May 262015
 

timthumb.phpThe Internet Monk and Matt Redmond look at the situation with Matt Chandler and the Village Church…

Sarah on fireflies and struggles…

The United Methodists affirm homosexuality…

The pattern among fallen pastors…

Three reasons for Christians to engage in science…

What your body knows about God…

The Pope gets it sometimes…

Was the Holy Spirit present before Pentecost?

Is vice more interesting than virtue?

Can we lose our justification?

Getting over embarrassment over the supernatural…

How to talk about homosexuality…

Calling for total transparency for churches…

Repainting hell…

On infant baptism…

Wheres my pile of stones?

Is God really, good? Did He create hell? An Orthodox perspective.

  242 Responses to “Linkathon!”

  1. The UMC is Ichobod

  2. P.S. – FIRST

  3. Ichabod, since being critical is a virtue 😉

  4. Miss ODM, no.

    The “religious right” is.

    “This made the LORD burn with anger against Israel, so he handed them over to raiders who stole their possessions. He turned them over to their enemies all around, and they were no longer able to resist them.”

    The religious right sold their soul to the devil of abuse and corruption and lying and for greedy gain and celebrity long ago. Your most vocal and most popular leaders are your most despicable and corrupt and greedy and prideful.

    It’s not the “gays”…it’s your Leaders…your Idols.

  5. 1 Corinthians 5:12

    Pastoral Qualifications in the Pauline Epistles. etc.

    No one cares. No one is concerned.

    You spend all your time blasting meaningless doctrinal disputes or blasting the “evil gays wanting to get married!”…and you ignore the abuse and corruption and greed and lying and pride at the top of every one of your Leadership/Pastorate circles.

    I really kind of hope that “God” is still in the judging business…b/c if he is…those are the folks that are the targets of his judgment here on this planet.

  6. I probably ought to say a few words about the Orthodox link.

    The “River of Fire” sermon is controversial. My own teacher is critical of it. The Orthodox Church does believe in a literal hell whereas this famous (or infamous, depending on your POV) sermon by Fr. A. Kalomiros says that God’s love will be perceived by Christians as a warm embrace but as scorching, painful fire by unbelievers: the River of Fire which proceeds from the Throne of God. Well, maybe, who knows. It’s not official EO theology but a lot of people like this theory very much, especially those who don’t want to believe in the existence of a literal hell. But Orthodoxy does believe in hell so the article is problematic.

    Other parts of the article, as to why people hate God, are very good, IMO. People hate the idea of the wrathful western God but you can’t hate God so they declare there is no God at all. From my time at the university a few years back, I would say this rings true.

    This article appeared of Fr. Stephen Freeman’s blog. He was the speaker at our yearly Lenten retreat this year and I admire him very much, but the fact is, he is a fairly recent convert to Orthodoxy and probably should not be expounding too much on EO theology. He writes a lot of controversial stuff. Not terrible stuff, just somewhat iffy.

  7. I agree with Miss ODM.
    The UMC has left both the Bible and Wesley…I’ve been told that within a few years that it will be as financially bankrupt as it is spiritually.

    My best guess is that there will be a conservative split that will flourish on a smaller level.

  8. Xenia,

    Thank you for the clarification…I thought it was interesting to say the least.

  9. PS

    Many people have read the River of Fire sermon and believed it to represent authentic Orthodox theology and go around saying that the Orthodox Church does not believe in a literal hell, which is not true.

  10. don’t holiness and fire go together?

    if one only accepts Jesus-the-man as God, one will have trouble with the concept of the consuming fire description of God in the O.T. and Hebrews…

    why would one pick and chose from The Record; pin their eternal hope on an example? A man? will it be enough to justify one before God in the next world? that i don’t know… i know God hates pride – sometimes we blindly nurture our pride, congratulating ourselves that we are intelligent and perceptive – at least, i do… sometimes

    thinking

  11. The article about the Holy Spirit is clever and not a bad analogy but it is also a picture of two things supported by reformed thinking.

    1. The binding of Satan is accompanied by the loosing of the Spirit …thus an amillennial eschatology is in the wings.

    2. The reign of the king is the restoration of the kingdom Acts 1:6 and is the initiation of the restoration of all things. Pentecost answers the question of Acts 1:6 in the affirmative. When a king takes his throne he empowers his kingdom servants. So we have an amillennial ecclesiology at work as well.

  12. OK,

    Keeping up with the lingo on the LGBT discussion is a full time job…

    Frankly, I think when we speak Biblically about this issue we should be sure to note that there is no category of persons for LGBT… there are persons who have behaviors.

    Further, if every desire defines a category of persons we have a far larger array of initials to add than even the expanded version allows.

    As for the idea that it is not a choice… I was on that bandwagon but the distinction is weakening as more and more people CHOOSE to experiment and discover themselves or to just see what it is like. There is much choice involved and at least as much choice as is involved on the part of a person who chooses to sexualize their girlfriend, children or animals. Choice must always be reckoned by people of conscience as a part of the equation.

    Finally, calling a person a “homophobe” is nothing less than finding an appropriate n-word for people you hate and disagree with. It is the word that ends discussion, nullifies a persons humanity and relegates them to the abyss of thought. It is progressive hate speech.

  13. BD,

    How do you suggest we deal with this issue?

  14. as has been noted, some folks are victims of a congenital defect of some kind, but not many – most are the victims of conditioning from traumas or grooming in one way or another … and it all, when acted out, is sin
    BUT
    in the end it is our loose standards as a society that have produced this epidemic
    so we have 2 things to deal with IMHO, the victims and the epidemic and i don’t believe we can or should lump the two together…

    i pray that Pastor Dread and more like him, will be led by God to model a way to stand – honest and forgiving – but standing firm

    if it’s even possible…

  15. #14 somehow i lost my “with reference to LGwhatever” that i prefaced my comment with …

  16. 1- I am going to withdraw from state sanctioned marriage and separate covenant marriage from civil marriage.
    2- I am going to deal with my own business, the church while participating as a citizen in the government with a voice for reasonableness
    3- I am going to lose market share if necessary… however the church that is endorsing gay marriage has already lost market share and is trying this as a desperate attempt at relevance. The christian public has already abandoned them.
    4- I am going to write, teach, proclaim and release a coherent message showing that gay marriage does not come from heaven but from earth. I am going to make a coherent argument.
    5- I am going to let the hatred of the world come just as Jesus said it would come and deal with it. This is going to purge the church in many ways.
    6- I am going to resist all attempts to use coercion to win or to subjugate people letting them use intimidation with finances, force and fraud… The weapons of our warfare are not carnal.
    7- Most of all I am going to call upon the name of the LORD and I will not forget to love my enemies… I have no qualms about using that claim. The enemies of righteousness are enemies of those who long for the kingdom and righteousness of God.

    Tax status be damned
    Favor of public be lost
    Praise of man be gone.

    I am not going to confuse being nice with being a man of God.

  17. All church bodies that have embraced the gay stuff have shown sharp drops in not only attendance but also in churches leaving the denomination. The ELCA has lost probably 25% of it’s population in the past 5 years and many churches have left ELCA for the LCMC or the ELS and a couple of others.
    They would come to LCMS but we don’t allow women pastors and although they shun gays in the pulpit, they don’t have a problem with the ladies.

    PCUSAis in the throws of even larger declines and Episcopal may just be gone in the next 10 yrs.

    So actually, the gay agenda once in the church is driving the church to a more conservative stand.

  18. BD’s and MLD’s #16 & 17 could develop into a very constructive thread – every now and then the cannons stay tied down and there’s real food for thought

    reading #16 and thinking, could i do that? i might have to live under the proverbial bridge; could i stand? not mindlessly, but thoughtful and dedicated… quite a challenge IMV

  19. Christianity is a revealed faith. We did not invent this, think it up, work it out or map our plan. Our faith was given to us by a God who reveals himself. That revelation is treasured up for us in the sacred texts of scripture.

    At no time has our faith doubted that God made mankind male and female and established the covenant of marriage.

    Sometimes in our human history the lust of men have perverted the marriage covenant to include multiple partners… never same sex and always the regular standard of one man and one woman is guarded.

    Sin has always been a factor and always corrupted the human experience.

    Divorce has had a 70 year run in our culture debasing marriage and codifying the failure of the one man one woman one flesh value. Divorce has not had a long historic run in widespread fashion. It has provided a basis for the horrific devolution of human values.

    Only within a generation has the sexual perversion of same sex lust taken root within the mind and heart of the culture to a degree that humans are saying that God MADE them to lust as they do. They seized the media, the media told their stories in sympathetic fashion, they seized the education system, that system was looking for a deliverer from revealed religion. Now they are seizing the polis … they own the public mind.

    When we order our culture by revelation we hold the value of one man/one woman/ one flesh union. Male with male and female with female does not make a one flesh union. It simply does not fit or belong… the bodies do not marry, they cannot.

    Worst of all they have seized our faith story… We all know that Love is the highest descriptor of God and the highest expression of our faith… so love has been co-opted as the basis for denying the created order of God. We are saying that mankind’s love is a revelation that exceeds God’s revelation of the male female union. We are saying that alleviating human pain is the value that exceeds God’s revelation even though we do not know that this step will not cure the pain.

