Apr 152013
 

thinking_man_ape_wood_3d_sculpture_thinker_think-480x3251. I was a late arrival at the Brennan Manning party. As I was reminded last night, when asked about him a decade ago I quickly dispatched him as a heretic. I hadn’t actually read him, save for the out of context excerpts provided by those who wanted me to join with them in their joyous condemnation of someone outside their box. To my shame, I did. Being in the box was more important to me than being honest enough to read and think for myself. Never again…

2. Mannings autobiography “All of Grace” should be the standard we hold all other “Christian” biographies to. He told the whole truth about Himself and because he did, we were able to see the whole truth about the God who saved him.

3. If you actually read that book you will understand that Manning is painfully honest about what his “sin” and “licence” cost him…but that would take all the fun out of throwing rocks at his grave.

4. After reading the responses to all of the well publicized deaths in the greater Christian community I can truthfully say that the spiritually sickest people in the church are the ODM’s and their followers.

5. I taught on 1 Cor 13 last night…“And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.”(1 Corinthians 13:2 ESV). So…even if your doctrine is the most correct doctrine since the Ascension, if you don’t practice it in love you are nothing. Nothing.

6. You can’t hide your hard heart behind “I hate what God hates” when you are speaking against someone else in the body of Christ.

7. The minute you write the word “Illuminati” in a post or a comment I know that you’re an idiot. You may well be beloved of God, but you’re still an idiot.

8. Just when I got caught up with “Words With Friends,” along came “Phrases With Friends”. I may need to have my iPhone surgically removed…

9. This story is more than I can handle…

10. The whole church will be healthier when we realize that all of our leaders are as sinful and broken as Brennan Manning admitted he was…and we are too. That’s the first part…the second part is realizing that it’s biblical to love them and each other anyway.

  387 Responses to “Things I Think”

  1. You twist people’s words like Manning twisted God’s Word. Hating WHAT God hates is not the same as saying WHO – you are dishonest.

  2. Jackie,
    You forgot to say “FIRST”!

  3. Jackie,

    Your “whats” always have a name on them, just like the blanket accusation you just launched against Manning.

  4. …hence, illustration of #4.

    very few of us, if we published our personal theology, would stand up to scrutiny. Even fewer of us would have the courage to write an unflinching autobiography. Keeping up appearances can be a full-time job…and hamstrings the gospel at the same time.

  5. God hates dishonesty…Michael is dishonest…God hates Michael. It’s only one additional dot to be connected to add the who to the what, and the inference is usually clear. That kind of mentality is contrary to the gospel and the grace we are called to.

  6. filbert,

    Thank you…as is usual of late, I couldn’t find the words.

  7. As for the story at #9, I have very similar reactions as I can barely read through the stories every time I read them. I’ve probably been more aware of the story than most since it happened in Philly and has been in the local news here and there over the past couple years and so I have had more opportunity to read about it. It is so sickening. And it is quite disturbing that a story like this keeps a relatively low profile compared to some other stories that become big national news.

  8. KevinH,

    That’s why I believe all of us in social media need to bring it to the attention of the people.

  9. Word twisting is usually subjective, in the eye of the beholder, and even if present can often be innocent and unintended.

    Deleting civil criticism to create an echo chamber amongst the fan club speaks for itself.

    At least Michael is not guilty of the latter.

  10. As for Manning, I honestly didn’t know much of the man. However, two things I’ve been able to surmise about him, even before all the recent discussion about him. One, I probably had some significant theological disagreements with the man. Two, the man was real and probably someone who I would admire if I learned more of him.

  11. “The whole church will be healthier when we realize that all of our leaders are as sinful and broken as Brennan Manning admitted he was…and we are too. That’s the first part…the second part is realizing that it’s biblical to love them and each other anyway.”

    Ya, I think if the bible and faith are true, that is probably a correct position. The Transformation Gospel is false, we all keep sinning to various degrees and folks get “transformed” and off of drugs, off of porn, off of other destructive addictions through non-God means all the time…meds, psychology, and good ol’ fashioned self-reform and sowing to a different path. I know a lot of Atheists who are former druggies and live moral healthy lives now and they didn’t require God to do so.

  12. Again accepting the bible as absolute and the standard for all truth:

    If “Love” is the greatest commandment…and it comes into conflict with what are lesser commandments, then one could assume that Love trumps all other truths.

    One could then assume that Love is God’s greatest attribute and that “Love Wins” 🙂 😆

  13. KevinH,

    I read and greatly profit from people I have serious theological disagreements with.
    They might be right…

  14. Steve W said, “Word twisting is usually subjective, in the eye of the beholder, and even if present can often be innocent and unintended.”

    Your interpretation of Scripture is subjective, your defining what is and isn’t Scripture is subjective etc etc. That shoes fits all sects.

  15. Jacky,

    Please don’t take this the wrong way, but how did Manning twist God’s word? I am not familiar with the guy but you just made a blanket statement out there just like Michael said.

    Michael,

    You comment about the ODMs being the sickest people in the world is equally judgmental. Not all ODMs are the same and to make this blanket statement is like saying all blogs are written by the sickest people in the world.

  16. #9 Is it real? Where is the PP,the CC’s and the rest of the Christian community at this time. The lamestream media, I’ve given up on them since Watler Crockite Yes is speled it crock. Where is fox news with O’Reilley,Hannity,Gretchen at.. Why is this not on TV court room cases. I can safely say this doctor is a murderer and on his way to hell… there I said it I made a judgment

  17. Andrew,

    I said the sickest people in the body of Christ.
    The world has some sicker folks.

  18. Steve,
    I think you just read it on the PhxP.
    I confess that I read very little news and watch less, so I’m late to the party.

  19. Michael,

    It is encouraging to see that the abortionist sotry is gaining some exposure through social media. It is a tool that the masses have now that 5-10 years ago was non-existent.

    As for Manning, if I ever find time in my life to get through some of the books that are already on my back-log, I would probably add him on. I’ve never been scared away from his writings, I just haven’t taken the time to read him. If anything, nowadays, I have learned that if the ODM’s start raising a ruckus about any one individual, that’s a sign that the person may be a worthwhile read.

  20. Michael:

    In spite of the people who got “mad” and spewed some interesting things about my “trolling” and looking for a fight, your thread today is right on.

    I have my opinions about both Manning and Bell and after reading both men I find them, “of faith.”

    Thank you so much for your words today.

    Respectfully.

  21. Conservative political blogs have been all over the Gosnell case, including the media’s silence.

    Here is one example. You can see how many stories they have devoted to it…

    http://hotair.com/

  22. I loved All Is Grace. Manning, with all his flaws, had something sorely lacking among many Christians. Humility.

  23. the #9 story is the rule, not the exception. Every death in a clinic is horrific. Now tell me again that me being a single issue voter is a waste …

    The last week has been full of ‘headlines’ about the brokenness of man and very often has been without comment on the graciousness of God. I like that Michael is pointing time and again to God’s great graciousness through the news of suicide, loss and death and I agree with Michael that if we’re holding out for any other standard than God’s graciousness, we are in deep trouble. Also, if we’re not holding out the great grace of God, we are clanging.

  24. “Now tell me again that me being a single issue voter is a waste …”

    Rob, my argument in the past has not been against the sentiment of single-issue voting, it has been against the effectiveness of it. Abortion numbers have not changed, while other issues have also gotten worse. I have only asked that other options be researched as well.

  25. There are people who grow up in families where the only acceptable emotion expressable was anger. No crying, no compassion, no feelings legal but anger. Hatred then becomes a normal, comfortable response for such folks. They then don’t understand why the “weak” other people in the world don’t share their outrage and anger toward everything and everybody. I know of at least one ODM “star” who was horribly molested as a child and lashes out at the “heretics” because anger is the only emotion she has left. I think a psych profile on all the ODM’s would very interesting. Just sayin’.

  26. Your #7 makes your #4 look like hypocrisy and your #5 like you don’t believe anything you teach.

  27. “I can truthfully say that the spiritually sickest people in the church are the ODM’s and their followers.”

    A little Broad Brushing there huh Michael?

  28. “The minute you write the word “Illuminati” in a post or a comment I know that you’re an idiot. You may well be beloved of God, but you’re still an idiot.”

    Maybe the Idiot is the one who dismisses such things without doing their research

  29. Here’s the point…if love is the mark of a Christian…and if love is the chief law…then those who exhibit the most loveless views of the rest of the body of Christ are the least spiritually well of us.
    That’s what I think…

  30. FF,

    Very interesting observation…

  31. Solomon,

    Where do you research the Illuminati… the magic store?

  32. I was driving home from church one day about a year ago. I saw a man laying face down on the side of the road. I had the kids in the car and didn’t really know what to do. I pulled in the closest drive way, locked the doors, and went to check on the man. He was sobbing uncontrollably. He was a mess, his life was a mess, and his whole world had just fallen apart. We prayed and prayed, and I helped him back to his feet, warning him about the dangerous traffic which he was not the least bit afraid of.
    We talked. I told him my name, and how to get in touch with me. He told me his name. I recognized it immediately. It is a name that most everyone on this site would recognize. One of the most infamous ODM’s ever.

    The “ODM’s” are real people with real pain and real struggles. They are doing their best to serve the Lord in their own broken lives. They are not idiots, and are no more spiritiually sick than you or me.

  33. Josh,

    Yes, they are real people with real pain and struggles.
    However, that does not give them a license to cause more pain and unnecessary division in the body of Christ.

  34. “Solomon,

    Where do you research the Illuminati… the magic store?”

    Alternative news sources. Of course there is a lot of fantasy out there but there are real conspiracies going on. A term that many dismiss is “New World order’. I had a friend whose was/is deep into the Ba Hai relgion along with his family who was rooted into that faith a few generations ago. Ba Hai is highly influential in the United nations as they recognize it as the most prominent of Faiths. I believe they may have their own prayer room there. Out of his own mouth he told me that they are helping the United Nations put together the “New World Order”. There is no debate whether or not there is a “New World Order”, the only debate is whether that is a good thing or a bad thing. I tend to believe that it is a very bad thing that will set up the antichrist coming to power.

  35. Michael, last week you wrote a very leading piece about Chuck Smith and Calvary Chapel. No facts were presented, only vague sources and insinuation. Many jumped on that juicy bit of steak, so, unless you are claiming that CC is not a part of the Body of Christ, aren’t you just as culpable for dividing it?

  36. Josh,

    I don’t believe so…I was reporting on and trying to explain the division that’s already there.
    I condemned no one to hell, nor did I cast any doubt on the eternal future of any of the participants.

  37. Well, that is how the world is reading it, Michael. If I only followed the train of thought from that article, I could not in good faith fellowship with Calvary Chapel.
    Division.

  38. Josh,

    The article was about the conflicts between family members for the leadership of the movement. If conflicts in leadership would prohibit you from fellowship, then you need to flee the SBC…

  39. What you do with articles like that is no different than what the ODM’s do. You just think your style is better.

  40. Well, Michael if I believed vague insinuations on a blog about mysterious emails that I had no business reading, I might leave the SBC.

  41. Michael @ 17 “I said the sickest people in the body of Christ.”

    Actually, you said the sickest people in the church. Unfortunately not everyone that attends or goes to church is part of the body of Christ. But I understand your point. Now, if I were to error in slandering a pastor or slandering Jesus, I would much rather error in slandering a pastor. A pastor never died for me. But Jesus did.

    I hate it when someone slanders who Jesus is. Sorry but it really bothers me when I see serious heresy in the church. Yes, some ODMs go to far but many times its not motivated by trying to rip someone to shreds but rather defending who God is and the true gospel. So I appreciate it when a godly ODM correctly points out slander of my God and savior Jesus Christ. I feel this is true discernment and is motivated by love for God. Our love for God should surpass any other love.

  42. Josh,

    I condemn no one to the pit because of differences in orthodox theology.

  43. “I can truthfully say that the spiritually sickest people in the church are the ODM”

    While you threw in “Body of Christ”, it’s not actually a very flattering, or accurate, portrayal.

  44. Michael, I’m willing to stay off the Open Blogging thread and let folks respond w/o responding back if you’d like to open it up. I’m interested in their responses w/o being sent to a pile of books written by others than those I’m asking for input from.

  45. Josh,

    On the public pages of these people over the weekend I saw decent people condemned to hell for no other reason than not holding to some undefined doctrines.
    One of those men had taken his own life.
    There were more than a few.

    If you don’t think that’s sick, then you and I see things very differently.

  46. I like what Brennan Manning exampled while alive in this existence. He seemed as real as they come and his message of Grace is very appealing.

  47. Alex,

    That convo is over and I’ll simply moderate any further responses.
    You have a blog and Facebook page if someone wishes to interact with you.

  48. The point, Michael, is that grace and love are easy for those we agree with. Calvary Chapel and ODM’s are people you don’t agree with, and you aren’t very good at showing them the grace and love you propose.

  49. #4, 6, 7. As a teenager just trying to find my footing in the faith, ODM’s puffed my faith up pride and sucked out every last bit of love. Finding my footing again from such a precarious place has been difficult and painful. They taught me to hate half the world in the name of Truth, in God’s name… They taught me to hate people who Jesus died for. Learning to love in truth and to truth in love is as hard as turning a stone heart into beating and bleading spongy flesh. So, what do I do now? They have made an enemy of love, and therefore I aim to be their enemy. I must show them all the love I can. Well…what is the most loving act I can do towards them? Well…it would be to never, not under any circumstance, ever, ever, ever, visit their sites. In fact, I will do this in honour of Brennan Manning 🙂

  50. Josh,

    Now, that is a valid point, though many in CC were extremely appreciative of that article.
    I don’t consider myself “anti CC”…I’m anti abuse wherever it is found.
    My own pastor flies the dove.
    The ODM’s are a grace challenge for me…absolutely.

  51. It’s interesting. The “ODM” folk believe in the notion of the Invisible Church, that is, not members of a particular Church (such and EO and RC) but all those who are genuine Christians. Then they narrow down the definition of “Christian” to exclude all those who don’t agree with their peculiar theology. Then you take the Orthodox Church, who actually believes she is the One True Church, founded at the Day of Pentecost, yet says God is not willing that any should perish and condemns no one to hell, hoping the best for all people who call upon the Name of the Lord.

  52. “The whole church will be healthier when we realize that all of our leaders are as sinful and broken as Brennan Manning admitted he was…and we are too…”

    Yesterday, our CC pastor told about his struggle with depression, anxiety, panic attacks. He told us how he used to openly denounce so-called “Christian psychology.” He told about the shame he felt when he was prescribed anti-depressants. He told about the tension this caused in his marriage. He told us about the time he considered taking his life. He opened his heart to us and put it all on the table.

    He took us to Psalm 139 and reminded us that there is no place we can go that God is not there, including dark times of the soul. He encouraged any of us who are dealing with this sort of problem to get help, and that if you need medication to help with a chemical imbalance, to take it, and not be ashamed.

    I have a feeling that yesterday, healing began for many people.

