but that’s another subject altogether and I am not here to judge. Bottom line is if believing in evolution is causing you to loose faith than just stop believing in it and start believing in the creation account.

  222. If evolution were ever proven to be true, and not just an extrapolation of the philosophy of science, it would be the death kneel to Christianity no different than finding the bones of Jesus.

    But then some Christians have no problem with the bones of Jesus being found either … “he rose in our hearts.”

  223. Just for the record…I never said the topic was out of line on the blog.
    I never even hinted at such.
    What’s out of line is the mockery and misrepresentation of what the people in the discussion believe.
    I am one of those ignorant and shallow “biblicists”.
    That doesn’t mean I take “every” word of the Bible literally.
    It means that if I’m asking a question that the Bible purports to answer, it is the authority I bow to.
    I understand that the Bible uses multiple genres and literary devices to speak the Word of God.
    I’m sick and tired of people ripping metaphors out of the Scriptures as some sort of proof that
    only ancient peoples and hillbillies could possibly believe it .
    The book is difficult in places and complex…it requires work and wrestling that will not cease until we’re home.
    For me it also the final authority.
    We all choose our authorities.
    For some, their reason and intellect are final.
    I’m neither that smart or reasonable.
    Their is a broad range of views on the creation texts that fall within orthodoxy.
    They are worthy of discussion.
    They can be discussed here if respect is shown.
    Period.

  224. Yes Michael,

    That is well said… designer Jesus is all the rage with his new apostolic voices keeping him relevant.

    But I have heard tons of people overuse the word literal when they describe the bible but then I have a ton of baptists under my bus…

    And finally the evolution thread devolved… alas monkeys win again…

  225. brian,

    Sorry about your hands…it’s tough online to interact with hand injuries.
    To my knowledge there is no one who can stop you from serving and loving Jesus.
    The stumbling block appears to be that you keep asking questions about Jesus that He has yet to answer for us.
    The Genesis account isn’t about science …it’s about a Creator God and the Fall of that creation…and the opening chapter in the story of of redemption and re-creation.
    I believe that there is a being called Satan and that there are demons and that they are active agents of evil.
    I also understand far better than I ever would have wanted to that mental illness is part of the Fall.
    It is not incompatible with reason to acknowledge both.
    We treat mental illness with medication and prayer…medication has no effect on the demonic.
    I would suggest that the sticking point for many isn’t the “bad science ” of the Bible…it’s a rejection of any real doctrine of sin.
    That’s a whole separate issue…and I’m about done for the week.

  226. BD,

    There is a lot of hillbilly theology out there…but it’s rarely espoused on these pages.

  227. Many people rip out clear teachings in the bible and turn them into a metaphors.

  228. brian,

    Sorry about your hand, hope it is getting better.

  229. Q,
    “Many people rip out clear teachings in the bible and turn them into a metaphors.’

    Like “this IS my body … this IS my Blood”???

  230. “But I have heard tons of people overuse the word literal when they describe the bible. . . ”

    I think that what we may understand when a person state that they take the Word as being literal, in actuality, do not mean they don’t understand that there are metaphors, allegories, and various genres included in scripture to enable a person to understand even better.

    My final authority are the Scriptures: literally.

    I think much confusion would be reduced when speaking to a person is to define the word, “literally,” rather than to assume that they actually mean what your definition may mean.

    Psalms 91:4

    He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.

    Perhaps, it would be good to pick up those thrown under the bus. Maybe, not all.

  231. MLD,

    No, that is a clear metaphor.

  232. I have to go…appt.

  233. “He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. “For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink. “He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him.
    _________________________________________________________________

    Jesus did seem to go out of his way to explain his fresh and blood were real. The more I study, it doesn’t seem like a metaphor.

  234. Did Q literally leave or did he metaphorically go to an appointment?

  235. Brian,

    So sorry to hear about you hand. I can only speculate how inconvenient and painful this is for you. Thank you for sharing your heart with us. What I hear is that your heart has been terribly broken and in this many questions continue to rob you of the joy that can be found and known in loving and serving Jesus. What I also am hearing is that in your travailing over these things, that it not so much that you want answers to these questions, but that you are seeking to be lifted up out of the morass that you have or keep falling into. It also appears that you have a lot of anger within you, so these questions serve to feed into that which in turn keeps you from hearing and believing that God loves you more than you currently, or even have known up to this point. I know it is hard at times to wrap your head and your heart around this when the vultures are trying to make a nest in your head and when there may seem to be no one there to walk you through all of this. But He does, Brian. Instead of focusing upon all the negative things that you have seen or experienced, commit yourself to making a list of gratitude, even if those things wasn’t the way you thought they should have turned out—-look for that which did turn out and enable you to be a compassionate, caring, and thoughtful person. As for focusing upon the wicked, consider how God has used it to help you to understand to comfort others, while not taking up with those who are of such a mindset. Then pass this along to those who also needs to be comforted when they too have been treated badly and so unjustly.

    FWIW you are Brian, in my prayers. Pick up the banner of Christ Jesus, and walk in the light of the joy of knowing you are deeply loved by Him.

  236. Q
    It is a metaphor, otherwise we would need to base our salvation and the forgiveness of sins on taking communion.

    He is the way, the truth, and the life. The bread represents the Word (Jesus) and the wine represents His blood, It is by the Word and the Blood that we are by God’s grace able to be saved. Not taking communion, thus crucifying Him over an over and over again. We are to do this in remembrance of what He has done through the Cross and proclaimed to the Father, “it is finished..” Either we are or we are not saved. As far as sin goes depends upon if a person has repented of them.

    But some would believe otherwise. huh, MLD

    Some would say you must be baptized to be saved. Yet scriptures tells us that you must repent and believe. So some never repent, but rely upon their baptism, or never repent but rely on their confession of belief.

  237. It is a metaphor, otherwise we would need to base our salvation and the forgiveness of sins on taking communion
    ______________________________________________________________________
    Huh? Faith in Christ is all you need for salvation. Or do we need to do an alter call, raise our hand or buy a tee shirt or bumper sticker? Baptism and communion are normal for every Christian who has ever lived.

  238. Linda,
    “Some would say you must be baptized to be saved.”

    You mean like the scripture that says “this baptism now saves you”? 😉

  239. btw, Lutherans don’t say that you MUST be baptized to be saved. But that baptism does save.

  240. MLD,

    Are you a literal branch?

  241. Linda I had this long diatribe but decided to do this, I will pray on what you and others have kindly responded to me. Thank You.

  242. Just an aside, yes Steve I have been engaged, and I found it wanting given we live in the 21 century. I am asking for some peered review evidence I know I can offer it up on my side of the isle, I really like you Steve but you really dont get it. .

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