    We are now drawing our faith from the order of human desire rather than from the revelation of God. We have become worshipers of man and not God.

    There were two great prohibitions in the NT church… the two went together. God prohibited idolatry and immorality…. Idolatry is the worship of another god and immorality is the worship of human flesh. We have created God in our own image and we are calling it good.

    Let the progressives go… let them have their run. Let them harvest the whirlwind. It will take a number of generations but they will eat the fruit of their own sin and it will bear it’s own fruit. This is nothing less than a massive apostasy.

    Let it come. Let humanity worship their own image… let the goddess worship that will come with it arise. Let them eat and drink and rise up to play… let them have what they want. That is how it always unfolds. Repentance cannot come until sin has an apocalypse … let them have their master… their new lord.

    Let their god save them…

  20. Dread, many years ago you were the man who hung out with the ‘loons’ due to your association with some interesting folks. At least that is how I saw you.

    There’s people who would consign you to the pit because of your tribe.

    But so often through the years I have read your posts and have seen a man who is able to articulate things so well while showing his love for God. I used to be amazed how you would end your posts with humorous descriptions of yourself.

    I like what you share about homosexuality because it’s thought out and isn’t coming from a place of hate. You speak your mind but it’s clear you care.

    Finally, several years ago I was on the board later in the evening and there was a person posting who seemed to be in a very dark and sad place. You showed up and you reached out to this person in a real and genuine way. I think I titled you “in the shadows dread” that night. I was glad to have been there that night as I suspect I saw online how you would react to a hurting soul face to face. Thanks for hanging around.

  21. what your body knows about God reminds me that we are told to renew our minds for good reason… it isn’t just thinking good thots… it is kind of interesting – to me anyway – that, while science has long ago shown that our brains are “trainable,” and thus, so are our inclinations and responses… research tools today enforces, not only is our brain trainable, but it can fool us into accepting a fake reality… so why not renew our minds – train our brain in the Truths that God is waiting to instill in us?
    probably won’t buy the book, tho – i need to use the time to renew my mind 🙂

  22. Don’t withdraw, Dread. Don’t make your people go to Babylon in order to adopt children, save on their taxes, gain spousal benefits, find married housing. We need your voice. We need you in the heat of the battle.

    Don’t confuse your people who may find out years later at a crucial moment that they can’t do what the Lord would have them do because they are not legally married. Not as long as our laws do not recognize covenant marriages for such crucial life events and issues.

    Before any state recognized same-sex marriage, it was common to find apostate churches willing to perform a covenant ceremony which had zero meaning in the eyes of the law (or God). This is where state honored civil unions would have served a purpose but as is clear, that would never have been a satisfactory compromise for the progressives – even as the argument was solely based on inheritance and hospital visitations. Now of course the argument has moved to “happiness” and “love” (and of course, bigotry and discrimination)

    Let’s not make the institution we all agree was established by God be as meaningless as those early same-sex ceremonies. Let’s stand on what God has ordained, tell our young people they need only ONE marriage commitment, and that is the one before their Lord – officiated by their pastor, in their church….and then let whatever persecution, attacks on tax exemption, (or any of the other things the world may try), come our way.

  23. Here is an article from the Washington Post showing that Christianity is alive and well.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2015/05/20/think-christianity-is-dying-no-christianity-is-shifting-dramatically/?postshare=2481432519528263

    Stand strong while we go through these troubling times of Christian bashing – look to those who have not given in — they grow.

  24. hmm… wish i’d BD’s #19 before commenting on the book link as the book and BD’s observations have a correlation … was that accidental?

    also, what Pastor Dread has posted this afternoon is worth hanging onto… perhaps, a small book is in the making?

    “Christianity is a revealed faith. We did not invent this, think it up, work it out or map our plan. Our faith was given to us by a God who reveals himself. That revelation is treasured up for us in the sacred texts of scripture.” i need to repeat this to myself daily and it wouldn’t be a bad thing for a congregation to start every service with… IMNSHO – again

  25. “wish i’d READ BD’s #19 before…” yada yada yada

    if you could see how my computer is set up my blips might be understandable – maybe not sigh

  26. “Stand strong while we go through these troubling times of Christian bashing – look to those who have not given in…”
    i’m looking for them … looking at them and agreeing with MLD here

  27. We need a separate page for em’s ponderings!! I think folks love reading your thoughts as I do.

  28. oh my, Erunner, if i had to think about what i say here, i wouldn’t make sense 😆
    or are you saying send me (and Alex) to our rooms? lol
    but thank you for what you said

  29. Pastor Wright, point well taken
    Although i can’t speak for Pastor Dread, but just in case he doesn’t drop by again tonight, i’m pretty sure he’s not against a civil ceremony – i think that was part of his thinking – one quickie for the State and one sacred for the Kingdom

  30. i’ve served up enough hamburgers tonight

    God keep all close – praying for Linnea’s family tonight – and for all who come by Michael’s blog

  31. em, you’re welcome. Good night!

  32. Steve Wright,

    By withdrawal I do not mean that I will perform weddings that have no legal standing. I will simply provide a Christian marriage and will not participate in the civil aspects. I will insist they obey the law and get legally married … the state will be responsible for divorce and protection of children since we cannot do that …

    I am simply saying that I will not participate in the state definition of marriage.

  33. To clarify then…you will make sure they are married by the state, with signed license by the agent of the state FIRST…THEN you will perform a covenant ceremony?

  34. Dread would have made an awesome Southern Calvinist…

    I still ask this question.
    If divorce has created the fertile ground for this abomination why are we not working on divorce laws?
    Why are there so few articles in our media about divorce and so few sermons preached?
    Why are men like Hal Lindsey and Don Stewart still celebrated?

  35. Dread,

    Your statement was excellent, by the way…

  36. why are we not working on divorce laws?
    ————————————————————-
    That battle was lost years ago. The same progressives fought for no fault divorce, and the same traditionalists fought against it. And the progressives won.

  37. Steve … Correct

    Michael

    We cannot keep wondering about what we are not doing…
    We must do the right thing now.
    We have to equip the church to know the truth and to live it

  38. I should add that the fact previously divorced, Ronald Reagan, signed the first no-fault divorce law in my state is duly noted.

    Dread – thanks for the clarification. Though I still disagree with your stance, I am relieved that your people will not be possibly in for surprises down the road…

  39. BD,

    The chances of me being asked in any way to deal with gay marriage are many thousands to one.

    I will deal with divorce and it’s aftermath this week and probably every week until I retire from dealing with other peoples messes.

    Don Stewart and his ilk are everywhere in Christendom.

    Forgive me if I think our hysteria is grossly misplaced.

  40. Michael,

    What hysteria?

    I want you to maintain your focus and I am not asking you to share mine.

    The level of social reconstruction, depth of challenge to authority and assault on revealed faith is such that I do indeed think you are missing the level of this crisis.

    Nothing on this scale has happened in our very tumultuous lives.

    This is literally the lever that can threaten to tun the USA into something akin to Europe or worse. … By worse I mean if the church accepts gay marriage on the level that we have embraced divorce then there is no church.

  41. Perhaps that is the hysteria

  42. “Don Stewart and his ilk are everywhere in Christendom.”

    Stop communing them – stop remarrying them.

    The RCC does this right. You don’t need a law.

  43. Steve Wright, you continue to example in real time the Problem with your sect…your panties are all in a ruffle over the marriage stuff…and you are unconcerned about child abusers in your own Pastorate and Sect.

    Shame on you. You are a big part of the Problem and you say you “can’t” do anything about YOUR OWN SECT…but somehow you can be a Culture Warrior and stop the tide of the Gays marrying.

    What a jerk you are…and that’s the heavily edited and polite version.

  44. “By worse I mean if the church accepts gay marriage on the level that we have embraced divorce then there is no church.”

    You make my point.
    We have accepted divorce and obviously still believe that we have a church, even though Christ spoke directly to this issue.

    Having failed miserably in this area, we still presume the moral authority to speak to another one as if God has overlooked the first.

    I have no intention of accepting or sanctioning gay marriage, but we might want to back up and clean up our own house.

  45. “Stop communing them – stop remarrying them.”

    Must be an eclipse…we agree. 🙂

  46. Steve Wright: “The gays! The gays! Marriage is sacred! We’ve got to fight!”

    Um, Steve, your Calvary Chapel sect is full of corrupt pastors, abusers etc. Can you speak out about it?

    Steve Wright: “We’re all independent. I only worry about my own church. It’s none of my business.”

  47. Alex,

    You’ve made your point.
    Let the rest of us have a conversation.

  48. Steve Wright, if you are so concerned about the sanctity of marriage, then speak out against Don Stewart.

    Let me here you roar…

    …you won’t. But, “the gays! They’re ruining marriage!”

  49. I will go out even farther on my limb.
    My belief would be that the breakdown of both marriage culture and family values in this country is directly attributable to the devaluing of heterosexual marriage in the church specifically and in the culture as a whole.

  50. So because we failed on divorce and remarriage in your opinion

    therefore

    we have nothing to say here?

    Seriously?