  53. Michael,

    It may be sick what you saw. I believe you but I think its just as sick to not point out heresy in the church. Slander of Jesus is of much more concern to me than slander of someone else that is teaching falsely. No other person died for my sins other than Jesus. So I support ODMs that standup against those that present a false Jesus and a false gospel.

  54. The ODM’s have a particular emphasis and a particular interpretation of scripture that appears to be no more or no less valid than the other positions represented and argued here.

  55. Scripture twisting is a serious charge to throw at somebody.
    If your going do it, make sure your motives sincere. Do your research before you start shooting your mouth of at the person whom you perceive as wrong.You might be the heritical one and our Lord is trying bring about a little loving correction.

  56. At least the ODM’s seem to adhere to Fundamentalism more consistently than some who profess such a premise. They tend to take most things as literal, like Don Stewart being divorced and on Pastor’s Perspective as being wrong, Qualifications as literal and enforceable, etc.

  57. #7 man, If I hear another post about GMO’s ruining our kids, or Illuminati flying corn husks into our houses when were sleeping, or how we should prep for the end of the world by hoarding guns and food. Its not that these are wrong things do believe and care in ,but the focus, emotion, teamwork, is like 95% on this while the Gospel takes a back seat.
    A lot of people who are Christians are living in the wrong focus I believe.

  58. Anyone that can say the kind of thing that Michael said in #7, doesn’t believe what he says about love in other numbers or anywhere else. That was a very unloving statement, and I would imagine that most people’s interpretation of Scripture would say calling people “idiots” would be outside of God’s love. Hypocrisy at its finest.

  59. @ 50 – I appreciate that response. After running into the man a couple of years ago, I can’t condemn him. I can only pray for him and hope he finds his way home. Just like me.

  60. I believe a good ODM will compare what is being said in the name of God with what is written in the Word of God. I agree with Alex that really isn’t too much different with what is happening on this any many other blogs.

  61. Andy, in love, you’re an idiot.

  62. Every blog is an ODM. All of them are. They all support what they believe, and they call down those they don’t agree with. Difference with Michael is, he calls people “idiots”. Most of the other ODM’s don’t do that.

  63. Michael said, “After reading the responses to all of the well publicized deaths in the greater Christian community I can truthfully say that the spiritually sickest people in the church are the ODM’s and their followers.”

    Dunno. I would assert the spiritually sickest are those who abuse kids and those who endorse them, but that’s probably not a popular opinion here.

  64. Captain Kevin, in love, Jesus loves you. 🙂

  65. Andy,

    You have a point.
    I was not unaware of that when I wrote it and chose not to edit it to appear holier than I am.
    The words about love and grace are a challenge to all of us…who think less of others than we should.
    Yes, I am a hypocrite.
    I’m other bad things as well.
    However, I’m thinking about these things and I’m doing so in front of God and all of you as I deal with all the implications of all the things I think in community.

  66. Andy, I agree. That seems to be the truth.

  67. Thanks Andy. He loves you too. 🙂

  68. Andy said:

    “Anyone that can say the kind of thing that Michael said in #7, doesn’t believe what he says about love in other numbers or anywhere else. That was a very unloving statement, and I would imagine that most people’s interpretation of Scripture would say calling people “idiots” would be outside of God’s love. Hypocrisy at its finest.”

    This^^^^^^^^^^^^^

  69. James 3:1 is the truth, regardless of the motivation of our words. 🙂 Anyone that presents themselves as a teacher, will get it, and if they present themselves as a teacher before millions (on TV or radio or whatever), they will get it even more. God will see to it. But thank you for saying it anyway.

  70. By “get it”, I meant, get the discipline mentioned in James 3:1 🙂

  71. #9 – as I said about this on FB, we have a holocaust going on in our own backyard.

  72. CK,

    It’s a terrible story on so many levels…I can’t even speak intelligently to it at this point.

  73. Jackie @1, I read your comment to mean one thing. I doubt there was much dispute with anyone else either, including your followers, who also accursed a fellow brother, and myself.

    Bob @ 20, I don’t care what planet you live on, nowhere is it acceptable blog etiquette to walk in guns drawn, and start throwing down on people who don’t even know you, especially on a blog where most of the readers and participants have been here twice as long as this moderator. 10-4? Glad you get a kick out of the attention, though. Note that I have no problem with Josh going off. Josh is a proven part of this community. He will hit me for using that, but I don’t care.

    Michael, when I was handed Ragamuffin Gospel, it was in a Calvary Chapel. The person who handed it to me said it transformed his life. This was curious, because ODMs, whom I paid quite a bit of attention to, painted a very different review. I read the book. I struggled hard. It conflicted me to no end. I wanted to hate Manning, but I could not. His guilt by association kept me from handing the book off to anyone else though, lest they be led astray by a “false gospel”. It was not until many years later, I realized he was boldly correct on a great many things. Alcoholic, or not, I would gladly have sat and emptied a bottle of Whiskey with him.

    Manning deeply influenced another famous man, who I met, and hung out with a few days. I had no idea who the guy was at the time. Probably because he shaved his head. He was an astonishing guitar player, and a total weirdo. Most people never knew him the way I did. He stole my guitar, and pawned it so he could make it to the next show. Some friends of mine were shocked when they saw that same guy on the stage, and could not believe who it was. He died later, long before his time.

  74. Michael @ 65 – Again, I appreciate that attitude. It’s a good man who can own his shortcomings.

    About the abortion thing….terrifying. Do we think this is the norm, or a horrible, horrible exception?

  75. “Note that I have no problem with Josh going off. Josh is a proven part of this community. He will hit me for using that, but I don’t care.”

    Haha, Love it Reuben. I’m not gonna hit ya.

    Who was the guy who stole the guitar? Enquiring minds…:)

  76. Reuben wrote “This was curious, because ODMs, whom I paid quite a bit of attention to, painted a very different review. I read the book. I struggled hard. It conflicted me to no end. I wanted to hate Manning, but I could not. His guilt by association kept me from handing the book off to anyone else though, lest they be led astray by a “false gospel”. It was not until many years later, I realized he was boldly correct on a great many things. Alcoholic, or not, I would gladly have sat and emptied a bottle of Whiskey with him. ”

    So which ODM said what and what was the “false gospel” that was being alleged here? No names, no details, no nothing just a broad brushing of ODMs in general seems to be the status quo here. Maybe I am wrong but just my observation.

  77. Well, his name starts with Rich, and ends with Mullins…

  78. Reuben

    It’s a blog, and as much as you may want to imagine, it is for the most part a nameless and faceless very loose community and whise very nature is the openness so people can come in “guns a blazing.”

    Frankly all I see is your toes got a little ruffled and since my previous posts weren’t about you I believe you will get over it.

    Michael I am starting to like and respect, blog wise (I don’t know him as a real person, just a personality on a blog) even if we may disagree a bit.

  79. I didn’t know Rich Mullins had an ODM. I thought he was just in a Christian band.

  80. Andrew,

    For example…here’s our friend Jackie this weekend on FB;

    “The biggest preacher of “License” the church has ever seen has gone onto his reward – Brennan Manning died Friday, April 12th. Here’s a quote from a tribute by Phillip Yancey –

    “As you read this memoir you may be tempted, as I am, to think ‘Oh, what might have been…if Brennan hadn’t given into drink.’ I urge you to reframe the thought to, ‘Oh, what might have been…if Brennan hadn’t discovered grace.’”

    Yes, that is what the man taught – license to be a drunk (as he admitted to being), a liar (as he also boasted), a prostitute (no repentance necessary) and a contemplative (making full use of Zen meditation). The leaven, no doubt, will keep on yeasting the body of Christ. Untransformed lives is this man’s fruit.”

    Second comment on that thread (from another ODM)
    “The man is in hell.”

    Jackie also stated that the Anglican Church was not a “valid form of Christianity”…undoubtedly shocking J.I. Packer and N.T. Wright along with anyone who ever read John Stott.

  81. “Rich, stealing that guy’s guitar was a dumb thing to do, along with a whole truck load of dumb things you did. You have been saved by grace through faith. Welcome home.”

  82. Look, this is primarily a touch football game (paintball maybe) here, not a knife fight.

    Once I posted something a bit provocative, so someone came on and said, “This guy is dangerous, we need to find him and shut down his ministry.”

    I still laugh at that.

    Yes we call each other and anyone who moves an idiot.

    If this is new to you, try to get through to the heart of what we are trying accomplish here.

    Interpret our vernacular in the context in which it occurs.

    There is a lot of love and understanding here.

    It is a love-in pretending to be a hockey fight.

    Get used to it.

  83. Hoping this post will be able to be seen, from my artist friend Tom Clark about Brennan Manning…

    https://www.facebook.com/tomclarkstudio/posts/10151442095007795

  84. PP Vet,

    Thank you.

  85. G,

    That was intense and beautiful…thank you

  86. Well I don’t know Jackie personally but did meet her late husband once. He seemed like a nice guy but didn’t seem to like that I was open to amillenialism. I don’t subscribe to Jackie’s comments or her form of fundamentalism. I am a fundamentalist but I do think its quite inappropriate to use someone’s death to make your protest. Kind of reminds me of the Westboro Baptist folks. Equally, didn’t really like Michael using Dave Hunt’s death in his blog especially in like of Rick Warren’s son’s death. To me it was all inappropriate.

  87. “Jackie also stated that the Anglican Church was not a “valid form of Christianity”…undoubtedly shocking J.I. Packer and N.T. Wright along with anyone who ever read John Stott.”

    Me too! I officially become an Anglican through Catechizing this coming Sunday.

  88. Reuben,

    I’m excited for you and slightly jealous… 🙂

  89. Boston marathon possibly bombed?

  90. Michael…Nancy posted on my FB that her nephew lives in Boston and ran last year. His name is Ross…

    Praying for all who are involved and all who are wondering about their loved ones….

  91. This is heartbreaking. Lord help these people,

  92. Lord, have mercy

  93. “Jackie also stated that the Anglican Church was not a “valid form of Christianity.”
    Apparently, Jackie is not familiar with the 39 Articles.

    And no, Jackie, I am not Anglican or Episcopalian, I’m a non-denom CC guy. The way I see it, IN-valid forms of Christianity are not Christianity at all, by virtue of the fact that they deny who Jesus claimed to be…that is, Messiah, Savior, God in the flesh.

    “II. Of the Word or Son of God, which was made very Man.
    The Son, which is the Word of the Father, begotten from everlasting of the Father, the very and eternal God, and of one substance with the Father, took Man’s nature in the womb of the blessed Virgin, of her substance: so that two whole and perfect Natures, that is to say, the Godhead and Manhood, were joined together in one Person, never to be divided, whereof is one Christ, very God, and very Man; who truly suffered, was crucified, dead, and buried, to reconcile his Father to us, and to be a sacrifice, not only for original guilt, but also for actual sins of men.”

    “I BELIEVE in God, the Father almighty,
    creator of heaven and earth.

    I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.
    He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit
    and born of the Virgin Mary.

    He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
    was crucified, died, and was buried.

    He descended to the dead.
    On the third day he rose again.
    He ascended into heaven,
    and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
    He will come again to judge the living and the dead.”

    Nice try, Jackie. Next.

  94. Lord, have mercy on all concerned with the Boston Marathon.

  95. Sorry…just looked again and he finished before the bombs exploded. He is safe.

    Continuing to pray for a blanket of peace to settle in the midst of that chaos. Praying for the ems and the police and all who are trying to bring safety and healing. Praying for those who are hurt…

    God have mercy.

    Our world is so broken. Hatred is so strong. Reading through the Psalms today and David’s steadfast trust that You would be His Strongtower.

    Will you be ours?

    Father…have mercy. Protect Your children, protect the innocents. Are there any?

    Gird up Your people to walk in peace and to bring calm and comfort where we walk. Truly, shod our feet with the Gospel of peace.

    Peace.

    Even in the midst of chaos and evil…bring Your Gospel of peace. Whisper it in the ear of those filled with panic. Shout it in the ear of those bent on evil.

  96. Forget Jackie, focus on the people in Boston

  97. Capt. K. Your 52. God bless your pastor and your church. May there be great healing and release because of his testimony and humility.

  98. What should have been such a joyful day for so many is now turned to tragedy. God help those who have been affected by this horror.

  99. Amen Sarah.

    G-Man, agreed. I was writing re: Jackie before I heard the news.

  100. Sarah…amen.

    Thank you.

  101. Thank you, Nonnie.

  102. 2 people have died.

    I’m off to walk and pray….

  103. CK, no problem.

    Love ya

  104. third explosion heard at JFK library

  105. SR, yes, officials reported a third bomb at JFK.

    This sucks.

  106. The third one ended up being a controlled explosion

  107. Saudi national detained.

    Islam, the religion of piece(s).

    So many radical muslims, so little Crusades.

  108. Boston Globe has live video of the incident from mere yards away. It is the most horrifying thing I have seen since 9-11

  109. New York, Philadelphia, D.C., all of Boston on high alert right now.

  110. I just heard that the third one was not controlled

  111. “It’s the great, confounding reversal of the Gospel of Jesus. If the word we preach is one of attainable perfection, of law, of justification by works, then when we fail, our testimony fails with it. But if we preach our deep brokenness and Christ’s deeper healing, if we preach our inability to take a single breath but for God’s grace, then our weakness exalts him and we’re functioning as we were meant to since the foundation of the world.”

    (Apparently, when I copied this quote, I neglected to copy the reference. More than likely, I got it from someone here at the PhxP.)

  112. There are a lot of problems with Manning’s theology. Maybe in a week or so, I’ll write a multi-paragraph comment on what I think are holes in his theology. It’s similar to the criticism I have for Rick Warren.

    I have read THE RAGAMUFFIN GOSPEL and I’d recommend it to anyone who wants a very ENTERTAINING good read. (click on Michael’s amazon link and type Ragamuffin gospel).

    And I’ve heard much about Manning (even heard him speak in person), he was big at my old church.

    So, I’m not completely talking out of my you-know-what. Personally, I loved the guy, I don’t know what the ODMs are in arms about? There were flaws in his theology but not anything that would justify sending him to hell. Why don’t the ODMs attacks some Mormon or Muslim FBs? Time much better spent.

    For the use of the word “idiot”, ok, I’m guilty, I apologize. BUT I do not apologize for calling other people’s theories “idiotic”. There’s the difference. Compromise?

  113. Here’s my thoughts on ODMers: I see them in the same light as Alex (am I offending Alex or am I offending ODMers? LOL.) There are certain people, by nature, who are warriors and fighters… lo and behold… some of them accepted Christ. These same people are drawn to ODMs and speaking out against churches.

    Do I think they’re biased? Durrrrr…

    Do they serve a purpose? Yes. A lot of times I believe in their purpose. Like I mentioned before THE GODMAKERS is a very good book, exposing the Mormon church.

    As for their tone and their personal dogma, I again, excuse it as a personality flaw (I can’t think of a better word). These people are fighters. They fight. You don’t make dobermans into lap dogs, you don’t expect these people to be pastoral counselors.