  51. OK, that crossed in cyber-space

  52. BD,

    I did not say that.
    What I am saying is that we’re pointing at a car wreck when our own house is on fire.

    I do not like the gay agenda.
    I like our tunnel vision and hypocrisy even less.

    Perhaps if we strengthened our own marriages the rest would care for itself…

  53. Alex,

    No problem.
    Thanks.

  54. Alex thinks because Christians fail in living a perfect life that anything goes with anyone else.

    Alex, you never answered – are you against father / daughter adult incestuous relationships? Does that make you a hater – or can you be against it for natural law reasons – as is the objection to same sex marriage?

    Because Christians fail should a father be allowed to marry his own daughter?

  55. I will say this.
    Until we decide to protect and cherish heterosexual marriage the campaign against homosexual marriage is a bit of a farce.

  56. MLD,

    Picking a fight will ruin this discussion.
    Stop.

  57. I don’t worry about gay marriage as a pastor. We refuse marriage to heterosexual couples, we don’t believe in renting the sanctuary to strangers etc.

    In a church our size I can’t tell you how many people are being affected by homosexual activism, recruitment, molestation, and false promises of happiness. But needless to say I deal with them every week….

    and we ain’t that large either…

    There are innocent folks, often, when it comes to divorce – innocent in the eyes of the Lord. Like the guy who wants to stay married and has been faithful to his wife, brought children into the world together, who then decides she is really a lesbian and wants a divorce (and child custody as the “mom”) to marry her lesbian partner….

    The same just can’t be said about what the homosexual activists are pushing.

    It’s not simply marriage by a long shot. When the President of the Boy Scouts is chosen for his political background and then uses his influence to argue for homosexual adult troop leaders for these teenage and preteen males, and it is too un-PC to discuss the realities of grooming and recruitment in the gay male community…

    Yet who would put their young son in the Boy Scouts today if this comes to pass. Send him on a weekend camping expedition in the same tent.

    Were the Boy Scouts a net good for our nation for several decades or not? Will the end of this once great organization be somehow positive for our nation’s advance (and its youth).

    Color me hysterical…its only getting worse.

  58. Why is that picking a fight? I made a sensible statement and I asked a sensible question. Alex’s rage against anyone opposed to same sex marriage is that we have sin in our own house.

    So, it only follows – what is up for grabs in our society because I sin?

  59. MLD, morality is based on Societal Consensus so you are presenting another apples and oranges analogy.

    The Consensus is a father marrying his daughter is immoral…

    The Consensus that two gay adult citizens wanting to get a govt. marriage contract the same as heterosexual counterparts has changed…it is now a Consensus that it is OK.

    Slavery in the bible was OK, now it isn’t.

    Stoning your kids to death in the bible was OK, now it isn’t.

    Having multiple wives and concubines/sex slaves was OK for King David, Solomon, Abraham, Jacob, Gideon and whole bunch of “godly” bible characters and was OK per “God’s Law” at one time…now it is not OK and is considered immoral.

    That’s the way it works.

  60. Michael,

    I see your point but not enough to back off

    Our battle is within our family and for our kids.

    They are stealing our own kids

  61. I see its time to move on again….

  62. Ya, move on Steve Wright. Take your worthless “I’m independent and only responsible for my own franchise and have no influence in CC..unless it’s gay marriage!” arse outta here.

  63. BD,

    I’m not asking you to back off.
    I’m telling you that I believe our kids are vulnerable because we didn’t live according to our own ethics and beliefs…and now we’re trying to sell those some people we failed how they should live.

    We need to address and repent of that before anything else…

  64. Alex,

    You only need to make your point once.
    This stuff is important and I don’t want it derailed with old wars.

  65. Alex,
    “morality is based on Societal Consensus” – unbelievable that you believe this. You have entered the realm of the most dangerous man on the planet – you agree with Pol Pot’s Cambodia and Hitler’s Germany.

    The consensus is kill the Jews – that became the morality by ‘Societal Consensus’ of 1930s Germany. And now you advocate for the same.

    Nice job – and this time I am comparing apples to apples. I will allow you to retract that statement.

  66. Make his point. LOL You guys have become quite a pair.

    Maybe I’ll welcome testifying after all…..truth, whole truth..nothing but the truth.

  67. No matter how clean our house is the world will continue their attacks. The fact is there will always be stories to be told where failures in the church take place. This is a source of joy and self justification for many outside the church.

    Churches on an individual basis are going to have to make choices. Too many stories of church abuse. Too many stories of financial corruption. Too many stories of churches condemning their brothers and sisters over non essentials. Too many churches are changing the definition of sin. Too many churches denying the truth of Jesus as the ONLY way to God.

    The American church is not THE church. The church is international and it seems many of them have and are becoming refined through fiery trials even to the point of martyrdom. They live holy and consecrated lives.

    Maybe the day is coming where individual churches are going to say “enough!” We will not evolve and change along with the world. We serve an unchanging God and His word is alive and it is eternal, not subject to change.

    James Dobson is a joke to many but I’ve listened to him through the years and he saw this coming. He stressed family and the paramount importance it is to our nation. He did what he thought was right to stem the tide of pornography, divorce, and so on. Maybe we’ll look back on him as a prophet because from where I sit he has been pretty right on.

    The bottom line is millions are entering eternity without Christ. God help us to be the church this nation needs even though many refuse to recognize that fact.

  68. Erunner,

    Jesus said the world would hate us… even if we played their music.
    I just want to be hated for Christ’s sake and not because I deserve it.

  69. I disagree – wow, that’s a new one. I do not think our house is clean nor should it or can it be.

    Read this – I think he has it right. It’s smelly because the blog author is Lutheran

    http://www.200proofgospel.com/2015/05/what-is-church-if-not-outhouse.html

    Gotta love the title – WHAT IS THE CHURCH IF NOT AN OUTHOUSE?

  70. MLD,

    We can own our own mess…and until we do our credibility in discussing other peoples mess is weakened.

  71. Would love you to testify Steve Wright. It will put you on the record as supporting the bad guy in that situation when all the others testify against him…and very terrible things.

    Would love to have you on the record demonstrating how Calvary Chapel pastors circle the wagons to support their own…while railing on “the evil gays!” etc.

  72. There is no “OUR” mess – when you say it is “our mess” then you let the people you want to change off the hook.

    Is it my mess that Bob G is a molester? Is it my mess that Don Stewart can’t keep it in his pants? Is it my mess that Matt Chandler is a dictator? Is it “our mess”.

    You can wait for Christians to stop sinning before you call sin sin to a fallen and lost world. You can let the actions of the above mentioned people and many others you have in your Rolodex keep you quiet and squirming – but I won’t. Those people are not my mess. I am my own mess.

    Oh, by the way, it is not my credibility that is on the line out there – it is Jesus and he can hold up just fine.

  73. “I just want to be hated for Christ’s sake and not because I deserve it.”

    Agreed.

  74. I am anything but quiet.
    I call sin what it is…but I call it out in my family first.

    We represent Christ…so when we fail to act, we fail both Him and those watching.

  75. I watched the old movie MASH Monday afternoon from 1970. They had no respect for Christianity back then 45 yrs ago, mocking it publicly.

    Same as today

  76. MLD, if your pastor was accused by his gay son of molestation…what would your church do?

  77. …say it’s not their problem and then lead a campaign against Gay Marriage b/c “God” is judging ‘Merica b/c of the gays?

  78. My purpose is not to show others how good I can be and tell them they too can become good. That is a fool’s gospel.

    I am out there telling people I can’t do it but Jesus saved me anyway – and I fail everyday, and Jesus still loves me. The same for you “unsaved sinner” – come and get saved.

    But me point earlier to Alex that you tried to quash is objection to same sex marriage, just like adult incestuous marriage does not need to be a religious issue – but it is a natural law issue. Which means I do not need to have my act cleaned up to object to it.

  79. MLD, gay marriage is not a natural law issue, it is a religious issue.

  80. It’s not homosexuality or murder or any host of sins that separates people from God eternally. It’s their rejection of the person and work of Jesus Christ. Their sins are simply the fruit of that rejection. Maybe one on one evangelism is ultimately the way to bring people to the knowledge of the truth. Finger wagging doesn’t cut it.

  81. No, it’s been made a religious issue – but cultures all through history religious and secular have recognized it as unnatural.

  82. “Call the cops” is a cop-out. What if the victim is afraid of retaliation and afraid that the abuser will be able to get away with it like the abuser has gotten away with everything else in his life?

    What then?

    You just ignore the accusation? Business as usual? What if a bunch of other folks had child abuse claims, financial abuse claims, etc? What then?

  83. ….what if someone made the claim your pastor was gay and was seen at a gay bar or something similar?

    Oh boy, STOP THE PRESSES! Game over.

    See the point?

  84. I will say this for Alex

    The devils of this world get protected
    by religion
    by society
    by jurisprudence
    by culture
    by every system

    Dogs should lick their blood

    And a pox on every system that protects the guilty

  85. Thanks Dread. I can promise you the devil in that situation is not going to dodge accountability and some form of justice this time.

  86. I wonder if I can get away with stealing Dreads stuff for my book… 🙂

  87. E, I am trying to approach the same sex marriage thing from a secular natural law angle. I don’t wag fingers at people and say God says – why would I if they don’t believe in God.

    My other opposition is not against gays in the church, but against churches and pastors that give in to the pressure as we saw earlier with the UMC.

    So it is bad for society = natural law
    it’s bad for the church as they want acceptance for something that the Bible, Jesus and the historic church has always rejected.

  88. MLD, you don’t understand what “natural law” is in the philosophy of law.

  89. MLD, is “slavery”…owning another human being as personal property that you can bequeath to your heirs…is that “wrong” and “illegal” as a “natural law” today?

    Yes, it is.

  90. MLD, why was “slavery” at one time OK and acceptable according to “natural law”…but today it is against the law according to “natural law”?

    …because Consensus changed with regards to that moral issue…thanks to Wilberforce and Lincoln and others.

    Slavery was okey dokey during the days of Thomas Aquinas…so were other things that “natural law” said were fine and acceptable.

    Today, it is becoming universally accepted that Gays getting married is not the end of the world. It will become a “natural law” in time.

  91. I do – but your conception that natural law fits in with civil law shows that you have read no Aquinas and is as off base as you inclination towards “Societal Consensus” being the just rule of the day.

    To all – I am going to bed. All I can say to any pastor or church leader here – if you go back for 2nds at Home Towne Buffet, you need not feel compelled to marry gays to each other as Alex would have you believe

  92. MLD, my comment had nothing to do with you but was a general observation. Oh yeah, there was a Kershaw sighting today! 🙂

  93. “MLD, why was “slavery” at one time OK and acceptable according to “natural law”

    Now I know that you know nothing, absolutely zero about natural law. And how something becomes natural law (which means natures law) after the people vote is beyond comprehension.

    You have a good evening fooling the rest of the blog.:-)

  94. E -7 shutout innings – 10Ks

  95. MLD, “natural law” hinges on “moral norm”…”moral norm” is Consensus as to what constitutes “moral norm”. A major part of “moral realism” is “moral subjectivism”.

    To put the cookies on the low shelf…”morality” is largely subjective and depends on a universal consensus as to what constitutes a moral norm and then a natural law.

    “Thou shall not murder” (notice I used murder and not kill)…a universally accepted moral norm and natural law.

    “Thou shall kill all the Amalekite women, children, infants and animals”….violation of “natural law”?

  96. ^^ That dilemma up yonder is the philosopher’s equivalent of the hat trick or the grand slam or the 99-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.

  97. MLD, you are so wrong LOL. Nice fronting to try and save face. Anyone with a half a day can read up on the issues and get the gist of it.

    You can start here: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/natural-law-theories/\

    Read up, learn something.

  98. I’ll save you some reading and cut out some of the core principles…from our history, I think telling you to read a complex conceptual subject is about like telling you to read Greek.

    “Natural law theory of law has its most distinctive characteristic in its account of purely positive law which, though “entirely” dependent for its legal status on the fact that it has been authoritatively posited by some persons(s) or institution, nonetheless shares in law’s characteristic of entailing—albeit presumptively and defeasibly—a moral obligation of compliance. About these rules of a positive legal system, Aquinas says that, though they certainly should be, and be presumed to have been, “derived from natural law”, they have their legal force only from their part in this posited system (ex sola lege humana vigorem habent: ST I-II, q. 95 a. 3).”

    “That is to say: the concretized rule is (morally as well as legally) normative because such normativity is (presumptively and defeasibly) entailed by the (moral) principle that the common good (whose fundamental content is given by the foundational principles of practical reason: 1.1) requires that authoritative institutions take action to specify, apply and enforce some rules on the relevant matters. Social facts make a positive legal rule a reason for action because the desirability of authority as a means of securing common good, and the desirability of the “rule of law and not of men,” are standing and potent reasons for acknowledging such facts as an instance of valid legislation giving presumptively sufficient reason for compliance. Purely positive law that is legally valid is (presumptively and defeasibly) valid and binding morally—has the moral form or meaning of legal obligatoriness—when and because it takes its place in a scheme of practical reasoning whose proximate starting point is the moral need for justice and peace, and whose more foundational starting-point is the range of basic ways in which human wellbeing can be promoted and protected, the way picked out in practical reason’s first principles.

    Thus, in relation to the settled positive law, natural law theory—as is acknowledged by a number of legal positivists, e.g., Raz 1980, 213; Gardner 2001, 227– shares the principal thesis of contemporary legal positivists, that laws depend for their existence and validity on social facts.”

  99. Slavery is a great issue to use to help educate you:

    At one time “slavery” was argued as “natural law” and a “natural condition”…and then Consensus changed and opponents of slavery began arguing that it was not “natural law” was against the natural condition….and they eventually won the argument…though it took killing each other for awhile to do it.

    Today, we see Gay Marriage becoming one of those similar issues…whether you like it or not…whether you understand it or not. “Natural Law” is largely based on Reason and doing what is in the best interest of “the common good”…and our Society today is saying that it is in our collective good to have Gay Marriage.

    A good argument from a “natural law” perspective? What is a leading health crisis in the Gay Community? HIV/AIDS. Sexual promiscuity leads to a higher risk of the spread of that disease which impacts our healthcare system and destroys the lives of a lot of our citizens.

    What does the institution of Marriage promote? It promotes monogamy and a commitment to a spouse.

    Remove your pre-suppositionalist “slavery is good b/c the bible said so!” hat…and look at the issue more Reasonably…how is Gay Marriage going to hurt “the common good”?

    Will it stop folks from being gay? Nope.

    Will it promote Monogamy in the Gay Community? Yes.

    Does Society do better when folks make commitments to each other in a marriage contract and those two folks work together to build families and support each other and work and buy a house and spend money in the community? Yes.

    It’s a good “natural law” argument…

  100. I can lead you to the intellectual water…but I can’t make you drink…well I can make you drink, but I can’t make you not stupid 🙂

  101. Alex

    “if your pastor was accused by his gay son of molestation…”

    Are you coming out of the closet?

  102. Alex, what can I say? You are the poster boy for the dangers of Google. I should have known if I introduced you to something new (natural law) you would abuse the privilege of learning. So you turn to Google, find an article, copy / paste a couple of paragraphs and think you ‘got it’ and can turn it around on me.

    What you came up with reading through your lens was taking what they say about natural law and you came out with common law.
    1.) Common law is your consensus – we look at an issue and we decide what to think about what it means and what we should do.
    2.) Natural law is when you look at something and it is universally accepted just on its face.
    Two completely different concepts – you have chosen poorly. Now, aside from your choice of web sites, you may wish one day to read an actual book with a binding as a reference point. 😉

  103. Let’s try this with your Consensus vs Natural law.
    Natural law says life should be protected and allowed to flourish.
    “Societal Consensus” says abort at will

  104. Bob said, “Are you coming out of the closet?”

    LOL, wrong son. I have the same problem as Raul Ries, Bob Coy, Don Stewart, etc…only I attract better looking women.

  105. MLD, no, incorrect. You have no clue as to the nuance…which explains why you are attracted to a belief system that thinks when Jesus said, “this is my body, this is my blood” that you really think you are a cannibal dining on the literal flesh and blood of Jesus at that moment.

    MLD said, “Let’s try this with your Consensus vs Natural law”

    False Dilemma.

    They are not mutually exclusive, Consensus plays a factor in the determination of what constitutes a “natural law”…that is where the universality plays a big role in natural law.

    Again, Slavery was once argued as “natural law”….then dissenters challenged that notion and appealed to “natural law” and claimed Slavery was immoral. They eventually won the argument. Slavery is now against “natural law” and that is a Consensus position held by the vast majority of humanity, even you.

    The issue of Slavery demonstrates the subjective nature of “natural law” because natural law is not purely Objective and Absolute as you claim. You have a Jr. High black and white understanding of what it is and have not done your homework…or you simply can’t grasp the complexity of the subject and have created false dilemmas.

  106. So, how are you proposing that the Church affirm abortion – not just people who have come under “bad advise” (I know you don’t like the idea of sin entering the conversation.

    So, the “Societal Consensus” all over the world is for abortion on demand. How should the church affirm this – just a referal service or an actual 1st Baptist Abortion Clinic.

    Remember, in 10 yrs or less, by your standing of thinking, will become natural law. You must understand, it was almost impossible for me to type that with a straight face.

    btw, slavery was never natural law – it may have been common law but not natures law.

    We have exhausted this – direct your gay buddied to the UMC, the ELCA, the PCUSA and the Episcopal churches if they want to get married – no one is stopping them.

  107. Having just graduated from a United Methodist seminary I am horrified by the reported actions of their denomination.

    The argument they are making is that if you want to know how to live do not come to church because we are the last to “get it” in other words they are justifying their own demise.

    They are literally promoting a narrative that says look to Hollywood for your moral map because we are the last to know.

    They are also furthering the narrative that we have neither an authoritative church (Catholic) nor an authoritative Bible (Protestant) but we have an authoritative culture.

    Underneath the argument so far is that adult consent is the arbiter of morality. Underneath the argument is that there is no God other than the people. Shape the mind and you can be like god.