    I’m sorry they’re barking at the wrong tree, writing all sorts of horrible things on FB. But I wouldn’t devote a “Things I Think” post to them either. Actually, I’ve read Jackie’s comment on Michael’s FB and didn’t give it more than 10 secs of thought. I coughed it up to that’s her way of mourning Dave Hunt’s death.

  114. Kathy said, “Here’s my thoughts on ODMers: I see them in the same light as Alex (am I offending Alex or am I offending ODMers? LOL.)”

    LOL 🙂 That’s funny. Michael’s an ODM’er too, he just doesn’t realize it. Different biases, influences, agenda, similar methodology of online criticism.

  115. #9 concerning Kermit Gosnell been following the news on the psychopath for over two years in the local news and on Right to Life groups blogs. This is a very graphic article so please be warned.
    http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2013/04/why-dr-kermit-gosnells-trial-should-be-a-front-page-story/274944/

    Boston is a real tragedy, when they find out which group, if it is another nation our response should be nuclear Period.

  116. “all of our leaders are as sinful and broken as Brennan Manning admitted he was”

    Not sure. Some people make good decisions their whole lives. They follow the rules and live uprightly. Joseph is a type of that. My wife, too (other than one tragic lapse of judgement 🙂 ).

    I think it is more honorable to be brought to brokenness a la Job and Joseph than by our own error, but perhaps the end result is about the same.

    Option 1: Be broken.
    Option2: Be ground to powder.

    Boy, that Jesus was harsh.

  117. I was surprised to see The Gospel Coalition include a blog post putting Brennan Manning in a positive light. I liked this article by Tullian Tchividjian: http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/tullian/2013/04/15/all-is-grace/

    Oh, and for the life of me, I cannot figure out what ODM is. Can someone please clue me in? Thx!

  118. Julie Ann,

    Online Discernment Minister

  119. Julie Ann just asked a question that I had for 2 years but didn’t want to ask. thanks Julie Ann!

  120. Hmm, ok, thanks, Michael, but I still need help. Can you give me an example of one?

    covered – – I even did a Google search to no avail. Is this CC lingo, Michael?

  121. Julie Ann,

    It’s a cover all term for those who claim to have the gift of discernment as to who is orthodox and who isn’t.
    Jackie Alnor, Lighthouse Trails, Apprising Ministries, Roger Oakland and a host of other heresy hunters fit this genre.

    They are usually pretrib dispensationalists who believe that every one other than themselves are “emergent” or bringing in the New World Order and host of other happy horsestuff.

  122. I’ve had a running conflict with many of them for years…I think they’re small hearted, theologically inept, divisive, dishonest, slanderers of the brethren.
    Other than that, we get along famously…

  123. Oh, ok. The minister part threw me. Discernment blogs has been a recent discussion on Tim Challies’ blog and I also did an article: http://goo.gl/5AZb9

    I’m not quite sure who some of these folks are calling discernment bloggers. I suppose I do sometimes, but that’s not the bulk of my blog. If people call my blog a discernment blog, then Challies and Pyromaniacs certainly should be, too. But a side note . . I’ve heard from the top, you won’t get on the top 250 Christian blog list if you are a discernment blogger. lol

  124. LOL – that’s funny. Hey, Ken Silva publicly called me his friend on an article and that sure got my former pastor’s panties in a wad 😉

  125. Julie Ann,

    We made the Top 100 a couple of times based on numbers…and then they buried us.
    I don’t care anymore…running with that many readers is hell if you allow comments and free expression.

  126. Ken is not fond of me…

  127. ‘Jackie also stated that the Anglican Church was not a “valid form of Christianity”…undoubtedly shocking J.I. Packer and N.T. Wright along with anyone who ever read John Stott.’

    Oh, nice. This has got to be one of the dumbest things I’ve read in a long, long time.

    Must sound bold and courageous in the pygmy world of the ODMs.

  128. Lutheran,

    It’s par for the course…

  129. Michael,

    Yeah. Some things never change.

    I made a quick mental note the wonderful Anglican writers I’ve been privileged to read — Stott, Packer, Capon, Michael Green, Peter Toon, NT Wright…and that took, oh, about 30 seconds. 🙂

    That doesn’t include the myriad of greats that go back to the Reformation days.

  130. Julie Ann, real pastors don’t wear panties! Or admit it if they do 🙂

  131. You know I was thinking looking at the news stories concerning the Boston attack many commentators and much of the film that shows the first and then second blast. There were bags and packpacks all over the place from people who dropped them ducking for cover or from being hurt or killed. Almost the entire crowd seem to not run but turned back to help. Non of these folks knew if there would be more explosions they did find other devices from what has been reported. The news anchors mentioned that it was amazing just how brave everyone was. I am often amazed at just how most people react in these situations. There are a very small number that purported this attack but thousands responded with humanity, compassion, bravery and so on. This should not happen because I am sure most of those folks were not truly converted because the gate is narrow. Because we are so evil and vile we should have seen the first responders killing the wounded and them eating them, or setting up death camps right on the spot.

    Speaking of crazy people

    http://youtu.be/mEOqxibhCxU

  132. Another fantastic Episcopalian writer I highly recommend is Paul Zahl. Authored “Grace in Practice: A Theology of Everyday Life” and a 1-volume church history, “2000 Years of Amazing Grace.”

    http://www.amazon.com/Grace-Practice-Theology-Everyday-Life/dp/0802828973/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1366087388&sr=8-1&keywords=paul+zahl

    http://www.amazon.com/2000-Years-Amazing-Grace-Christian/dp/0742552764/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1366087340&sr=8-3&keywords=paul+zahl

  133. Lutheran,

    It is almost to the point where it saddens me more than it angers me…so many people being trained to fear the rest of the family.
    I started thinking today about what they will say when Dr. Packer passes…and how the hell I will be able to control myself.

  134. brian,

    We saw the best and the worst of human nature today…and the light was not extinguished by the darkness.

  135. Lute…that history book looks like I need it… 🙂

  136. brian, if I remember correctly what was seen today is used by C.S. Lewis (well I might add) in his argument on the proof for existence of God. He used saving a drowning swimmer if memory serves….

    (speaking of Anglicans and noticeably absent from Lutheran’s list 🙂 )

  137. Steve W.,

    You are so right.

    How could I have missed The Man?

    Blessings to you!

  138. I must do penance by enjoying a good pipe and ale.

    🙂

  139. Covered: did I say panties? oopsie – lol

    Michael: I noticed a number of those top bloggers do not allow comments, or if they do, they are heavily moderated. I can name a few who have not allowed some of my comments. It’s rare that I don’t allow someone to comment on my blog. And it’s after much warning.

  140. Steve W I agree with Lewis and the fallen nature of the human species, though I do not thing our “fall” caused “corruption” of the entire universe. We are not that “important” “floating” around in this rather normal solar system in a spiral arm of a rather normal galaxy. I guess I react because I use to hear this type of psychotic rantings spewed out from the pulpit that we are all Jeffery Dahmer Jr’s or Hitler wannabes. I know that is Washer’s shtick I got that the first time I heard his “shocking youth message” (gag). Now the less emotional more grace filled side. I admire Paul Washer, he has gutz, he has gone into places most of us would not dare. He has put his body on the line and he is not afraid of blow back. Also he stuck with his wife when she was sick, I admire that to. He is not in it for the money and I know he is sincere. I think he is certifiable but I think that of myself as well. We are all crazy in our own way, we all have a shtick. My point I grant him what I just said about him, his theology cannot do the same for the utter vast majority of humanity. I think that is the rub. Oh Mr. Washer if you read this I use crazy and other such rhetoric but I actually think you are most likely a very nice man. I do know you have put it on the line several times and I admire that, hope I step up if I ever need to. I just cant stand this teaching, and I am totally honest, it may be because it makes me see my own sin. I hope that makes sense I dont know how to really say what I am trying to say.

  141. “They are usually pretrib dispensationalists who believe that every one other than themselves are “emergent” or bringing in the New World Order and host of other happy horsestuff.”

    1 – And they use the phrase “Watchmen” to describe themselves.
    2 – Their favorite target of all time is the Catholic Church and any connection they can find of someone to the Catholic Church makes that person a heretic.
    3 – They despise “contemplative spirituality”.

    It would be fun to make a comprehensive list…

  142. “Let us not forget: if we are to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus, our lives must bear witness to what we preach.”

    Just another tweet from the Antichrist, Pope Francis. 🙂

  143. ODMers are like anything else. 2 people doing the same online “ministry”

    The one we don’t like, we call ODM
    The one we like, we call a blogger

    Michael is an ODMer – look how he takes apart people who don’t like Manning etc.

    We all have a little ODMer in us – SHOCKING!!!

    MTM is one of the original ODMers.

  144. @144 – MLD is absolutely correct.

  145. There is also another option. You could just stop reading them. The online response to the three recent deaths that I saw was overwhelmingly positive. Probably 1,000 positive to the 1 negative. It’s almost like you have to dig through mounds of diamonds to find a little turd.

  146. I think there are 2 big difference between Michael and the “ODMs”
    1. is that MIchael doesn’t say people he disagrees with are NOT part of the body of Christ. Whereas the typical ODM writes off people as heretics and wolves in sheep’s clothing.
    2. Michael allows others to come on this site and criticise him and his beliefs. Others do not.

    Huge differences.

  147. I am often late to the party these days but I cannot end my Monday without knowing what you are thinking.

    Usually it grows on me as the week passes.

    Thanks for the idiot comment. It was illuminating.

  148. As to being an ODM, the worst that could be said about MN is that he’s a recovering ODM. His repentance seems heartfelt, and he is showing what Roman Catholics call “the earnest resolve of amendment”.

    This may help to understand his feelings toward ODMs: One constant in his online life is that his greatest fury is reserved for those with a problem that he has recently come to terms with in himself.

    Once years ago he scoured heaven and earth to find something incriminating in the writings of Rick Joyner. He finally found a sentence (which really even out of context was not all that questionable theologically really) and posted it here. That was classic ODM behavior, and it is the type of thing he has forsworn.

  149. “MTM is one of the original ODMers”

    Yep, if it wasn’t for MTM and his ODM I would never have found out half of the things I know about CC now.

    So a big thank you to MTM for your ODM. It has been so valuable to me. Don’t ever stop the ODM. Its so helpful and your ODM is so insightful.

    I certainly don’t agree with everything MTM has written and I am not as willing to write off John Todd as a complete lunatic as he has but we can disagree with that.

  150. Maybe I’m alone in this but the image that stuck with me yesterday from Boston was the runner knocked down by the force of yesterday’s explosion. Here’s his story.

    http://abcnews.go.com/US/boston-marathon-runner-knocked-explosion-thought-trip/story?id=18965440#.UW1WH1fm97k

  151. I think there is a significant difference between ODMer’s and what Michael and other bloggers do. ODMer’s are constantly looking for the boogeyman behind every door, rock, and lit candle. While they will sometimes call out some genuine danger and nonsense, they will also often times end up calling heresy and apostasy on those who are primarily orthodox in the essentials of the faith. They end up causing unnecessary and unhealthy division, fear, and hatred within the Body of Christ. Michael and other bloggers are not looking for trouble all over the Christian hemisphere. They are calling out those who are the troublemakers. And to the extent that Michael is critical of CC or other church leaders who appear to be abusive, it usually based much more on dealing with actions that are wrong, if true. He is saying those actions are wrong and unhealthy. He is not labeling people as heretics and apostate based on ambigious practices and guilt by association as the ODmer’s are wont to do.

    The other danger with ODMer’s is that even if we say just ignore them, they still end up having an unhealthy influence on those who do listen to them. Yes, the majority of Christendom are probably either unaware of ODMer’s in the first place or choose not to listen to them if they do know of them. However, for whatever percentage of Christians that are influenced by ODMer’s, it adds to the unhealthy division, fear, and hatred within the Body of Christ. The percentage may not be large, but I also don’t think it’s negligible. To the exent that these ODMer’s sometimes gain a platform and the pulpit within large evangelical churches should be enough to tell us that their effect is not negligible.

  152. Kevin H – as I said, the ones you don’t like you identify as the “typical” ODMers – and let the other skate as bloggers.

    Look, I am not saying good or bad – but at least every 3 weeks, MN changes course, snaps back like a rubber band and throws out the best quality “red meat” he can find.

  153. Is it because they are online or that they have discernment that bothers people such much? I am sure John the Baptist ruffled a few feathers with his call to repentance.

    “Michael and other bloggers are not looking for trouble all over the Christian hemisphere. They are calling out those who are the troublemakers.”

    And who exactly are the trouble makers? To me its those that are shipwrecking peoples faith either by being abusive or teaching a false gospel and doctrine. Both are equally wrong and if it wasn’t for some astute ODMs I may have already shipwrecked my faith no ago. Yes, some ODMs are very hard to listen to, appear to be unloving and judgmental and I don’t necessarily like their style or how they come across but I would rather hear the truth than have my ears tickled with soothing non sense.

  154. Andrew,

    By “troublemakers” I am meaning those ODM’s who I refer to as “looking for the boogeyman behind every door, rock, and lit candle”. I gave creedence in my last post that they do sometimes expose genuine danger and nonsense. The problem is they often end up going far beyond the genuine stuff and start attacking orthodox Christians on ambigious secondary and tertiary issues. Now I may even agree at times with the ODM’s on some of these secondary and tertiary issues from a standpoint of theology or methodology. However, I realize that these issues are in-house debates and are areas where we should allow for healthy debate and discussion. The problems with the ODM’s is they are often jumping to heresy and apostasy on these issues. And this is not even speaking to all the guilt by association and other ambigious stuff they go after that rings much more of weakly supported conspiracy theories than of anything of real substance.

    Many of those who they attack, Rick Warren, Eugene Peterson, Tony Campolo, Billy Graham, etc. (just to throw out a sampling of names) are not shipwrecking anybody’s faith. These are all people who are orthodox in the Faith with whom we may have some disagreements on methodology or finer points of theology. None of them are heretical or apostate nor are they leading others to the same. However, the ODM’s would lead you to believe otherwise.

    Michael and others will call out these types and say what they do are not good. And I agree.

  155. Hints the problem with labeling any group of people and calling them names. If you want to say Jackie is awful, just say Jackie is awful. The term ODM includes her and 1,000’s of others, this blog included.

  156. ” I am sure John the Baptist ruffled a few feathers with his call to repentance.”

    Red herring.

    John the Baptist did not teach anything new and it appears he stayed away from teaching Torah and stuck to the theme that the time of the Messiah was at hand, something not unusual for the times.

    What John did do was confront sin, such as adultery, and that ruffled one who could end John’s life.

    Some scholars suggest John may have been a member of the Essenes, who were strict separatists and believed their sect would usher in the coming kingdom, and left them because of their error. However that is just scholarly speculation.

    Now are ODMs similar to John the Baptist? I don’t think so. John was associated with Elijah and I would say they are closer to the Essene (who BTW called themselves “sons of light”) behavior without the strictness and discipline

  157. “Many of those who they attack, Rick Warren, Eugene Peterson, Tony Campolo, Billy Graham, etc. (just to throw out a sampling of names) are not shipwrecking anybody’s faith. These are all people who are orthodox in the Faith with whom we may have some disagreements on methodology or finer points of theology”.

    For these men it would do them well to listen to their critics. We can all learn from our critics. That is all I will say for now and my calling is not to expose these men. I count them as brothers in the Lord but can’t recommend any of them for the most part for those searching for real answers.

  158. Bob,

    My only point in comparing ODMs to John the Baptist was that I can see that the message of both (although maybe different in content and context) would not be well accepted in the community. The analogy doesn’t go any further than that. I really don’t care if you or anyone else doesn’t like what an ODM has to say. I am sure many didn’t like John the Baptist. In fact he got beheaded for his message. If what the ODMs say can be tested with the Bible than so be it. My concern is more with those in the Body of Christ that are vision casting and visioneering and acting like prophets to their congregations and through out the Christian community. Prophets and their message need to be tested by the Word of God. If you don’t want to be tested than stop coming across as a prophet.

  159. I didn’t say I didn’t like what some ODMs have to say, in fact often I like the controversy and stimulation they provide to make people think about what they believe. Too many people do religion and call themselves friends of God and yet never bow down in repentance to Him.

    I do agree with Michael in how many of these people spew hatred for the brethren and make false judgements about salvation and people’s position with God. This I don’t like.

    Yes John the Baptist got beheaded for pointing out sexual sin. What about those who do so today, are we “beheading” them in some way?

  160. There is a large difference in my mind between reporting on abusive behavior and sexual/financial sins and writing about nebulous theological and doctrinal differences with the intent of condemning the ones being talked about.

    Most of these ODM’s wouldn’t touch the CSN or Heitzig scandals because they agreed with the assumed doctrinal stance of CC.
    However, when they ran out of other material, they decided CC was going “emergent” (whatever the hell that means) and the gunsights were lowered.

  161. “That’s funny. Michael’s an ODM’er too, he just doesn’t realize it. Different biases, influences, agenda, similar methodology of online criticism.”

    This^^

  162. I agree in that sense Michael. Abuse and corruption is very quantifiable and not nebulous like “correct doctrine” and “correct theology” etc.

    All should be able to agree that child abuse is wrong and that using the church money like it’s your personal piggy bank is wrong.

    But, like you’ve said many times, most could care less in Selective Fundamentalism. It’s one big Con.

  163. Michael, you do present and defend a particular Box and doctrinal/theological perspective as well, though…but you also tolerate disagreement and allow folks to challenge your positions etc. so that is a difference.

  164. I’m a Calvinist happily sharing space with some Lutherans, some Baptists, some CC, some Orthodox, and some who fit no box.

    I love reading Calvin and Packer…and Eugene Peterson and Buechner and a lot of folks outside my tradition.

    At this stage of my life, I’m looking for grace…and hoping that the narrow way home is crammed full of folks that no one thought should be there.

  165. Michael said, “At this stage of my life, I’m looking for grace…and hoping that the narrow way home is crammed full of folks that no one thought should be there.”

    Agreed. I hope it’s not real for the sake of so many who might burn forever or suffer some sort of eternal torment, no end. Horrendous and such an unjust thought IMO.

    But, if it’s real, I hope for Salvation through Jesus Christ and I hope that for my wife and kids.

    Hopefully God, if He is real, is the God of the New Testament who preaches love and mercy and forgiveness vs. the God of the Old Testament who kills His enemies and slays women and children etc in His anger.

    …though I am concerned that Jesus makes an appearance in Revelation as the conquering warrior on the white horse who kills His enemies with a sword in a battle so full of blood that the blood is “bridle high”…hopefully John of Patmos was having an LSD trip and that was all just nonsense.

  166. Why would any “Christian” hope that it’s all true, knowing that so many innocent people and so many who never even hear the Gospel will burn forever in eternal torment?

    That fact has always confounded me. I think it more humane to hope it’s not real…but to hedge in case it is real and appeal for mercy from an angry God who will send people to eternal torment forever and forever.

    Again, I’d trade my eternity in heaven for simply ceasing to exist at death vs. going to heaven and so many others going to hell. Doesn’t seem “loving” to me. Never could resolve that.

    But, if it is true, then it is what it is, as bad and unjust as it seems.

  167. Another confusing thing:

    I’ve been admonished overwhelmingly on here and elsewhere by Fundamentalists to “forgive” and “move on” etc and to suffer the child abuse in silence and to “get a life!” etc. even though the perpetrator hasn’t admitted to the abuse and hasn’t confessed and repented of it. Yet I am to “forgive” unconditionally.

    OK, then why does God not “forgive unconditionally” and sends those who have offended Him to eternal hell in torment forever and forever, no end?

    Seems a contradiction.

  168. ” knowing that so many innocent people”

    Never saw one of those.

  169. “There is a large difference in my mind between reporting on abusive behavior and sexual/financial sins and writing about nebulous theological and doctrinal differences with the intent of condemning the ones being talked about.”

    The problem is when the abuse is not really abuse, the sexual and financial sins are mere rumors, and most of it is none of our business anyway. You have reported on some important things here in the past, for sure. (The ODM’s have, too, by the way). The problem comes when a story is posted where there is no story, or a discussion thread leads to all kinds of wild speculation.

  170. Alex, there is a theory being floated at your website that at least some of your questions are not sincere.

    The theory is that you are using this blog as a lab experiment to prove (something) about the people here, our love (or lack thereof) and so forth.

    Since I assume you know the folks at your blog pretty well, I think now would be a good time for you to deny without equivocation this theory HERE, that is floating over at your blog – since I do not see you denying it there.

    Before people try to engage you once more on what are serious questions, you owe it to them to tell us if you are on the up and up.

    You owe it to Michael too as the host.

  171. Steve W, file a complaint with CC Abuse OF or CCAOF. Submit your beef in writing and we’ll get back to you.

  172. So, this is like atheistic trolling?

    Ugh.

  173. Speculation, “gossip” etc. “Bearing false witness” etc. Josh. I’m not an atheist and I’m not trolling. I am a long-time member of this “community” and have paid my dues in spades.

  174. Hold the lawsuit there buddy. 173 had a question mark at the end. That infers a….question. Your answer seems to be, “No”.
    I’ll accept that.

  175. Josh said, “Hold the lawsuit there buddy.”

    I think you have me confused with Chuck Smith and Calvary Chapel…they sue the hell out of folks often (CSN, BG, Courson threatening to sue etc., very litigious sect)

  176. Just sayin’. I called you crazy once, and you said it was actionable.

  177. Steve W. I read that also. It seemed strange, yet understandable to me that even Alex’s own “blog folks” don’t take him seriously anymore.

  178. Josh said, “Just sayin’. I called you crazy once, and you said it was actionable.

    Well, technically it is, but I probably wouldn’t sue you for it, though BG’s example shows I could.

  179. “Yes John the Baptist got beheaded for pointing out sexual sin. What about those who do so today, are we “beheading” them in some way?”

    Bob, are you putting yourself into the camp of those that point out sexual sins? There are plenty of ODMs that point out the hypocrisy of pastors performing homosexual marriages. But somehow homosexuality is no longer a sin in many pastors minds today. I would suggest you think a little broader in what John the Baptist was saying. He wasn’t only preaching repentance of adultery but of all sins. But reading your comments you would never come away with that idea.

  180. That’s the problem when you post a lot of contradictory stuff to try to make a point. I never know which side to believe. When I see you go into the “Speculation, “gossip” etc. “Bearing false witness” etc” mode, I expect a lawsuit is next.

  181. I’ve learned a lot about Selective Fundamentalism, and I’m making a larger point. The responses have been interesting. It’s funny how Selective Fundamentalists can find all sorts of nuance and “metaphor” where and when they want to. Yet, they can’t seem to see the same in so many other issues that they like and that support their Agendas.

  182. Josh said, “I never know which side to believe.”

    Welcome to my world. I don’t which side of Selective Fundamentalism to believe…

  183. Selective Fundamentalism is something you made up. Find someone who calls himself a Selective Fundamentalist, and then we can trash that guy. It’s called a straw man. Engage the actual ideas that others propose and you may find it less confusing.

  184. Okay, I’m clueless about what ^^^^ means. Solomon repeatedly uses the symbol. Help!

  185. Josh,

    I’ve know many selective fundamentalists.

  186. It means “I agree with what that guy said” The “^” symbols are like arrows pointing to the above post.

  187. known

  188. Thanks Josh!

  189. @ 186 – Is that what they call themselves?

  190. Alex,

    You are the only one I ever heard use the term “selective fundamentalism”. It is a term you made up. But to me its an oxymoron. I can’t jump on board with this. The only standard of truth we have is the Bible. If we don’t have this standard than all you are doing is allowing sin because its all subjective in “selective fundamentalism”. I can not jump on board with that at all. Sin is sin and there is nothing selective about it. You mind as well give up your abuse blog altogether if you believe its all selective.

  191. Sigh…

    When I was given the left foot of fellowship from CC, I went through a very dark night of the soul.
    I questioned everything about God, everything about my faith, and everything period.
    I was very depressed and very confused.
    It was very difficult to find someone who would hear my pain.
    It is possible that Alex is going through a similar time and to the degree that I’m able without completely disrupting the whole community I’ll engage his questions and venting.

  192. @190, no, its what I call them. They take what fits and throw out the rest.

  193. Come on, though. This latest series of rants hasn’t happened in a vacuum. The guy was a Mormon apologist a month ago. Then we have a great victory for free speech….now we have a christian agnostic.

  194. That’s my point Bob. I can lots of people names, but then to expect them to defend a position they don’t actually claim is highly unreasonable.

  195. Everyone who reads here can choose to engage with another person or ignore them. We try to keep enough content up that there is a variety of topics that can be discussed and I usually have a thread for people to bring their own topics.

  196. Alex,
    “OK, then why does God not “forgive unconditionally” and sends those who have offended Him to eternal hell in torment forever and forever, no end?”

    He has – read 1 Cor 5:18-21 – God does not hold people’s sin against them no longer – all is forgiven.

    People who end up in hell do so on their own. The passage says that God has already reconciled all things in Christ on the cross. If people do not believe this, they are saying that they would prefer to stay alienated from God.

    God is always seeking after them, but they refuse. Your atheist / agnostic friends do this each time they make a “denying” comment.

    However, as a disclaimer, I must mention my quote and my thoughts come from the Bible which some here may deny.

  197. “When I was given the left foot of fellowship from CC, I went through a very dark night of the soul. I questioned everything about God, everything about my faith, and everything period.”

    I hear you Michael. I was given slightly more than a “left foot” of fellowship from CC. I would call it more like a James McDonald type of “catapult” into the neighboring town or a Mark Driscoll type of “run over by the bus”. Believe me, I understand the abuse out there. Call me a grace junkie if you want but when I hear my Lord and savior Jesus Christ slandered from the CC pulpit (the same one that “catapulted me”) it make me really upset. This experience really made me appreciate the ongoing work of ODMs that pointed out this abuse to me. Like them or not I believe they are here to stay as long as the Lord tarries.

  198. Michael said: When I was given the left foot of fellowship from CC, I went through a very dark night of the soul.
    I questioned everything about God, everything about my faith, and everything period.
    I was very depressed and very confused.
    It was very difficult to find someone who would hear my pain.

    I wonder why it is so difficult for people to hear someone’s pain? What makes it difficult? Because it challenges something within ourselves? Does it threaten us? Someone yesterday came to CCA and requested someone come over here and reign Alex in. As someone who has experienced a whole childhood of physical abuse perpetrated by my father and then experienced other kinds of abuse since being married and into patriarchal circles and spiritually abusive church, I have difficulty with that kind of language. Nobody should be reigning in anyone anywhere. Is that how God operates? Where’s the love?

  199. Love is letting people run wild, even if it is gonna hurt them? That’s warped love, at best.

  200. Julie Anne,

    I think the reigning in is referring to allowing someone to go on and on about their agnostic form of Christianity. On a Christian blog, I would refer to this as a type of “moderation”. You have moderated Alex’s blog quite well. I think it was just a remark that some kind of moderation was needed here. Michael did just that and stopped all comments on the “open blogging”. I am not really sure what your complaint is here.

  201. JulieAnne, sometimes people who have been abused are sadly sometimes blind to someone actually trying to help. I believe that is what the gentleman was trying to do over on CCA. I read his post as a sincere concern for Alex and how he was interacting over on this site. I was a bit surprised by the response to what I perceived as a sincere plea for you to help your blog “leader.”
    I guess it just goes to show all of us how we can be sincere and caring and be completely misunderstood.

  202. “It is possible that Alex is going through a similar time and to the degree that I’m able without completely disrupting the whole community I’ll engage his questions and venting”

    “Everyone who reads here can choose to engage with another person or ignore them. We try to keep enough content up that there is a variety of topics that can be discussed and I usually have a thread for people to bring their own topics.”

    This is Michael’s genius and pastoral heart, which is appreciated. Thank you for bearing with me for these many years.

    Alex is questioning a whole lot of stuff, and that stuff is worthy of being questioned.

  203. Let me explain. Alex hit me yesterday with the charge that I’m not a pastor, (my words betray me) because of how I finally responded to him when I got tired of seeing our Lord mocked in the way that He was in yesterday’s Open Blogging thread. I was hardly alone in not liking that mocking either.

    That response seemed to match the theory I referenced from Alex’s website, so I ask a simple quesiton of Alex. I don’t know why Alex can’t just say “Guys, I am having a crisis of faith, can you help me – yes, my questions are sincere. No, I am not playing a gotcha game”

    But instead, I got snark back, and more CC nonsense.

    Michael, I don’t doubt a ‘dark night of the soul’ and I think the questions in 167 and 168 by Alex can be seen as serious question that are also held by many others, and worthy of discussion.

    If they are legitimate questions, from someone looking for Biblical, Christian answers, and not just wanting to argue and defame the Lord and His truth, then let’s discuss.

    This is a Christian community. Like I said yesterday, this is not the spirituality page of some large website. If we want to debate unbelievers about basic Christian doctrine like the Trinity, the cross, the deity of Jesus, heaven and hell – we can all find plenty of places to do so.

    Now, if Michael wants to allow that, he certainly has that right. I just prefer to take the time to answer questions when I know they are sincere questions and not jumping off points for strife, confusion, eventual heresy, and finally, personal attack against my ministry. Again, which is why I asked Alex the question about the theory that he is playing a game here.

    Julie, you are relatively new here and likely do not realize this, but Alex has been a part of this community for years. He does not show up here in the same way as a hurting stranger might show up (someone who would be very welcomed and given a lot of slack to express their pain and hurts). Alex was responsible for causing so much strife and problems that Michael chose to shut the blog down rather than just moderate Alex .This blog once teemed with many, many voices that mostly have been driven off by this one particular individual especially once it became known that Alex collected our writings for months in preparation for a lawsuit of his own he was thinking about

    Anyway, I think I got my answer. The above is explanation for why the question was even asked.