  108. yesterday, i realized that we have 2 things to deal with IMHO, the victims and the epidemic and i don’t believe we can or should lump the two together…

    i don’t know when this video was made, but here is a ‘same sex attracted’ pastor with something to say…

    http://www.livingout.org/stories/vaughan

  109. Michael – Any thoughts on LogosCloud?

    A wee too pricey for me… 😉

  110. Dread, God bless you. Keep writing- your words are truth.

  111. Michael, I know your heart is in the right place on this topic, but we can’t just continue wringing our hands and lamenting about where we have missed the boat in the past decades. Sure, the homosexual agenda is the fruit of that laxity but we can repent of the past and join the battle today. Because some churches caved to the culture in the past and normalized divorce (etc) does not mean we must be passive observers today.

    But as Dread has noted, there will be a cost. Churches that teach the truth may lose their tax exemption, etc. A great breach will be formed between the compliant churches and the non-compliant churches. We must decide where we as individuals stand on this and once we decide, stand firm. We will need good leaders. I am glad the Pentecostals have Dread.

  112. someone mentioned that Christianity has been mocked for a very long time in this country…
    yes, it has… it began with the intellectuals showing the Faith mock respect as a good teenager shows his parents… but as those teenagers became parents their offspring had no grounding and no examples… the fruit of all that is now overripe – let those who have discerning noses smell the stench… er something like that

    one thing seems to grow clearer for the Church: the line between good and evil

  113. papias,

    I can’t afford it and I am already stuck in Logos prison.
    I’ve already invested so much into software that doesn’t work properly or efficiently much of the time and probably wouldn’t buy it even if I had the money.

  114. “The argument they are making is that if you want to know how to live do not come to church because we are the last to “get it” in other words they are justifying their own demise.”

    There is some truth to that through out evangelicalism. There is an invisible line that some are crossing in the name of being relevant that is antithetical to the law of God, by which we cannot properly present the gospel. Without the law, there is no knowledge of sin, without knowledge of sin, there is no need to seek the grace of God. If that is “church”, we might as well do something else on Sundays.

  115. Xenia,

    I have no intention of compromising on the gay marriage issue as it applies to the church.

    My contention is that TODAY we are still lax about the very foundation of the biblical family and that is creating the fertile ground for this new pox to flourish.

    Broken children from broken homes are the fodder that feeds this scourge…yet all I hear is “look at what they’re doing” instead of “look at what we’ve done”.

    We’re reaping the whirlwind…and this battle must be prosecuted on two fronts.

  116. Here are my observations of the gay movement:

    1. Deviant sexual practices have been around since the beginning of recorded history.
    2. Many sexual practices are more about self satisfaction and often about domination.
    3. Many of these practices can be considered abuse.
    4. Just because there is mutual consent abuse can never be justified.
    5. Cultural acceptance of deviant behavior often trumps the best parental practices and teaching.
    6. Two ways to face the gay issue; 1. from a cultural standpoint, and 2. from a home and family position.
    7. General Church organization survival depends on cultural acceptance.
    8. In the days of a generally strong community church centered culture, deviant behavior is lessened.
    9. Did I write church survival depends on cultural acceptance?

    In the end small groups centered on God, scripture, and a caring community standard will have in their midst reduced deviant behavior. One problem develops; these groups become the deviants in a culture which embraces another standard of behavior.

    It wasn’t just a few years ago (OK maybe 10) creation was the main attack on church standards (and before that it was divorce and remarriage). With that one won it has now moved to deviant sexual behavior as a norm and church organizations are now falling like dominoes in acceptance.

    The good thing is God never intended for his creation to rely on church organizations for their faith in Him.

  117. Michael,
    I cannot applaud you loud enough for zeroing in on the urgent need to call the church to repentance for our hardness of hearts that Jesus spoke of directly when addressing the issue of loosey-goosey divorce, something that was prevalent in His time that he took high issue with. If any person standing in a pulpit is going to address a group of hearers who can and must do something in our midst, it is incumbent on that person to address divorce over the so called “gay agenda”. How about we support Jesus’ diagnosis first and foremost, that divorce is precisely because of the hardness of hearts between two who entered into an exclusive covenant before God and the church community that they will, for the good of their family, the church community, the civil community, and the very reputation of God, seek reconciliation, counseling, or haven from abuse?

    It’s exhausting to hear the incessant droning of swaggering pastors who berate “them gays” yet tolerate divorce or wink at it.

  118. as i listened to Pastor Vaughan Roberts make his case, agreeing with all that he said, in the back of my mind there was a whisper, can he really do it? can he persist? and if he doesn’t make it, will he be forgiven? does a failure meant damnation? how do we help souls, straight or ‘same sex attracted,’ that fail from capitulating? how do we emphasize grace and forgiveness without falling into a compromise of the Faith ourselves? we’ll need to be tough minded to stand up to the accusations, i.e., “you’re a hypocrite, you glutton!” see it for the ignorant, petulant and childish barrage that it is?
    we might lose our tax status? we’d better prepare that we will lose our real estate

  119. “It’s exhausting to hear the incessant droning of swaggering pastors who berate “them gays” yet tolerate divorce or wink at it.” true words – “swaggering pastors” with no clothes

  120. G,

    I was talking to a young man the other day and this is what he said to me;

    “You want me to respect my parents?” “Which set?”

    I’m just now starting to understand the toll the two divorces in my own childhood took…

  121. “swaggering pastors” with no clothes

    my eyes! my eyes! o_O

  122. Pastors trying to take divorce more seriously end up looking like the Village Church.

  123. Michael,
    Of the many things in the Torah which speak to indiscriminate paring of individuals, especially in families, the repeated phrase comes to mind, “…it is confusion”.

    Of the myriad human parings, the most stable, most enduring, man & woman as husband & wife, is a lifelong challenge to compromise, to die to oneself and place “the other” in higher esteem & honor…
    …even when you’re tired
    …even when you’re irritated
    …even when you’re broke
    …even when you’re misunderstood
    …even when your own personality traits wage war against your very soul
    …even when age decline sets in
    …even in seasons of loneliness between the two of you

    Now, introduce any additional person to the mix, and it’s not simple multiplication, it’s an exponential factorial mathematical equation that no human being can work through without pain, suffering and destruction.

    And it’s all because of hardness of our hearts that we fail, according to Jesus.

  124. Josh is right

  125. The thing with divorce is that you cannot unscramble the egg – so people need a path to church reconcilliation. Anyone who thinks you live in perpetual adultery does not understand the forgivness of Jesus.

  126. MLD said, “btw, slavery was never natural law – it may have been common law but not natures law.”

    You just demonstrated exactly my position.

    It was natural law at one time and argued as natural law and supported through the argument of natural law. I’ll try to post some info to back up that claim.

    Opponents of Slavery began arguing that Slavery was against natural law and they fave their reasons why. They eventually won the debate…and now Slavery is considered against natural law.

  127. I’ll try to keep the petty gamesmanship out of it MLD, b/c I think this is an important discussion to be had.

    This issue is one of the pillars of my Belief System….which is that Consensus Principle plays a much larger role in “Truth” and “Morality” than any other dynamic…Consensus Principle is what also drives “Correct Doctrine/Theology!” etc. within a particular Sect.

    It is things as they are….

  128. I think your view of natural law is stuck to what you learned back in the 60’s or 70’s when you went through school. Natural Law Theory has progressed quite a bit since then.

  129. Philosophy isn’t nearly as dogmatic as Theology/Doctrine…so the realm of Natural Law Theory is not stuck in the 1500’s Reformation or previous.

  130. MLD, are you familiar with Aristotle? Have you read his “Politics”?

    Aristotle argued for Slavery as “natural law”…so did Sepulveda the theologian to defend the practice of Colonists colonizing aborigines/natives.

    Slavery was once Universally accepted as a Natural Law by nearly all societies until a shift occurred in Reasoning and theologians and philosophers began arguing that Slavery was actually against Natural Law.

    Those are the facts of history whether you acknowledge them or not. There is a LOT of info on this subject, I could give many many more examples.

  131. Oh golly. Alex is busy on google again.

  132. Natural Law, opponents of a particular Consensus Moral Opinion/Issue, will argue…trumps the established law and practice of a particular culture.

    Slavery was one such successful challenge. Women’s suffrage another. Civil Rights Movement…another…all argued post-Enlightenment as “natural laws” or basic human rights.

    Gay Marriage falls in this category. It is an Issue that is evolving.

    The conventional wisdom by conservatives is that Natural Law tells us Homosexuality and Gay Marriage are against Natural Law…and against the bible (whereas Slavery is OK with the bible, but Christians eventually conceded it was against Natural Law).

    Liberals argue that Gay Marriage is a human right or Natural Law….and they are gaining Consensus with their Position and they are thus far winning the argument in our current era.

  133. There will still be some who argue Gay Marriage is against Natural Law…but as Thomas Aquinas and many others have noted…Natural Law only has meaning and teeth when it is accepted universally by the particular System that gives meaning and provides teeth to the Law… or the force of the Law…ex sola lege humana vigorem haben.

  134. Alex – look, if you want to hold a uniquely Alex view of natural law go ahead.

    So, why have you not answered the abortion issue – now that it is the “Societal Consensus” – more so than gay marriage since abortion is legal in all countries in the world and all states of the USA – ity is closer to your version of natural law.