  204. If Alex were just working thru something, I would receive it better if he said “I wonder…?” Instead of vomiting on everyone and telling us we are deluded and accusing that none of us here have looked in to things at the same depth he has.

    I see no genuine seeking in Alex.

  205. ( |o )====::: , for a heretic, you are pretty awesome.

  206. MLD, I’ve pointed out contradictions and asked questions and “Agnostic” means “I don’t know” which is the same as “I wonder”

  207. Alex, in the past you have asked questions, then when answered, have asked 1,000 other questions. When I called you on it, you said you weren’t really interested in the answer, that you were just making a larger point. Is that the same with these questions, or are you sincerely interested in an answer?

  208. Mocking God and the Bible is not the way a sane person says “I don’t know.”

    Twist it how you want, you have become PP’s very own God mocker.

  209. But, if we are going to be honest here, whether it be the BG thing, the economy thing, the gold thing (good thing I didn’t listen to Alex), now the god thing, Alex always makes himself the center – not just of the conversation – but of everything..

  210. 204

    “He (Alex) does not show up here in the same way as a hurting stranger might show up (someone who would be very welcomed and given a lot of slack to express their pain and hurts). ”

    Really? How come I didn’t get that slack when I showed up?

  211. This is why I am not so harsh with ODMers. Because in our Christian society slandering others seems to be a big no no but when it comes to slandering God, it appears to be a free for all. Alex I support you in your justice with CC but I am not on board at all with taking almost every other Christian belief to task. Jesus loves you so much. Please give Him more respect.

  212. Michael said,

    “Everyone who reads here can choose to engage with another person or ignore them.”

    Exactly. Always wondered why people come out to tell Alex to stop talking instead of just not talking to him if they don’t want to? Many of us have been ignored many times because we posted and it wasn’t what the others were interested in engaging with.

  213. @ 213 – Chile, Alex has made himself hard to ignore at times. Simple fact is, if you want to interact here in any meaningful way, you have to deal with Alex.

  214. Andrew said,

    “Alex I support you in your justice with CC but I am not on board at all with taking almost every other Christian belief to task. Jesus loves you so much. Please give Him more respect.”

    I would like to respectfully suggest that Jesus can take it and that Christianity can stand up to questions. If not, then we have a faith in someOne and something very weak.

  215. Chile said
    “I would like to respectfully suggest that Jesus can take it and that Christianity can stand up to questions. If not, then we have a faith in someOne and something very weak”.

    Jesus certainly can but defaming Him doesn’t belong in the church or in a community of believers who call themselves Christians.

  216. I disagree, Josh.

    As soon as Alex posts (often, at least) people immediately make snide remarks like, “Here we go again.” and the like. Then there are the direct attacks on him followed by whining for the blog host to make him stop. I would respectfully suggest that responding to Alex even showing up in that manner draws out of Alex a side that many of you do not like. Yet, when Alex interracts other places this is not seen. Why? I suggest it’s because he and his thots/questions are treated in a respectful manner. This draws a more gentle Alex out and allows him to pursue what he needs to.

    Alex has been abused. I suggest he is still being abused (lawsuits, slander, being kept from his mother/kid’s grandmother, and more…) Just because he’s familiar to you doesn’t suspend one’s responsibility to act mature in response to him, especially if you consider yourself a mature Christian.

    As parents often say to their oldest child, “Be the BIG one.”

  217. Chile,

    I get it. We need to respect Alex. I am all for that. Jesus is a person too. We need to respect Jesus in the Christian community. If not, we have no basis for Christian love.

  218. “As parents often say to their oldest child, “Be the BIG one.””

    Alex is older than me and hasn’t been abused any more than I have. I will not pander to him at all.

    The response you see her to Alex is from years of experience. Sometimes it is unfair, and every few weeks I personally back off and try to be kinder. Then I’ll go through a phase where I just ignore him for a few weeks. Then I just stay off the blog for a few weeks.

    AS for why he is different elsewhere…he saves his best for us? 🙂

    50,000,000 Elvis fans can’t be wrong.

  219. I have recently raised “ignoring Alex” to a professional art form.

  220. Nonnie said: I read his post as a sincere concern for Alex and how he was interacting over on this site. I was a bit surprised by the response to what I perceived as a sincere plea for you to help your blog “leader.”

    If you read the entire thread, the person admitted more to defending Michael than Alex.

    I guess it just goes to show all of us how we can be sincere and caring and be completely misunderstood.

    What exactly did I misunderstand?

  221. Andrew,

    I don’t see Alex as defaming God. I see him as I see the many others out there I run into who are working through as best they know how the confusion about the Christian faith. When one has been abused by a spiritual leader – or representative – it becomes very difficult to sift through it all. What people say in times like this is less of a concern to me than how people respond to them.

    During my difficult days when I had to work through what I believed, I was all over the map and unsure just what it was that I had to think through. I took a stab at everything looking to see the response … was it dead or alive. When I found people who did not look down on me, loved me, encouraged me on my journey to know the truth, and assured me that my questions were welcomed by God, I was able to relax and eventually found what I needed.

    But it’s like Brian posts about all the time, we don’t allow people to feel. What happened to Alex by being sued by his step-father would be extremely painful for anyone here to go through. If Alex shows emotion, what happens? People jump on him and kick him while he’s down. If Alex bucks up and is stoic about the pain but channels it into questions, he gets another round of people upset that he’s bothering their blog life.

    I’m not blind to the fact that Alex’s posting can be a bit forceful or abundant, but MLD is no different from my perspective and I don’t see push back on him. I do believe that the spirit in which you respond to Alex, if you choose to do so, will make all the difference in the world. At the moment, I see a self-perpetuating problem.

  222. “Alex has been abused. I suggest he is still being abused (lawsuits, slander, being kept from his mother/kid’s grandmother, and more…)”

    And what does that have to do with his attack on my God and my Bible?

    Let him mock his abusers.

  223. Josh, without knowing your story, but simply by reading your posts for 3 years, I would venture a guess that whatever abuse happened to you, it wasn’t at the same level as some who’ve been deeply scared. You do not share the characteristics, nor the common understanding. Just my opinion from your words.

  224. I bought The Ragamuffin Gospel some time ago – I guess I better read it.

    Talk about a late bloomer. 😉

  225. Flake @ 220

    I greatly appreciate that.

  226. I’d like to post more, but I do have something more pressing to tend to for now.

    Have a good day, ya’ll!

  227. @ 224 – I don’t know if I should find that offensive or not.

    I’m settling on pretty offended.

  228. Chile,

    I am not sure who it was. It may have even been Michael that said Alex comments bordered on blasphemous from the Open blogging. If nothing else Alex is teetering on the edge. I have never seen these kind of comments on his own blog though of which I support.

  229. Gee, I’m such a bad guy. I ask questions.

    I don’t think it’s as you say and I can’t be sure what you are saying is true or not, just because you say it. Where’s the evidence?

    BTW, buy gold, it’s a bargain here. I’ve been telling folks to buy gold since it was $700. The recent carnage is a great buying opportunity, as long-term, Govts. will print more money and take on more debt.

  230. Alex, that’s a non-answer.

    But at least you get the benefit of the doubt that you were abused. Apparently, my abuse wasn’t all that bad. According to Chile anyway.

  231. Okay, one more very quick response:

    Andrew, Alex processes out loud. Many of us on here have thought the very things he brings up, but did it internally. He also, I imagine, recognizes that some on here don’t know how to answer such questions or handle someone who is questioning. Maybe he thinks exposing that is valuable info.

    I tell you, the litmus test of maturity is how a person who is in the ministry, called a leader, or sees themselves as a mature Christian, responds to a person like Alex. If people can’t handle questions such as mine, or questions such as Alex’s, or feelings such as Brian’s, or residual anger such as many who come here, then maybe they aren’t quite as mature as they thought?

    Jesus was upset with the Pharisees, not the sinners. Jesus was upset with Ananias and Saphira for giving the impression they were giving more than they were, to impress the others, not the woman at the well. Many here place themselves on the first part of that equation as leaders, mature Christians, while Alex places himself on the second part of that equation as a sinner in need of mercy.

  232. @ Julie Ann’s 221
    Nonnie does not have to respond. You have represented what I said on CCA fairly and I still stick by it. My main interest was in helping a man who I like avoid more grief when he just lost his job last week. I went to CCA ’cause I thought someone there who had more feelings for Alex than me would help him out over here.
    I border on being mad at Alex and feeling a great sadness for him, but his comments here are borderline blasphemous, as Michael pointed out, and I knew I could not trust myself to respond to him. Luckily, Michael just shut the thread down.
    I have been pretty much told that I am not on an intellectual par with Alex, by Alex (could be true) and told to ST*U by him. Where was the love in that Julie Ann? Sorry, Alex makes sure a lot of times that you come away with a bad taste in your mouth about him.
    As for his recent crisis,Alex isn’t saying anything he hasn’t said the whole time I have interacted here. He just adds christian agnostic to it now, a lot “if jesus is real”, and nastiness that I don’t even want to talk about. But it is all basically the same old stuff people have obviously heard here for years.
    Someone needs to sit down, face to face, (no blog allowed) and talk it out with him. Someone who cares. Too much room for misinterpretation on a blog.

  233. Chile, I realize Alex is your hero, but you dismissed the pain of a man who was physically and sexually abused for most of his pre-adult life.

    Thanks.

  234. I’m not mocking God, MLD. I’m mocking Selective Fundamentalism and your version and interpretation of God…just as you mock so many others on here.

  235. “I’m a Selective Fundamentalist”
    – Said no one, ever.

  236. Where does Michael pay the ransom to get his blog. Release the hostages and no one else will harmed.

  237. Derek: I think I understand where you are coming from. At first I thought your 1st priority was Alex, but then as we conversed, you showed that it was primarily Michael. That’s ok. I get that. I lost track of where Alex has said it – could be one of the interviews we did together – maybe it was in a personal phone call – but Alex readily admits he can be a jerk. I’m sure he’d admit to that here because that’s just who he is. I can be a jerk and I gather so can most people here. So my point on CCA was essentially that Michael has the tools he needs to shut down conversations if need be or moderate. He’s no dummy. I also think Michael understands the value of wrestling these issues. I have great respect for Michael because it is a real balancing act of determining when a thread is productive and when it has run its course.

    I do understand abuse and spiritual abuse. But I have never had my father AND mother not only abandon me emotionally, spiritually, and physically, but also sue me – and in such a public way. Alex is an in-your-face guy. He is a fighter. I think it’s easier for him to process here. I find it fascinating that he (Alex, I know you’re reading this) comes back to this place where some of you treat him rudely. Now some of that is in response to him provoking you, I get that, but some seems to be unsolicited. I hope some of you will challenge yourselves in your responses.

  238. Sorry, Julie Ann
    I can take a lot myself, but I can’t stand to see the Lord defamed by a christian.
    That is why I have been making myself scarce here.
    But, I am the one who is supposed to measure his response
    Does Alex answer to no one because he has abuse in his past?
    Does he get to say whatever he wants?
    Sorry, I agree with MLD. He never wants any answers to a question he puts up. He just takes you off course with 20 more questions all in a quest to prove his “selective fundamentalism”. It feels like some kind of Alex lab experiment. Who wants to come on to a thread and have it always turn out to be the same discussion and feel like every thing you bring up is under suspicion of “selective fundamentalism”.
    It is like he is trying to convert people not have any questions answered.
    Why does he not bring these things up with the CCA community? Amongst people who will listen to him more readily?
    I don’t know the answers to these things and frankly I don’t know if I care anymore.

  239. His actions on here and that article he wrote about the woman recently, which was so slanted and dishonest in its presentation have made me question how much of what Alex says is the truth.

  240. I wonder if abuse is really wrong or is it just some uptight view of social fundamentalists who think society should be honorable.
    I have friends who think society should be more like the wild west and not be concerned what others think.

    Those who are Society Selective are just wrong. Abuse should get a 2nd look.

  241. I wish you guys wouldn’t make it about me. I just ask questions and express my opinions and challenge things you say (as you do also) and then you don’t like my responses and then suddenly a bunch of you jump in and pile on…and then “it’s all about Alex!!!!”

    Fickle, confused individuals, IMO.

    HI Jezzy. Thanks for sticking up for me, but this is typical on here. I’m a lightening rod and the MLD’s and DT’s and others enjoy piling on and making me the bad guy. It doesn’t bother me, but it does tend to bother others who get caught in the crossfire.

    I’m cool with letting it drop on this thread if the other folks will.

    We can “move on” and talk about other stuff like what a good honest flawed man Brendan Manning seemed to be vs. others on here who say he’s in hell and was a heretic or something.

  242. Derek, don’t take my word for it, take the word of Jim Souza, Glen Caradaronella, Bryan Prosser, Tina Jenkins, Paul Grenier, Geoff Grenier, Kathy Martin, Edna Silva, Alice Bryant, Hank Kampen, Glick Callahan, etc etc etc etc.

  243. Now, let’s talk about Brendan Manning. What a great example of Grace he was. Again, he seems to have represented Christ much closer to what I read in the bible than what is exampled by some on here and in Selective Fundamentalism.

  244. Ok…
    First, thank you, Derek for showing genuine concern for me.
    It’s not misplaced.
    After the events in my personal life the last couple of days I’m not going to be able to ride herd on this place the way I would like to.
    I have a child in crisis along with my own health and financial issues.
    Whether I am able to leave this blog up will depend a great deal on how well the community is able to moderate itself.
    I trust you will all receive this in the spirit it is given and will help me keep all my plates in the air.

  245. Alex, always with that last little “Na,na, na, na, na”
    You know, I stuck up for you a few weeks ago when JJ was on here. I wish I had just let him have his way, because you are one of the most manipulative individuals I have ever run come upon online.
    I went against my instincts which said something wasn’t right and stood up for you. But, the more I see of you the more I see it is all just game.
    Oh, how wrong I was.

  246. Sorry to hear that Michael.

  247. Derek, whatever. Your opinion means nothing. Move on and stick to the topic and leave me alone.

  248. FF’s #220. I need to learn that art.

  249. Andrew wrote “Yep, if it wasn’t for MTM and his ODM I would never have found out half of the things I know about CC now. ”

    Thanks for the kind words. I think the difference between an ODM and a responsible ministry is in knowing the essentials of the faith and testing what is taught against those essentials.

  250. #237 Drop it in the post box at the corner of 1st and 22nd. Do not look back, you are being watched.

  251. Over the course of my studies, I have found that all Christian churches agree in one area: John 3:16. Simply stated, that Jesus overcoming death is the reason for salvation.

    Beyond that, it differentiates depending on the denomination (or flavor?, in the case of non-denoms) that you assemble in.