    So, should the churches be accepting abortion as normal and as you are demanding of the church with the gay marriage issue – are you suggesting that the church become not only tolerant of abortion, but also affirming and promoting abortion?

    You keep avoiding it – it must be chilling to see the logical conclusion of your thinking.

  135. MLD, Abortion is an issue I believe is against Natural Law…but the law of our Land disagrees.

    The Pro-Abortion Group argues that it is the human right or natural law of the woman to terminate a pregnancy and fetus which is a part her body vs. our Position that the fetus is a separate human being with human rights and that Natural Law dictates we are to protect the unborn separate human being.

    The Abortion issue hinges on “personhood” and the conservatives have lost the argument as of today. It is a Natural Law issue.

  136. When faced with the abortion question, I wonder what would happen if chruches put their tax-exempt money where their rhetoric is and offered to assist the woman with the unplanned pregnancy carry the child full term to an adoption outcome, with continued support and counsel for the woman postpartum?

    But then, that would be way too practical

  137. My small, poor, rural church does a lot of that, so I’d be willing to bet it takes place all over the country.

  138. FWIW – truth by its very definition is an absolute – all else is just consensus – so be careful with whom you consult…

  139. Josh,
    That’s awesome!
    I wish more about such grace was posted and shared.
    Makes my heart warm.

  140. G – Me too.

  141. Truth is variable rarely absolute, defined by culture, observable and repeatable science, and subject to peer review 😉

  142. what Josh said #140 yes ! ! !

  143. MLD, do you understand now how your black and white false dilemma regarding “natural law” and Consensus is incorrect?

    Natural Law is subject to a particular individuals interpretation….and only becomes Force of Law within a System of Law when a particular Consensus is reached.

    You will always have one Group supporting a particular Moral issue as supported by Natural Law…and another that disagrees (in general). That’s how it works.

    Your particular opinion of what is supported by Natural Law…does not make it (in practical terms) a Natural Law.

  144. no, G, what you are describing as “truth” is just human viewpoint IMHO

    BTW – is your gravatar your creation?

  145. Which set? All of them, pretty simple.

    It always seemed to me adults preach, “honor your father and mother” to children and yet the rule is written to adults.

    Even in our culture of abandonment (yes that is what divorce does in some way to people) it doesn’t change the instruction to honor one’s parents. So if there are more than one set honor them all.

    And honoring doesn’t mean putting them up on a pedestal as an object of worship. It means to consider how they got to where they are or were, and how they contributed to your/our adulthood.

    Honoring a bastard of a father includes considering why he was what he is, how it effected his children and then not being like him. The text gives plenty of good examples of bad fathers and how to break free of that yoke.

  146. G, we support an org called Stanton Healthcare that does exactly what you are saying…they help mothers pay for the pregnancy and they help them with caring for the child post-birth. It is, as you stated, where the rubber meets the road for the Pro-Life crowd.

  147. Em said, ” truth by its very definition is an absolute ”

    No, that is incorrect.

    You are mistaking Truth with Fact.

  148. Alex,
    That’s so good!!!

  149. Gravity is an immovable Fact.

    Your particular view that Slavery is immoral and against Natural Law is a Truth.

  150. G, I try brother, I try 🙂

  151. Em, there is only truth “from a human perspective” because the rest of creation isn’t fighting over it.

    Not my creation, discovered some neat art by the late graphic artist Mobius. Love his style.

  152. We support Food Banks, organizations like Stanton and others, stuff that helps folks in a practical manner. We don’t just yammer on about it.

  153. Like an agnostic friend of mine says jokingly, I do it in hopes of offsetting some of my time in hell, maybe I’ll get some furlough (jk)

  154. “There is no ‘try’, only ‘do'”
    Yoda, vaguely quoting Jesus in an alternate reality

    Good going on the doing!

  155. Even gravity has it’s required conditions, such as proximity to Earth or other massive masses such as moons, asteroids and stars.

  156. So you argue my side for abortion and ignore the ““Societal Consensus” LOL

    “The Abortion issue hinges on “personhood” – how can you say that – for the past 2 yrs we have heard nothing out of you but “Societal Consensus” reigns

    Slavery used to be good but “Societal Consensus” has now made it bad.

    Hey abortion used to be bad but now “Societal Consensus” has made it good. Live with it – may abortion flourish in our churches today — right 😉

  157. MLD, no, I example how the issue is nuanced and not black and white as you propose.

    Natural Law is not absolute and objective…it is subjective in large part because you are relying on humans and human reason to form an opinion and conclusion about what is “according to Natural Law” and what is not…and as such you are going to have differences of opinion on some issues where there is a lack of Universal Consensus.

  158. G – most churches do help women carry to term. I don’t know where you have been. Perhaps you can start such a ministry at your church.

  159. MLD, it’s a similar dynamic when you claim “the bible is ABSOLUTE!”…no, not really…the bible states some things (depending on the particular translation) and then you and your Group and Sect and Gurus then INTERPRET the bible and then tell your followers: “This is what the bible really says and means!”…and it often differs from what other Sects say the bible really means and says.

    Both claim the bible as Absolute in defense of their particular Position…while completely disagreeing with the other Group’s Position appealing to the same bible.

  160. That’s simply not true and I’ve been to plenty of churches through music ministry.
    It’s rare that there is anything formal in place.

    Churches don’t do it by policy or statement of belief, though kudos to the rare congregations that do.

    Individuals who are friends do it, and oftentimes there are few friends or family who have the assets in place to mobilize the resources.

    That’s why it would be great if to retain tax exempt status there would be a requirement to demonstrate tangible aid in place if a church is going to say they are pro-life.

  161. MLD said, “Hey abortion used to be bad but now “Societal Consensus” has made it good”

    Yes, our Western Culture has made it “good” in general…and they have, to date, won the argument regarding its status as good under Natural Law….even though I disagree and you disagree…and even though we appeal to Natural Law and human rights of the fetus.

    Again, the Pro-Abortion Crowd argues the fetus is not a human person and therefore it doesn’t have human rights and that it is part of the mother’s body and her human right to choose.

    Both are appeals to Natural Law. Our argument has lost for now, at least in our System.

  162. MLD, is “You shall kill all the Amalekite women, children, infant and animals” against Natural Law?

  163. MLD said, “G – most churches do help women carry to term.”

    Anecdotally, I disagree with this statement. I have not seen “most” or even very many do what you are claiming. As G stated, it is sporadic and usually individuals helping women or sometimes it is churches supporting organizations like Stanton who do what you are saying…and in that regard there are more churches that do help other organizations that specialize in helping women through pregnancy and then through child care/health care etc.

  164. Anecdotally, I disagree too. I think the next wave of “scandal” to rock the american evangelical movement will be how many leaders (both in churches & political service) while preaching against abortion, allowed it for their own wives and kiddos and inner circle lay people in order to maintain image. The more hypocrisy and abuse that is uncovered, the more emboldened those who were married and grew up within its ranks will speak out. That is their stories to tell so that is all I can say.

  165. It’s funny Alex – up until yesterday you had never mentioned natural law – it has been all consensus. Now you can’t shut up about natuaral law and when I use your argument of consensus making abortion legitmate (as you say it does with homosexuality and same sex marriage) you about swallow your tongue back peddling.

    btw, we know that yesterday was the first time you ever heard of natural law – or at least got caught up in a discussion. You are such a neophyte in this area.

    I demand that churches accept abortion as an equal and legitimate form of birth control – the consensus has spoken.

  166. MLD, it’s only b/c you made a bizarre appeal to Natural Law that was laughably incorrect…so I have made a point of correcting it so others don’t have bad info.

    Folks, there are not that many weapons of mass destruction…don’t go to war over what MLD is saying…it isn’t correct. Do your homework…I’m confident you’ll find my presentation is much more accurate and intellectually honest.

  167. I wondered how long it would take to smoke out more voices to practice obfuscation disqualifying voices by blaming them

    If divorce was the issue here G-man would be the first one damning those who make divorce the unpardonable sin for speaking out against it or “moralizing” or forcing people to be in abusive relationships.

    So here we have him shaming us for what we have failed to do while in his heart he is wanting us to fail on this too.

    Please do not tell me that these posts are sincere interests in the integrity of marriage.

    Wait till the human carnage starts to add up about gay marriage and eventually the multiple marriages of the LGBT community … the coming communal marriages.

    There is no moral authority in these calls.

    Once again for emphasis. If we were doing anything to prevent divorces that in any way prevented people from doing exactly what they want to do … we would be called haters, tyrants, religious zealot bigot and any other thing you can think of to ridicule us from the field.

    There is no interest in godliness there is only an interest in human supremacy.

    Please let’s be real and honest.

  168. Anne, my heart sunk as I read your post. I can’t fathom that happening in the church. That’s the intentional taking of an innocent life.

    I believe the sin that has crept into so many churches does not represent us all and it’s going to continue to be something that all of us will be broad brushed with. I can’t help but think of the OT where the Jews so often fell into idolatry and every other kind of sin.

    I suspect the whole of the church in our nation may one day suffer for the sins of the minority of the body.