    How does one become saved?
    -Profession of faith
    -Profession of faith + works
    -Water Baptism
    -Nobody ‘becomes’ saved (pre-destination)

    It is all very confusing. I was water baptized as a teen but do not believe the act saved me. Because of this belief, I have been told:

    1) You just got wet then, should have taken a bath, your still not saved
    2) Even if you don’t believe it saved you, it did
    3) Has nothing to do with salvation at all

    Where my theology eventually landed? That I will take it upon myself to ‘work out my own salvation in fear & trembling’ and trust God that He is powerful enough not to lead me astray.

    Not to say I don’t ‘glean’ truths from others…I do constantly…but removing ‘the label’ has put me at peace with God & brethren. I also find I don’t have spiritual fights as much (my theologies could beat up your theologies).

    Does that make me a ‘non-selective’ fundamentalist?

  252. “MLD” opined “ODMers are like anything else. 2 people doing the same online “ministry”. The one we don’t like, we call ODM. The one we like, we call a blogger”

    That assumes that there is no truth, and I’m not willing to concede that to “MLD”.

    That also assumes that all arguments are the same, and I’m not willing to concede that to “MLD”.

    That assumes relativism is true (itself a self-contradiction) and I’m not willing to concede that to “MLD”.

    Sorry, “MLD”, I just don’t buy it.

  253. Alex wrote “I’ve been admonished overwhelmingly on here and elsewhere by Fundamentalists to “forgive” and “move on” etc and to suffer the child abuse in silence and to “get a life!” etc. even though the perpetrator hasn’t admitted to the abuse and hasn’t confessed and repented of it. Yet I am to “forgive” unconditionally.
    OK, then why does God not “forgive unconditionally” and sends those who have offended Him to eternal hell in torment forever and forever, no end?”

    Because many or even most Christians haven’t bothered to take the time to look at what the Bible says about forgiveness. They teach a unilateral model of forgiveness which isn’t found in Scripture. As you point it, it’s contrary to the nature of God and God’s actions with men.

  254. Andrew

    “He wasn’t only preaching repentance of adultery but of all sins. But reading your comments you would never come away with that idea.”

    No I would never imply or state that about John the Baptist. He was calling for people to return to God because the Messiah was at hand, don’t be left behind,” so to speak.

    However, the sexual sin thing is a big deal and ODMs seem to chase doctrinal issues more than sin issues and mark people as heretics rather than sinners.

    What if we talked less about how church does communion or muisc and more about how they support the poor, their marriage classes, supporting the modern day widow (the single divorced mom) and all the other things people who claim to love God should be doing? Of course MLD, as a Lutheran, will say that is preaching the Law and not the Gospel, but living like the devil never demonstrates how much a person loves Jesus!

    The point I was making is pointing out sexual sin did get John the Baptist killed, not his general call for repentance or his doctrinal corrections.

  255. Josh the Baptist wrote “The problem comes when a story is posted where there is no story, or a discussion thread leads to all kinds of wild speculation.”

    And you don’t think that the problem is that Calvary Chapel has no transparency which contributes to speculation?

    Example, A Believer came on here recently and told us that the CCCM board “a while back” figured out that the assets were going to pass into Smith family hands unless action was taken. He said he was told that they took action to make sure that the assets don’t fall into Smith family hands. We haven’t seen any evidence of that since Smith family members sit on ALL of the board positions of Penfold Communications (one of the “holding” companies for Calvary’s $$$ radio assets).

    So, even though A Believers comments may have showed some transparency, how do we or he, for that matter, verify the claims? We can only wait for the next years IRS 990 form and I’ll be $1 to anyone who wants to take the bet that the Smith family still fills the board of Penfold.

  256. Steve B, I think I agree with a lot of what you stated. I have no clue who is correct. If the underlying premise of God and Jesus is correct, then I simply beg God for mercy and appeal to Jesus’s death as payment to an angry God who requires payment or else you get eternal torment forever and ever.

    Brendan Manning sure seemed to have some truth. Knowing people like I do, if the stuff is true, then Grace must be a factor, or heaven would be empty and hell would be crowded.

  257. MTM said, “And you don’t think that the problem is that Calvary Chapel has no transparency which contributes to speculation?”

    Yup. That’s the truth.

  258. All Chuck Smith has to do to kill this BLOG, Alex’s BLOG and all the other resources is take the time to answer the questions that have been raised. It is not that hard. Instead he will spend an incredible amount of political capital trying to defeat these BLOGs and other resources. Why not just become transparent?

    Isn’t the work, God’s work?

    What is being protected?

  259. Good questions…

    I think it’s pride and the fact he has stuff to hide. I’ll probably publish all the stuff I have eventually, I just have to figure out how to do it in a way that avoids the litigious sue-happy vindictive nature of Calvary Chapel.

    “forgive”, “love”, “move one”, “let it go”, “leave it to the Lord” is advice for they give others…for suckers…it’s not advice they practice.

  260. Josh ironically wrote “Hints the problem with labeling any group of people and calling them names. If you want to say Jackie is awful, just say Jackie is awful. The term ODM includes her and 1,000′s of others, this blog included.”

    Why are you labeling this BLOG?

    Irony much?

  261. Josh the Baptist wrote “Selective Fundamentalism is something you made up. Find someone who calls himself a Selective Fundamentalist, and then we can trash that guy. It’s called a straw man. Engage the actual ideas that others propose and you may find it less confusing.”

    Fundamentalism is selective to start with.

    Some :”worship fundamentalists” say we should only use the tried and true hymns of the church when we worship. By that they mean Fanny Crosby and the late 1800’s and early 1900’s hymns with an occasional “A Might Fortress is Our God” thrown in for historical sake.. But they fail to dig back and find out that those hymns were not in the Early Church.

    That’s a great example of selective fundamentalism and those people are definitely “out there”.

  262. Julie Anne @238; it is laughable that you keep repeating all the things Alex’ mom and dad have done/keep doing to him. You weren’t on here all the years when Alex threatened first to sue, when he continued saying the most awful, hateful things about his mom and (especially) his dad. And then about CC–all without anything more than allegations. He was absolutely relentless in his repeating allegations as fact. He we equally relentless in attcking his parents and did so with terrible language, even hateful language. He may hate his parents, he may even have reason to, but his father’s lawsuit (as misplaced as it was) was a ‘what else can I do’ response. Alex could have stopped shrieking any time. He could have moved on to a future unburdened by his family’s treatment (I am not saying he should forgive or forget; just move on with Jesus) but he wanted vengeance, justice (from his perspective). He wanted his dad to hurt because he had been hurt. And he did so for years. So before you talk about him being diowned and badly treated, how else could his family have treated someone if, as they contend, they were not guilty of the things charged? Alex can no longer blame Bob for what is happening today. He may very well be blamed for the terrible childhood Alex experienced, but today is different and he continues to choose to live in the past. To be clear (before we start hearing about hurting people), Alex cannot/should not forgive someone who hasn’t asked for it. But he should not allow his hatred for his dad to cause him to sin, to lie, to accuse, and to (now) blashpheme God one more time.

  263. Pastor Steve Wright wrote = “This is a Christian community. Like I said yesterday, this is not the spirituality page of some large website. If we want to debate unbelievers about basic Christian doctrine like the Trinity, the cross, the deity of Jesus, heaven and hell – we can all find plenty of places to do so. ”

    Yep, let’s make this BLOG into our own comfortable “Christian Ghetto”. We don’t want this being some place that non-Christians can come to and think that they might find reasoned answers to their questions about the faith. There’s plenty of other places for that, Steve is right.

  264. “MLD” wrote “But, if we are going to be honest here, whether it be the BG thing, the economy thing, the gold thing (good thing I didn’t listen to Alex), now the god thing, Alex always makes himself the center – not just of the conversation – but of everything..”

    Jealous?

  265. Steve Wright wrote “This blog once teemed with many, many voices that mostly have been driven off by this one particular individual especially once it became known that Alex collected our writings for months in preparation for a lawsuit of his own he was thinking about”

    And it had nothing to do with an order from the mothership that this is not a place that pastors should participate?

  266. enough @ 264

    “So before you talk about him being disowned and badly treated, how else could his family have treated someone if, as they contend, they were not guilty of the things charged?”

    Matt 18:22 & 1 Cor 6:7

    Then again, I still feel that book has meaning, so maybe I am outta line and should follow a pastors example instead?

  267. Derek,

    I moderated that comment.
    I do not need another dispute.
    I have had my own conflicts with MTM, but my position is that we will judge each other going forward, not looking back.

  268. Drop it.
    Now.

  269. Fine Michael, but this blog seems to run on things that happened in the past in many ways.

  270. Michael, you can delete my last comment if you want. Your call. I don’t mind it being here.

  271. MTM,
    ” We don’t want this being some place that non-Christians can come to and think that they might find reasoned answers to their questions about the faith.”

    Well at least you and I recognize Alex as the non christian. See, we do agree on somethings.

  272. “MLD” – Sorry, unlike you I don;t claim to be God and know the state of a man’s (Alex’s) soul.

  273. Alex,
    Regarding your many forthright questions, here’s a suggestion based on my personal themes. I get the books and media of those whom I respect because of their tone, their transparency, the tangible reality of their faith and their focus on Jesus. This is why I remain a big fan of ChuckJr. It’s also why when I see the profound effect that a guy like Brennan Manning had on my friend Dave from TheEffect, and others whom I interact with, I’m compelled to learn of Manning.

    I’m also entirely done with the likes of ODMs who wreak havoc on ministries, picket them, parse presentations for “heresy”, and turn believer against believer in the name of their personal definitions of “orthodoxy”. Honestly, my friend, from all your questions, you are bone weary of the irreconcilable stuff within our faith, and that’s hugely honest and transparent. God can handle your questions, your musings, even your mockery if it comes down to that. Jesus Christ is not some narcissistic Deity Who plays mind games with humanity. He demonstrated the willingness to come here, live among us as one of us, and be murdered by overly religious zealots who felt that they had to speak for YHWH lest YHWH rain judgment on them all. As I see it, YHWH is more prone to let us simply suffer the effects of gravity and our bad choices. 😉

    Back to the suggestion, take a season of allowing yourself to enrich your life with such sources, the kind and generous men and women, and it will be profound, and far better than the endless wrangling with those here who mock you and refuse you grace. They are self-sufficient and entirely convinced of their correctness, and letting them have that space is part of your grace toward them.

    Anyhow, I continue to pray for you and your brother and Tim. I’m glad Michael allows you the same patient grace he allows me and had extended to me for years before you arrived. My journey isn’t done and neither is yours. Live and love the adventure.

    Gotta go be a part of a worshipful night with guitar in hand.

    Peace.

  274. “10. The whole church will be healthier when we realize that all of our leaders are as sinful and broken as Brennan Manning admitted he was…and we are too. That’s the first part…the second part is realizing that it’s biblical to love them and each other anyway”

    This is something that is sorely lacking in the Church. People many times want to look Holy and are scared to be brutally honest. Once you get past the obligatory Christianese mnay in the Church would rather keep things superficial.

  275. “MLD” – Sorry, unlike you I don;t claim to be God and know the state of a man’s (Alex’s) soul.

    Actually do do play that role. You previously declared almost the whole Lutheran congregation of your youth as not saved.

    So don’t try to be so high and mighty.

  276. MTM, Yet you believe Chuck Smith is hell bound unless he repents. You even talked about picketing the Harvest Crusade based on something Greg Laurie teaches? Is he a believer?

  277. @264’s comment:

    That is the drivel posted by CC Pastor’s, Chuck Smith, and anyone else blinding following the CC system.
    You’re going to SUE just because your son wrote some bad things about you on a blog, THAT MIGHT BE TRUE???

    Somehow, you forget to remove the trunk out of your eye…. this is a Pastor suing a son. For what? Words?

    If BG was such a great guy (and I have my doubts he’s as horrible as Alex paints him, his followers are very loyal) then the truth will prevail. There’s no reason to sue. It’s just words. He still has his semi-mega-church. He’s still flying the Calvary banner. He’s doing okay. Let the dogs bark.

    It’s not like Alex is going to their house and terrorizing their Chihuahua??? There’s nothing Alex did that is merits suing, especially knowing Alex’s recent hardships with his business.

    But suing the little guy seems to be a CC precedence.
    Classless. Tasteless. Vile.

    At least the dumb sheep can see it unfolding before their eyes. Before we had no knowledge and no reason to stop drinking the kool-aid.

  278. MTM says: “Yep, let’s make this BLOG into our own comfortable “Christian Ghetto”.”

    I kinda like our Christian ghetto. At least it’s ours. 🙂

  279. erunner asked – “You even talked about picketing the Harvest Crusade based on something Greg Laurie teaches? Is he a believer?”

    Do you believe that Laurie Greg right about Jesus? Is Jesus really a mixture or intermingling of divine and human?

  280. Hey Josh, I am sorry to hear of your childhood. I hope that we all come to our senses soon. Michael, you are a patient man.

  281. MTM, I don’t follow Greg Laurie so I don’t know what he believes. Do you believe Greg Laurie is also lost?

  282. erunner – Greg Laurie stated that Jesus is an mixture or intermingling of divine and human. Here’s the documentation where you can hear his words for yourself.

    http://calvarychapel.pbworks.com/w/page/13146651/Laurie-New-Heresy

    erunner – Do you agree with Greg Laurie? Is Jesus really a mixture or intermingling of divine and human?

  283. Erunner how can you reach a conclusion about what I said if you don’t know the substance behind the comments? Why would you attempt to condemn something you admit you don’t understand?

    Do you have to be a follower of Greg Laurie to understand the issues at hand?

  284. So you believe Greg Laurie is lost. That’s all I wanted to know. No matter how you seek to justify what you think about Greg and Chuck and who knows who else I believe you are walking on very dangerous ground.

  285. As for Alex being on this blog, I’ll admit it, Alex contributes a lot to this blog. That’s why he’s not banned. Am I speaking truth? Do I get an amen?

    I’m not saying what Alex does is right/wrong… but his legendary fights with Steve, Michael and MLD make this blog.

    Steve W., you don’t have to respond to him… but you get roped in. To the glee of the rest of us. You’re part of the cart and pony show as much as Alex is.

    So, just let Alex post…. if anyone thinks Alex is unbiased or speaks for God, well then… I don’t know what to tell ya… I promised not to use the word “idiot”.

  286. erunner – There’s nothing in what I wrote above about Greg Laurie’s soul. My point is his false doctrine.

    Why are you so bound to put words into my mouth and so determined to avoid the questions I asked? Here’s the question you are avoiding –

    Is Greg Laurie right or wrong when he said Jesus is a mixture or intermingling of divine and human?

  287. MTM, I have heard both Greg and Chuck preach the gospel and many have come to Christ as a result. Bottom line MTM. I believe the only reason you are on Alex’s blog and here again is to use them as a platform for your personal vendetta against all things CC. You still didn’t say if Greg Laurie is lost and you never answered me when I asked you if you apologized for slandering and belittling Michael all over the internet.

    If Chuck and Greg are lost then you should not expect any Christian behavior from them as they are of the devil. You should be urging people to pray for them.

  288. Then all you have to say MTM is that Greg is either saved or unsaved. If you believe Greg is saved then say so and I will apologize for what I have posted.

  289. erunner – It doesn’t it matter to you whether or not Greg Laurie is preaching a false Jesus? I have to conclude you are either unable to determine for yourself whether or not Greg is teaching heresy or that you are unwilling to admit that Greg is teaching heresy. The only other alternative is that you agree with what Greg teaches and I want to think the best about you.

    If you don’t understand why “Who Jesus Is” really matters, then I can help you (or others here can help you if you are unable to listen to me).

  290. erunner – If I was to say Greg is saved then I would be putting myself in the place of God and I am not God. He is preaching a different Jesus but he could just be mistaken. That is logically possible.

  291. MTM, I’ll ask you for a third time. Is Greg Laurie a believer? I understand who Jesus is but you refuse to answer me directly and you are also dodging the question about apologizing to Michael. Don’t make this about me.

  292. Yet you believe Chuck is hell bound?? So if you answer about Greg you are playing God but you have no issues saying Chuck is unsaved. Maybe he is just mistaken??

  293. erunner, since I’ve answered your question (4:54 pm) you can now do me the favor and answer mine. Do you agree with Greg Laurie? Is Jesus a mixture or intermingling of divine and human?

  294. MTM:

    “Is Greg Laurie right or wrong when he said Jesus is a mixture or intermingling of divine and human?”

    I know I’m not part of your fight and I really don’t get where you’re going with your posts on Laurie. If you are trying to judge his “salvation” then I believe you have stepped outside the bounds of scripture.

    Here’s what I believe scripture says about Jesus:
    1. He existed before creation.
    2. He was born a man.
    3. He lived and followed the instructions of God, Torah, to the letter (that jot and tittle thing).
    4. He was tried and died in the same way as my #3.
    5. He rose alive on the third day.
    6. He sits at the right hand of the Father today.
    7. He was tested (tempted) in the same ways as every human being.
    8. He is our High Priest.
    9. He will return in His glory.

    There’s more, but since I didn’t listen to Laurie does any of that agree with what he said?

    Am I saved and how would anyone know except for God?

    So what’s your point?

  295. MTM, I have heard Greg preach the gospel. He has dropped by here out of concern that people were saying he was light on the topic of repentance. It doesn’t matter if I believe or disbelieve what you have linked as I would not say he is preaching a different Jesus (such as Mormons and JW’s do) I believe he is a brother in Christ.

    So in your 4:54 maybe you can conclude Chuck is simply mistaken?? According to your 4:54 you aren’t going to answer concerning Greg although I’m sure you have your convictions and they must be strong if you talk about picketing the Harvest Crusade.

  296. Bob, I posted the link. Click and you you can know what the deal is.

  297. Could we move on to something healthier?

    Just because someone can be represented as having a confused Christology in one statement does not mean they are preaching a false Jesus.

    That is just stupid ODM stuff to yank people’s chains.

  298. erunner wrote – “MTM, I have heard Greg preach the gospel.”

    And I bet he treats small children and pets well too. So what?

    What about the link I posted where Greg Laurie said Jesus is an intermingling or mixture of divine and human. He was called out and then denied he ever said it.

    Why avoid the point? Can it really hurt that much to admit that Greg Laurie taught something that is heretical and then denied he ever taught it?

  299. Now MTM is playing a little slight of hand. Although you have the 5 sec clip, we don’t know if Greg clarified what he was saying as he went on.

    Hoever, even if he didn’t, in the TEMA clip, he clearly stated that is not his view … so, evenif he had a slip of the tongue, he clearly stated he did not believe what caller Doug was accusing him of.

    MTM, ever have a slip of the tongue? Why didn’t you post a longer clip of the original teaching?

    Because it is not your style.

  300. PP Vet is it preaching a correct Jesus to say that Jesus is a mixture or intermingling of divine and human? This was the tape set that Greg Laurie sold in the Harvest Bookstore with the title “Who is Jesus?” It was the single defense of the person of Christ that was available and best case it can be said to be “confused”.

    I think that Christology is more important than that and to have a cornerstone teaching tape that is that wrong says a lot. But if the point is admitted that Greg is a theological simpleton then we can move from the point. I just want to see erunner take something important seriously for once.

  301. MTM, I’ll read your link later. If Greg is mistaken then I’ll say he is. But it won’t change my mind as to my belief he is my brother in Christ .But I won’t picket his crusades.

  302. MLD – Feel free to buy the tape and see if Greg rescues himself. Of course he doesn’t but nice try. Two different places on the same tape Greg states what he believes. When called out he denies he ever would use that language.

    What is possible is that Greg Laurie just doesn’t know the difference. That I can believe. What theological education did he get past his 19th birthday when Chuck sent him to RIverside?

  303. MTM:

    I went to your link and I guess I’m just stupid because I don’t get your point.

    Now if you are saying this statement indicates Lauri doesn’t believe Jesus was fully God and fully man I’m not sure you proved your point fully.

    Nicene Creed excerpt (mind you I’m not big on creeds):

    “… begotten, not made,
    of one Being with the Father.
    Through him all things were made.
    For us and for our salvation
    he came down from heaven:
    by the power of the Holy Spirit
    he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary,
    and was made man. ”

    “Begotten not made”
    “and was made man”

    Is this a blend or separate beings in one?

    Please explain rather than hiding your light.

    PS, did you help anyone today?

  304. I think people like Greg Laurie read from notes not understanding what they wrote. Grey may very well have been reading an article or book on “Who Jesus Ins’t”, got confused and then put that onto his notes thinking it was who Jesus is. I don’t think he really knows enough theology to realize the difference.

    My interest was that 1) I found he was teaching false doctrine and 2) When I called him, he denied he would ever say it. Yet it was the main teaching tape set on “Who Jesus Is” in his bookstore.

  305. MTM, I take my faith very seriously and I share Jesus with the unsaved as I am able to. Part of the seriousness of my faith is to not make judgments of brothers and sisters in Christ because they got something wrong. And from what MLD has shared maybe there’s more to this. As I said I believe you are using Alex and Michael as a platform and when they no longer serve your purposes you will move on.

  306. Bob wrote “I went to your link and I guess I’m just stupid because I don’t get your point.”

    And that’s why the page includes external sources. Did you read them as well? Do you follow why it’s wrong to say that Jesus is a mixture or intermingling of divine and human?

  307. “What is possible is that Greg Laurie just doesn’t know the difference”

    Anyone can listen to the TEMA clip – he flatly denies that as his belief.

    What you do is like Alex, you don’t let people explain and then you denounce their clear explanation.

    Fair minded folks – go in and listen to the Tema clip – hear Laurie and know that MTM is a flat out liar … even all these yrs later..

  308. From what I know of Greg, I’m quite sure that he has studied this error and would be very careful how he states propositions in the future.
    He has always responded positively to constructive criticism.

  309. The wisdom of the Erunner!
    “As I said I believe you are using Alex and Michael as a platform and when they no longer serve your purposes you will move on.”

    I said off line to someone 6 months ago, Doug is pulling the strings for Alex.

    He uses Alex as his front man and uses Michael for his blog audience.

  310. “MLD” wrote “Doug is pulling the strings for Alex. He uses Alex as his front man and uses Michael for his blog audience.”

    So, which is it? Am I pulling the strings for Alex or am I using Alex as my front man? I can’t do both of them at the same time.

    Or is it much, much simpler? Namely, that Alex and I happen to agree that CC has some serious problems?

  311. MLD, if it’s wrong to use a BLOG as an audience surely you’d be the greatest of all sinners in that regard. I can’t imagine some people having any audience outside of the electronic world of the BLOG.

  312. Michael wrote – “From what I know of Greg, I’m quite sure that he has studied this error and would be very careful how he states propositions in the future. He has always responded positively to constructive criticism.”

    Probably true and he is more than welcome to address the question directly. I’ve posted things by other CC pastors that respond. I’d like to know the genesis of his teaching and how he got it so wrong as well as what he has done (if anything) to correct the error.

  313. Bob asked “PS, did you help anyone today?”

    Hopefully I helped some people to think about who Jesus is. If I did that then I accomplished more today than I have done in most weeks. That’s really the only important question that there is. Every other question is derivative.

  314. Had a long distance errand and lots of time to prayerfully think about Alex and this PP blog.

    Alex, I owe you an apology for caring more about this blog than your soul.

    If there were no history between us, and you were to ask my pastoral counsel as others do (sometimes in situations very much like yours), my advice would be:

    1) Scrub your blog of all Bob articles and posts and turn it over to your moderators to run (if you want to keep the other CC stuff up).Walk away from it for at least 6 months if not forever.

    2) Ask Bob, your Mom, and your one brother for forgiveness unconditionally for all you have said and written in the past. Tell them your desire is one day for there to be reconciliation, especially for the sake of your children to know their grandkids. In doing so, ask for the lawsuit to be dropped, as you also drop your appeal, pay your own costs, and put the whole thing behind you.

    3) Pray God’s blessing on all three of them every day. It’s an act of obedience, not emotion. No hypocrisy if you don’t “feel” like praying this way. Read and reread key books of the Bible like John, Romans, Ephesians, and Proverbs. Just like you would eat a bowl of chips. Just get God’s word in you, don’t focus lots of time examining and evaluating each bite.

    4) Avoid strife and debate over theology, church issues, as well as politics, sports – not just blogs but talk radio, TV etc. Keep up with the news headlines, and little else. Again, for at least the next several months – one day at a time.

    5) Pour all those extra hours you would now have free into your family, your work, your church, and serving your community. Don’t join the city council (ripe for debates and strife) but help where least seen and yet most essential. Behind the scenes More face-to-face- relationships, less online ones.

    This would be carrying your cross. This would model Jesus Who prayed forgiveness as the nails were driven into the hands. They still crucified Him though, and you likewise may get no response from Bob and your Mom (though I sincerely hope you would if they are serious about the things of the Lord). This models the teachings of our Lord as well.

    Since I truly believe God would bless your socks off with His love, peace and joy if you did all this, then for me to engage you in strife and debate is not only contrary to what I feel is best but also to do damage to your soul – and for MINE as well for unlike the passionate yet friendly debate with others here like Xenia, Josh, MLD, ours are too often adversarial. They damage my soul too. The people of this blog are friends, strong in the faith, and will stay that way whatever happens to the blog itself.

    Worrying about the blog over your soul is wrong…and I apologize.

    You can always email me if you wish to talk privately or question something, and encourage you to do so as you have desire. You know the address. I’ll no longer engage you publically here – for BOTH our best interests, and the side benefit that this too will likely be good for the blog.

    Bless you.

  315. Steve if someone sent you the same message saying you should quit your ministry would you do it?

  316. MTM – If I had the dark night of the soul where I questioned everything about God and the Bible, I hope I would already have stepped down, but if not, the accountability guidelines in our by-laws would provide the way for the church to remove me.

  317. Michael, Maybe you hear Greg’s words in a different way that I do but it seems to me like when I called and asked the question he was trying to bully me. I was asking a serious question and he talked over me and then denied he would ever say that. He didn’t seem that interested in where he said it and it seemed to me that he was not a very humble man. Maybe that was a wrong impression but it was what I heard at the time and what I still hear when I listen today.

  318. Q) How many Christians does it take to agree on any one point in a Christian blog?

    A) One. Add any more and it turns into chaos.

  319. MTM,
    The years change us all…hopefully we are growing both in grace and knowledge.
    Greg has grown through time and tragedy…and I believe he is a good man.

  320. Steve, I don’t know Alex well enough to gauge what’s going on in his head. He’s handed over moderation of his BLOG to others and the direction there has changed, He’s asking questions about the faith that I think others have asked themselves otherwise they wouldn’t be so uncomfortable with the questions themselves.

    I remember going to an atheist/Christian debate some years ago. I was concerned if being a former atheist I’d hear some argument that would draw me back into atheism and away from Christianity. After the debate, I remember leaving very happy since the atheist, although a pretty smart guy, had nothing to offer.

    After that time, I stopped being afraid of the tough questions.

  321. MTM,
    Do you deny that Greg said clearly in that TEMA clip that that was NOT his position?

    Just that question please.

  322. MLD – Greg said “that’s not terminology I use”. Yet Greg did use that terminology.

  323. MTM (and Alex) – If I wasn’t clear in my close above, Alex is encouraged to email me all the tough questions..in private…out of the spotlight of attention…if answers are being sought.

    Not only am I not ‘afraid’ of them, I encourage them.

  324. MTM, I didn’t realize Greg’s comments go back to 1997. I would strongly disagree with Greg if what you describe and what Gruden states is what Greg believed.

    “Eutyches taught that Jesus was a mixture of divine and human elements in which both were somewhat modified to form one new nature.”

    But looking at the quotes it’s easy for me to believe Greg was speaking about Jesus being fully God and fully man which I didn’t think was an issue for anyone.

  325. Steve W.: it’s only fair, what would your godly counsel to Bob Grenier be?

  326. erunner wrote – “I would strongly disagree with Greg if what you describe and what Gruden states is what Greg believed.”

    I have no clue what he believed/believes. I can only go with what he said. He said clearly that Jesus is a mixture or intermingling of the divine and human. That, as Wayne Grudem and others say is Eutychianism.

    Those are the precise words which describe the heresy. Again, he may believe something other than what he said but since he’s a public teacher, I really could care less about what he personally believes. I only care about what he teaches.

    I’ll let you know my agenda. It’s to show these guys are theologically ignorant. All that I had to do back in 1997 (or would do today if I bothered) would be to listen to them on the radio. A couple of hours would be a couple of webpages.

    Best case they are sloppy and being sloppy they shouldn’t be public teachers.

  327. MTM: I’m not belittling you, since we’re best FB friends now and all… but does anyone really think Greg Laurie is a serious theologian?

    This is a likeable, funny guy, who preaches Jesus to the masses and has a mega-church in Riverside. Oh, and he does a little crusade from time to time.

    So he made a mistake. I’m sure if you go through his tapes, he’s made tons of theological mistakes. It looks like he corrected himself.

    Why are we discussing this?

  328. MTM, How many people do you think those two instances you cited were stumbled in their faith? How many times do you think Greg clearly stated that Jesus was fully God and fully man? I think you are nit picking here.

    So you state you would be stepping into God’s shoes by stating Greg was a believer while at the same time stating Chuck is not. I don’t get that.

    Since you’re not sure what he believes you aren’t willing to concede maybe Greg was wrong in his word choices 16 years ago and consider him a brother in Christ??

  329. Kathy, where did he correct himself?

  330. erunner “Since you’re not sure what he believes you aren’t willing to concede maybe Greg was wrong in his word choices 16 years ago and consider him a brother in Christ??”

    Was he wrong? So far you haven’t really said if you think he was wrong.

  331. “Best case they are sloppy and being sloppy they shouldn’t be public teachers.”

    How many people have come to Christ because of Laurie?

    How many people have come to Christ because of MLD (sorry MLD, not picking on you)?

    Laurie has a role and he plays it well. I’m sure if you sent him a well-meaning email about him saying Jesus was not a mixture of God and human, he will change his theology and thank you.