    I came to this blog so long ago totally naive to the reality of things within some of the CC’s and other churches. I suspect I am still naive if what you described is true. God help us if it is.

  169. Some of us have actually spent our lives trying to build healthy homes and restore broken relationships.

    Some of us have spent our lives trying to heal the brokenhearted.

    Some of us have spent our lives working with women with unwanted pregnancy and making homes for orphans finding income for widows and single moms.

    But if you raise a voice in moral protest …especially if it is rooted in scripture you are a fraud and a hypocrite and you never lift a finger.

    Save it for someone who sits in front of the TV drinking beer … or spends their spare time in personal recreational pursuits or just self aggrandizing with money. Some of us are actually in the work and will not be silenced by people who really have no interest in helping people actually live out the Gospel.

  170. Dread is this “godly” and a Natural Law:

    “Thou shall kill all the Amalekite men, women, children, infants and animals. Thus sayeth the Lord”

  171. I will promise you this.

    If you are in the work

    You will be accused over and over of every vile thing you try to prevent. And in the process you will get scuffed up and make plenty of mistakes trying to do good things.

    And high-minded critics from within and without will chirp.

    So let’s end abortion
    Let’s end divorce to every possible level
    Let’s establish covenant marriage
    Let’s do it all

    I raise my voice to this end but I have lived to this end for 45 years so spare me the moralizing about what has not been accomplished.

    There is enough hard heartedness to go around.

  172. There are Compassion Pregnancy Centers everywhere, supported almost entirely by the donations and volunteerism of conservative churches. These places save babies’ lives and offer all the support the mom is willing to receive, including a place to stay, help with adoption if that’s what they want and help with keeping the baby if that’s what they want.

    I myself used to be a labor couch for our local CPC.

    To try to shame Christians by saying we do nothing in this area is shameful.

  173. Dread, I’m with you on Abortion, I think it is a moral evil b/c I believe the fetus is a human life and a “person” and separate from the mother.

    I think Divorce is sometimes necessary, unfortunately, and in some cases serves the common good better than the folks staying together…especially where there is abuse involved.

    I’m all for marriage, I think it serves the common good of healthy societies well…even Gay Marriage b/c it promotes monogamy and building something together.

  174. …telling that none of you will touch the “kill all the women, children, infants and animals” command of “god” in the bible…b/c it’s a big giant Problem for your presuppositionalist boxes.

  175. as might be expected this scenario came to mind…
    from John’s gospel:
    “Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.”

    Pilate said to him, “What is truth?” After he had said this, he went back outside…”

    yes, truth IS relative, if one agrees with Pilate

    however, the consensus between me and the Apostle Paul is:
    “What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice. Yes, and I will rejoice,” 🙂

    Truth is static … a fact is dynamic and in this passing world, speaking figuratively, tends to be entropic

    it was a long time ago, but i got straight ‘A’s in philosophy… without studying much – it is easy to snow a philosopher

  176. “Truth is static ”

    “Thus sayeth the Lord, KILL all the Amalekite men, women, children, infants and animals”

    “Thus sayeth the Lord, you shall own Slaves as personal property and can bequeath them as property to your heirs”

    “Thus sayeth the Lord, you may have multiple wives and concubines/sex slaves”‘

    …tell me again how truth is static? 😉

  177. Regarding divorce, good luck with that. Every church I know of that refuses to hire a divorced pastor or won’t let divorced people in leadership are denounced as legalistic and you won’t find too many of these churches around anymore.

    The RCC tries to forbid divorce but it’s a lost cause in today’s culture. Divorced people (unless they manage to get an annulment, which is in my opinion whack-o, especially if the couple has kids) are usually not allowed to receive communion. This has resulted in a vast number of lapsed Catholics who can’t figure out how to get themselves back into the good graces of the RCC. The RCC method doesn’t work so well but they were at least trying. Of course, most Protestants have absolutely nothing good to say about the RC rules about divorce.

    The Orthodox are very much against divorce but we do provide a way back that isn’t as labyrinthine as the RC. There are very few divorced people in my parish and those who are were divorced before conversion. If a priest gets a divorce, no matter what the reason, he is removed from the priesthood.

    This is a common theme on this blog. Authoritarian leadership or a list of rules are considered bad but the fruit of letting everyone run their own way is also condemned.

    Can’t have your cake an eat it too.

  178. As for the slaughter of the Canaanites lets have a discussion on it

    It won’t bother me at all to have that discussion

    Why would people who believe in a God who is the judge of all and with whom is the power of life and death even eternal life and death… why would those people struggle at the thought of a God who brings a judgment on a group of people

    I do not struggle with the command to destroy the Canaanite any more than I struggle with Jesus prophecy of the destruction of Jerusalem and the slaughter that came forth from that

    I am not squeamish at all about such things.

    I have no trouble with a moral God who gives and takes life

  179. The “good news”, Alan is that according to many believers, those unborn lives are ushered directly to the presence of God. So I contend that abortion may be a tragedy for those making that choice, but not for the unborn. Based on that, I find it a heartwrenching tragedy that so many of the religious right will draw lines in sand re: abortion but are also the same ones cutting or even doing away with nutrition, early education and financial assistance for families programs in their states and federally. Boggles my mind. We are doing such a poor job of providing for those who have been born post Roe v Wade-would the addition of 60 million other lives trying to survive let alone thrive in this country even be possible? I don’t know but I wonder. The rich, powerful in our pews, corporations and politics will always be able to take care of their “unfortunate” predicaments, at least in this life 🙁

  180. Dreadly, do you then, think it is “good” and acceptable and morally right to slaughter our enemies like God commanded in the OT? Even the women, children, infants and animals?

  181. the fact that there was a time and a place where God said something to a certain person or group is just that a fact…
    the fact that God said it (not checking your references) is true

  182. What about multiple wives and sex slaves? “God” was cool with it at one time…even the prophet Nathan scolded David for taking Bathsheba…another man’s wife…b/c God had given David so many other wives and sex slaves to satisfy his lust.

  183. “the fact that there was a time and a place where God said something to a certain person or group is just that a fact…”

    Then it demonstrates that truth is not static, it is dynamic (your terms)

  184. I’ll help you with that one 🙂

    We certainly did when we nuked Japan…twice…but then relented when they finally gave in.

  185. Are there times when it is morally right and righteous to utterly destroy your enemy?

    Well, according to what you defend and believe as according to God and the bible…the answer is yes.

  186. “And Samuel hacked (an unarmed) King Agag to pieces with a sword in the sight of the Lord…and it pleased him”

  187. nope, sorry you flunk, Alex – you’re unable to distinguish between Truth and fact – the fact is true – Truth is still an absolute

    this is a far as i go on the subject – bell rang, door locked.

  188. Anne’s words this afternoon are worth thinking on IMHO

  189. Em, no 🙂 I respectfully disagree…that isn’t really the case. While truth as an ideal should align with fact…in reality it doesn’t have to…and often does not.

  190. Xenia also … ladies win today 🙂

  191. Fact has verifiability…and much of your “truth” does not have verifiability in a practical human sense.

  192. Gravity is a fact…your belief in supernatural miracles is a truth you hold…though can’t nearly verify it today.

  193. Alex – “MLD, it’s a similar dynamic when you claim “the bible is ABSOLUTE!”…”

    I don’t claim the Bible to be absolute – in fact I don’t even know what that means. Heck, I don’t even subscripbe to the idea that the canon is closed.

  194. “I have no trouble with a moral God who gives and takes life”

    I am with Babs. When Alex used to bring that up 6 months ago, he would always ask “MLD, is that your God?” and I would always answer YES!!

  195. MLD, fair enough…and good (your 196)

    Regarding most everything else on this thread….WOW I don’t understand how some of you folks process concepts and ideas etc…the world must look very different to you, I cannot relate.

  196. MLD said, ““MLD, is that your God?” and I would always answer YES!!”

    Yes, it is sometimes OK to show no mercy to your enemy and to slaughter him?

  197. “Yes, it is sometimes OK to show no mercy to your enemy and to slaughter him?”

    It’s good to be God! 😉

  198. But, it wasn’t “God”…it was humans that did the slaughtering, correct? Because they said God told them to do it, correct? And, it was righteous, correct?

  199. …in other words, the bible says Saul didn’t sin for killing most of the women, children, infants, and animals…he sinned b/c he didn’t kill them all like God had commanded, correct?

  200. Hey, I’m all for the “slaughter thine enemy!” is good and righteous sometimes narrative…seems to be that all of you are good with it, too…

  201. Alex – perhaps you would like to send God to a Dale Carnegie course

  202. MLD said, “Alex – perhaps you would like to send God to a Dale Carnegie course”

    I’d like to send you to any school that could help you with logic, reason and philosophy 🙂

  203. If indeed God commanded Israel to slaughter the Canaanites then by definition it was moral.

    When God judges man it is revealed faith
    When Man judges god it is the deification of man

    I will take my chances with things I do not fully understand over things that I reason out to the consensus of the mob.

  204. If God ACTS in history then he acts to the detriment of some and the benefit of others. If God acts in history to judge sin then he sometimes sanctions the violence that defeats evil.

    We have to grow up and stop being so squeamish about God’s righteous judgment.