    😀

  332. “Why are we discussing this?”

    This one cracks me up every time i see it.

    Feel free to discuss anything you wish.

  333. if you sent him a well-meaning email about him saying Jesus WAS a mixture of God and human, he will change his theology and thank you.

    Sorry, need an edit button.

  334. MTM, I would say he was wrong in his choice of words. I looked at your page and I have no problem walking away believing Greg was trying to communicate Jesus was fully God and fully man. You’re talking 16 years ago and I doubt you’re going to get what you want from Greg.

    I think you need to let it go.

  335. “How many people have come to Christ because of Laurie?”

    No clue. I assume your question is meant as a rhetorical one – meaning that Greg has led many people to Christ…

    “How many people have come to Christ because of MLD (sorry MLD, not picking on you)?”

    No clue. Given what I’ve seen of MLD I can’t guess at your meaning with this question.

    My test has never been “does this person do good things?” It has always been said of the heretics that they have good works. Arius was acknowledged for doing many good works. So they said of all of the heretics. That’s why they were dangerous. Nobody would have followed a bad man in the faith.

    My test always has been “is what they are teaching sound?” That is the only test of a teacher of the Word of God. Do they handle the Word properly or do they handle it sloppily?

  336. ” I looked at your page and I have no problem walking away believing Greg was trying to communicate Jesus was fully God and fully man.”

    I only wish that people would use words rather than good intentions to communicate. Certainly Greg Laurie is a man of good intentions (or so I am told) but his words were not good. They were heresy. To say otherwise is to excuse the words. If Greg is a man of God who knows better today he should have no problems describing his own words as heresy.

  337. There are basically six ways to wrongly view the person of Christ.

    Deny the genuineness (Ebionism) or the completeness (Arianism) of his deity.

    Deny the genuineness (Docetism) or the completeness (Apollinarianism) of his humanity.

    Divide his person (Nestorianism).

    Confuse his natures (Eutychianism).

    Most Christians, for at least a period of their Christian life, when asked to describe what they believe, would actually come up with one of those.

    If MTM’s point is that all of us, especially teachers, should make sure we have our Christology right, then I agree.

  338. Bob,
    “The point I was making is pointing out sexual sin did get John the Baptist killed, not his general call for repentance or his doctrinal corrections.”

    It would behoove you to check out your own posts supporting Mr. Rob Bell in such a positive light. Rob Bell approves of gay marriage and you have the audacity to talk about sexual sin yet happily endorse Mr. Bell. I don’t get it. Does this mean I will be beheaded soon?

  339. Apologies to the gifted and eloquent Millard J. Erickson.

  340. OK, I’ll tell my real agenda with that page. My real agenda is to answer the self-righteous CC people I ran into all the time who acted like their teachers were perfect. I saw their attitude about “teaching the Word of God simply” and decided to find examples where it wasn’t being taught accurately. It wasn’t hard to find lots of examples.

    The fact that I have run into people over the years who defend Chuck Smith’s view of the resurrection or Greg Laurie’s teaching on the two natures of Christ tells me a lot. People defend what is patently wrong because they can’t admit that the brand has problems. Or they fail to realize just why it is wrong. Either way…

  341. PP Vet – You put it better than I could put it myself.

  342. Now that we got through that (my test is even erunner admits it was wrong), how about when Chuck Smith said this?

    “The Father was not put in subject to the Son, but the Son willingly to the Father. Now, when this purpose is accomplished then Jesus will once again take His place in the Triune Godhead. And no longer will there be that, uh, position of a little lower than the angels, but now returned in the glory and as he prayed Father, glorify me with the glory I had with thee before the world ever was. When God said “Let us make man in our image and after our likeness”. And so, uh that’s the way that things are going to progress until there is just one God, the Triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit ruling over the universe. All things then in subjection to Him. That God may be all and in all.”

    Can it get worse than that (“Jesus will once again take His place in the Triune Godhead”)?

  343. I will take Greg’s comment as ignorant and an error. Chuck’s, I think, is much more serious. He really thinks that Jesus left the Trinity and will rejoin the Trinity at some later date. I can’t see this one as sloppy. It’s gone well beyond sloppy.

  344. MTM, LOL. The CC folks are awfully quiet when it is Papa Chuck whose orthodoxy is pretty sketchy.

    …when it’s Chuck Smith, orthodoxy doesn’t matter, “he doesn’t really mean that” etc. Yet, the same grace and benefit of the doubt is rarely (or not at all) extended to others who have questions about issues that are very nebulous and mysterious.

    While I intellectually acknowledge the orthodox “Trinity” standpoint, I sure as hell don’t understand how hit works. It’s pretty whacky.

    Jesus is God, God is God, Holy Spirit is God. God and Jesus are different persons. YHWH/Jehovah of the old testament, who “walked” in the Garden and chatted with Adam and Eve was really Jesus, not God the Father, b/c God the Father has never been “seen” by anyone, never at any time.

    Jacob and Moses “saw” YHWH/Jehovah which was also Jesus and not God the Father. But, God the Father is also YHWH/Jehovah as they are all three “God”, but sometimes they are God separate from the other persons of God whenever we say so to avoid a contradiction.

    So, no one has seen “God the Father”, but lots of people have seen the separate God as YHWH/Jehovah/Jesus, no?

    Simple. 😉

  345. From an intellectually honest standpoint, you can’t really say a person hasn’t seen “God” at any time, if one asserts that all three persons of God are God all the time and that the YHWH/Jehovah of the OT is God and Jesus all in one.

    You can’t separate God and then put Him back together when it suits a particular position.

    Jesus says if you have seen Him, you have seen the Father…yet the verse in John says differently: “No one has seen God at any time”

    Jesus said, “Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?”

    I guess lots of folks have “seen” God, despite the verse in John which is a contradiction.

  346. Separate God-head: “No one has seen God at any time”

    Not Separate God-head: Jesus said “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father” and Moses saw YHWH/Jehovah in the OT, Jacob saw YHWH/Jehovah in the OT “face to face” and Adam and Eve talked with YHWH/Jehovah and God “walked” in the Garden etc.

    It’s a logical contradiction, plain and simple. Now, it may make sense somehow in spiritual terms, but nothing that fits what we define and understand as logical and reasonable here on this planet…though Fundies will fight the truth to the death and deny the obvious.

    Again, contradiction and illogic doesn’t necessarily mean it’s somehow not truth and somehow works in the spiritual realm that we can’t understand…but to tell an Atheist or Agnostic that “it all makes perfect sense! It’s all logical and there’s NO CONTRADICTION!” just makes you look really stupid and makes the rest of what you say very suspect.

  347. I know this logic stuff pisses some of you off and you’ll probably call me names and malign me, but the truth is the truth and from the presuppositional standpoint where we assume that “the devil is the father of lies” and even “confusion”…then fighting for a truth and pointing out a contradiction and very confusing issue that is presented in an untruthful manner necessarily cannot be “of the devil” per the bible.

  348. Oh if only a hero would step forth and answer all these questions.
    Maybe someone who has all the proper training in theology.
    Someone whose logic is impeccable.
    Maybe someone who could point out heresy wherever it is found and happily set Alex on the right and good path.
    Maybe someone who could find error wherever he looked like in Greg Laurie and Chuck Smith.
    But, no heroes were willing.

  349. Derek, you’re creeping me out. One stalker is enough. I don’t need another one. Just ignore my posts and care less about my opinions, like I do yours.

  350. Just pointing out hypocrisy…like others on here.

  351. Alex,Serious question – have you ever read the book of Hebrews?

  352. Hey, at least you know my name. Spell it right when you decide to sue.

  353. Hebrews 1:3 “He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature,”

    This is why Jesus can say ““Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father”

    This isn’t rocket science – all you have to do is read the Bible … not read you bible hating friends.

  354. MLD, yes, many times. Love the book. Priesthood of the Believers is a great concept…except it is contradicted by the Pauline “offices” etc and the “God’s anointed” crap.

  355. “Moses saw YHWH/Jehovah in the OT, Jacob saw YHWH/Jehovah in the OT “face to face” and Adam and Eve talked with YHWH/Jehovah and God “walked” in the Garden etc.”

    Are you denying that Jesus is YHWH/Jehovah of the OT? I have some JW and Mormon friends who do the same. But then again so does my Jewish family.

  356. So how did you miss the Jesus part if your read it so often?

  357. I’m not going to sue you Derek. You can call me names and belittle me all you want. For your own sake, I’d suggest you don’t give me that much power in your life. I’m not an Organization or in a Position of Trust and my opinions don’t carry much weight with the vast majority of people. If I get under your skin, just ignore me.

  358. Well, I don’t think that the priesthood of all believers is in Hebrews. So perhaps you need to go back and read it.

  359. MLD, the point is, it isn’t logical or clear etc. It doesn’t make sense from a rational standpoint. I know what it says, it says two different things and we are expected to call a contradiction “not a contradiction”..when it would be truthful to say, “the bible presents a contradiction and I don’t know why, but somehow God is Jesus, Jesus is God, yet they are separate, yet they aren’t separate, etc”

    The Mormons cite Scripture to support their “God-head” position and from a literal/simple standpoint, it’s true. Yet, you and others present it as “so clear!” and it just isn’t.

    The whole concept of the Trinity as we regurgitate it today took some hashing out. Justin Martyr sure thought of “God” as a God-head with a first, second and third place God.

  360. MLD, your comment about Hebrews and Priesthood of Believers illustrates just how subjective this stuff is and is really a function of our interpretation and not the text itself.

  361. “but to tell an Atheist or Agnostic that “it all makes perfect sense! It’s all logical and there’s NO CONTRADICTION!” just makes you look really stupid and makes the rest of what you say very suspect.”

    I think you are the only one here who tries to convince atheists and agnostics about the truthfulness of the bible. I sure as heck don’t. Without the Holy Spirit, the scriptures are a closed book.

    When an atheist tells me that the bible does not make sense, I do not argue with them – I agree and tell them, they need the Holy Spirit and then they usually walk away.

    The Bible tells us to be ready to answer people’s questions … not all questions – just those that relate to the hope that we have in us. My answer is Jesus – not, “let me tell you about the Bible.”

  362. Heck, even the use of the word “Trinity” (which is an extra-biblical term) isn’t used commonly in the church until Origen.

  363. “MLD, your comment about Hebrews and Priesthood of Believers illustrates just how subjective this stuff is and is really a function of our interpretation and not the text itself.”

    Wait a minute – are you going to make a case for “the priesthood of all believers” is in Hebrews – It’s not subjective at all – it’s not there – I need to hear this one.

    I’m listening.

  364. These are people on here, not some kind of intellectual experiment you can interact with and observe until you have enough information you feel you can write some kind of paper on.
    Real people

  365. MLD if the bible is so “clear” and the Holy Spirit reveals the bible to everyone so clearly, then why are there 9,000 (James White’s number) to 30,000 denominations with all sorts of disagreement about what it really means?

    Heck, why are their two separate Lutheran churches? Even the Lutherans can’t nearly agree on what the bible really says.

    Sounds like the Holy Spirit reveals different stuff to different folks.

  366. Also, I would like to hear from you on my #355 & 357

    I directly respond to you and you blow over them and change the subject.

  367. Derek, I have no beef with you. I’m not out to get you or anything. I’m sure you’re a great guy. None of this is directed toward you.

  368. Do you continually dance around? Do you ever center on a topic. You have brought up several points – I have addressed them and you move on.

  369. MLD, it’s not that I’m blowing you off, it’s that I have many others to respond to, then I get scared of responding too much b/c I fear I’ll tick off Michael and get kicked off again for responding and/or posting so much as all it takes is several of you to freak out and then I’m the bad guy and banned or moderated and it’s “all about Alex”.

    If I respond too much, I’m dominating.

    If I don’t respond, I’m dodging you and “blowing over them” etc.

  370. MLD, is the God in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve a manifestation of God that “walked” literally in the Garden and “talked” with Adam and Eve?

    If so, was it God as One, all three persons? If not, which person of God was it?

  371. But YOU asked the questions.

    You don’t have to reply – but I thought my #355 & 357 were important.

    In fact don’t answer – you will just be digging a deeper hole for yourself.

    I’m going to eat dinner.

  372. The pre incarnate 2nd person of the trinity – the Word of God.

  373. I’m asking questions, not digging holes.

    OK, the God in the Garden is Jesus pre incarnate.

    I’m assuming you would say that the God Moses saw His backparts was Jesus pre incarnate as well…same as Jacob, correct?

    The Hebrews referred to this National God of theirs as YHWH/Jehovah, but they didn’t know they were really referring to Jesus pre incarnate, correct?

  374. So, the manifestations of God in the OT, the God of the OT Hebrews was really Jesus all along…and not God the Father…no?

  375. When Jesus pre incarnate “walked” in the Garden…did He have legs yet?

  376. If God is spirit and we can assume Jesus before He became flesh is spirit, then did He have spirit legs to literally “walk”?

  377. Did Jesus pre incarnate in the Garden have his glorified flesh body and “walked”?

  378. So, it was Jesus pre incarnate who “created” the world and created man, no? Not God the Father, correct?

  379. So, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob was really Jesus pre incarnate all along? God who spoke to Abraham and told him to sacrifice his only son, was really Jesus pre incarnate? YHWH/Jehovah is Jesus pre incarnate, no? Not God as One, correct? Not God the Father, correct?

  380. …or does YHWH/Jehovah morph to whatever form of God you want, Jesus, God as One, God the Father…depending on how you need it to work out to avoid a contradiction in John?

  381. Is this God the Father talking or YHWH/Jehovah?

    Psalm 89:27 And I will appoint him to be my firstborn, the most exalted of the kings of the earth.

  382. Jesus is also the ‘firstborn’ over all creation and:

    “yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.”

    ….ya, it’s all crystal freakin’ clear and logical.

    Got it.

    One God, the Father, one Lord, Jesus Christ. Justin Martyr sure didn’t think it was clear.

  383. But, yes, turn off the brain, drink some kool aid and assimilate into the Borg and don’t ask questions, don’t think so much, just accept the word of the consensus of Fundamentalist Christianity and agree that it all makes sense and is logical and there’s no contradiction and lie and say it’s all perfect and fits together perfectly.

  384. “the bible presents a contradiction and I don’t know why, but somehow God is Jesus, Jesus is God, yet they are separate, yet they aren’t separate, etc”

    I think an astute theologian would not say “separate” but rather use the term “distinct” in referring to the persons of the trinity.

    Alex, Your curiosity is a good thing. Some things the Bible is silent about and there is a great deal of mystery.

    Now this is completely speculation but if Jesus could walk through walls with his glorified body, then I have no problem believing Jesus could also travel back in time with his glorified body. Just something to think about Alex if you never considered that possibility.

  385. Alex,

    We’re done now.
    I can handle honest questions, but I won’t be insulted, nor will I allow my readers to be insulted because we believe the Bible is the word of God.
    There are innumerable reference works that address these matters or you can go insult the people on your own blog.

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