    I will promise you this if God acts in history to stop evil to our satisfaction then the field will be strewn with bodies.

    If God answers Alex prayers then it will be by force and the evil will be stopped whether by violence or by conviction. Either way evil will end.

    When did humans become so wise they could say whether or not God is righteous.

    I actually believe God killed people in the Bible exactly as it says.

    It would shake my faith more if evil was never vanquished. I could not believe in a God who cannot and does not judge evil.

    Oh well

  205. A God who cannot judge cannot redeem. If that God cannot rule he cannot reign. If one understands that there is a kingdom of darkness that kills, steals and destroys then there must be a king who can rule.

    The destruction of the Canaanites is a conundrum for moral lightweights … God destroyed exactly the kind of people that Alex is complaining about. The people that religion protects are the people that God pronounced destruction upon.

    What is missed in these discussion is the patience and long-suffering of GOD.

    If either I or Alex were God the wicked would suffer quicker and more publicly. Alex you cannot complain about the judgments of GOD while complaining about the people who are seeming to escape that judgment.

  206. 172 and 175… Thank you, Xenia and Babylon’s Dread.

  207. Dread, amen.

  208. I have been kicking at that one for a long time now, a couple years.

    I think it might be that it simply isn’t an Absolute. It’s a “sometimes”

    Sometimes you forgive (when appropriate)….sometimes you relent (when appropriate)…and sometimes you utterly destroy your enemy like the Amalekites…and when it is “right and righteous” and when it is not…well, that’s “God” stuff…all we humans can do is go with our Conscience and conviction.

  209. …”God” is gonna destroy some enemies.

  210. We nuked Japan twice and I (and a pretty big chunk of others) think it was right and righteous in light of the circumstances. We slaughtered a lot of women, children and infants in that one….and showed no mercy on those two areas. We only relented when Japan bent its knee and submitted.

  211. …which is ironically one argument for Universal Reconciliation to a degree….will “God” continue to nuke his enemies if and when they bend their knee in the next?

  212. Well I am glad to see Alex finally coming around. Yesterday he backed off is own platform and agreed with me that Societal Consensus does not trump natural law (abortion) and now I see him taking up Bab’s position that God can and does order genocide and still remains loving and just.

    Now I know that Alex is too modest to acknowledge this so he will probably come back here and in humility deny it. 😉

  213. MLD, unlike you I am a truth seeker and being “right” for the sake of being right isn’t the goal…and I’ve changed major Positions when the facts and Reason warrant it.

    These issues are complex. Things like Ethics, Morality, Truth etc…are not black and white in some areas…as you’ve noted many times.

    I will often argue solidly black or white to test every area, every last corner of the Box I can find…before drawing a more firm Conclusion.

    I think that things are not Absolute in the vast majority of areas….sometimes it is Right and Righteous to slaughter the Enemy with zero Mercy, Zero forgiveness….and sometimes it’s Right and Righteous to “turn the other cheek”.

    I think that Natural Law is as I stated…it is a function of Reason….and subject to human interpretation…you and I agree on Abortion…we disagree on Gay Marriage…both of us can make valid appeals to Natural Law to support our Arguments…and right now we’re both losing the argument with regards to Abortion…and I’m winning the Argument with regards to a Government sanctioned Gay Marriage.

  214. When my Conscience is no longer agitated and restless…I know I’m in the right place…and can resolve a moral dilemma.

    “God” nukes his enemies sometimes….we nuke our enemies sometimes…and it is sometimes Right and Righteous and his will.

  215. Now can I get an amen? 🙂

  216. God: “Kill all the Amalekite men, women, children, infants and animals. Spare none.”

  217. Sometimes to win the argument…sometimes to make an omelet…you’ve got to break some eggs. Amen?

  218. “and I’m winning the Argument with regards to a Government sanctioned Gay Marriage.”

    there is no argument to win – I have long ago conceded that a government can be morally bankrupt in the laws it passes.

  219. “All authority is given by God”….

  220. ….are you saying “God” is morally bankrupt by allowing it to happen? Does “God” not control “all authority”?

  221. F***k I’m a hyper-calvinist again LOL

  222. Pastor Dread, pretty much “AMEN” to all your comments posted – encouraging words 🙂

  223. Some clarification…

    Like Dread and my esteemed mentor Dr. Packer, I rather like the OT God.

    However, some distinctions need be drawn.
    OT Israel was a theocracy…we are not.

    The NT is very clear that we are to leave the wrath of God to God…only the state and God Himself are to bear the sword.

    This is attached to eschatological hope…our faith contains the assurance that at the end of all things all things will be set right, justice will be done, and righteousness established.

    Thus, we are to defer wrath to God in the blessed assurance that He can hurt them worse than we can. 🙂

  224. #226- yes, necessary clarification – i wish that the Church had that principle more firmly grasped (and front and center these days)…

    “He can hurt them worse than we can.” He can and WILL, if they don’t repent – i believe in light of that Truth, it should motivate us to do as we’re told: to hold off and in love to pray for our enemies (to repent)

  225. Michael said, “The NT is very clear that we are to leave the wrath of God to God…only the state and God Himself are to bear the sword.”

    How do you support that through the scripture?

    Doesn’t seem to be the case….seems “God” uses people/humans to exact his wrath sometimes…in OT and NT alike…not just the “state”

  226. Hey, if it is morally reconcilable, I am all about the OT and NT and smiting of the enemy. Righteous smiting with the sword, all for it. Slaughter the enemy, no mercy…great. We see it in both Testaments.

  227. Rom. 12:19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”

    The “wrath to come” is woven throughout the NT.
    It comes on the last day…and is executed by God.

  228. Doesn’t say that “God” doesn’t use humans outside of the state to execute that wrath.

  229. re: #230 – yes, FWIW, i absolutely agree, that said, i suspect that in my lifetime i have seen what certainly appeared to be God’s punishment (as opposed to correction, which is reserved for the “correctable” 🙂 ) come down on unbelievers who intentionally harmed one of God’s own… very sobering to think on in any case

  230. For instance, “you” don’t save folks with the gospel message…but God still uses you to as the arms and legs and body to delivery it, correct? Same for God’s wrath. Sometimes he uses human feet to kick the arse.

  231. ….or are you asserting that God only uses the State post-OT? That is a bizarre assertion. What constitutes the state? A local city councilman? A meter maid? The dog catcher? LOL

  232. Well, some days I’d like to be “God” for about 10 seconds…that should be long enough to nuke all my enemies and set some things straight LOL.

  233. Alex, you obviously have never tried to work out an issue with a city bureacrat if you don’t think they can reign down the wrath of God on you 🙂

  234. I’ve had a busy week so this is th first opportunity I’ve had to respond.

    The esteemed (in his own mind) Pastor (he covets that title, more than the rabbis of Jesus time who loved their positions, something Jesus rightly called them on), Mr. Dread has stated the following about me based solely on his disdain that I dare to critique our churches’ lack of being serious about divorce,

    “If divorce was the issue here G-man would be the first one damning those who make divorce the unpardonable sin for speaking out against it or “moralizing” or forcing people to be in abusive relationships. So here we have him shaming us for what we have failed to do while in his heart he is wanting us to fail on this too.”

    By virtue of my posts I demonstrate that MY issue IS indeed divorce, and serial monogamy. Mr. Dread is fixated on homosexuals to the point that I sincerely fear for his obsession and suggest he seek counseling and spiritual guidance to become more focused on the issues which are permeating the 4 Gospels’ accounts of Jesus. Faithfulness to one’s spouse is extremely important to Jesus.

    As for being able to somehow state what is in my heart, that is complete and utter arrogance on Mr. Dread’s part and I call him on it. Such arrogance is not befitting anyone who claims to be a representative of Jesus Christ, let alone a supposed leader of a faith community.

    I have to return to my work focus. Anymore about Mr. Dread is a distraction from my celebration of life.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H1EOnVSSJYs

  235. G-man has spoken and it is thus.

    I wish him every blessing in his pursuit of wholeness for those in marriage and join him in his concern for the Biblical covenantal union.

    I wish him every blessing in his intention to expose me for what I really am and am willing to be known.

    I will cop to being unyielding sometimes bombastic and passionate about things that matter. I will cop to be utterly opposed to his theology and self expressed opinions in this forum.

    I live a very public life and am known by many. Let God be true and every man a liar.

    I stand accused and in return I accuse G-man of nothing but very errant thinking that is dangerous and destructive, but I think him to be a man of conscience and conviction and wish him well in life.

    D@mned Dread

  236. #237 ?
    since i am the champion of poorly worded comments and it takes one to know one “they” say… i think these two Believers just might be talking past each other?

  237. well, Pastor Dread (and well he should value that title) snuck in a response while i was opinionating… dunno

  238. em,

    Your hope would be misunderstanding, but I assure you that our divide is very real and unyielding. I oppose his thinking he opposes mine as well as my person. We were once tentative but hopeful acquaintances we are now established strangers and opponents. I assure you that we understand each other well enough.

  239. Noted, Dread.

    Wishing you only the best in your journey following Jesus, representing Him, strengthening Covenental marraiges and communicating the hope that only comes from being madly in love with Jesus.

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