For the second time in less than three days the ever elusive editor has deliberately used the word “emerging” in such a way as to connect the emerging church to ideas which are completely absent from emergents. The first time it was involved the advocation of recreational drugs. Apparently that particular… insinuation (which is a polite word for lie) wasn’t quite good enough. So now its time for the anonymous, and deceptive editor get a little bit more ham fisted by connecting the emerging/emergent church to Anton LaVey who popularized the atheistic philosophy of the “Church of Satan“. Check out the headline:

Anton Szandor LaVey on the Original Emerging Church the Church of Satan

Of course with the phrase “original emerging church” the author, known only as the cowardly anonymous editor implies that there is at the very least a philosophical connection between the Church of Satan (the original) and the emerging church (the current). The problem is, there is none. There’s not actually one, and there’s not even a pretext of one presented.

The irony here is the most famous teaching of LaVey is the phrase “do as thou wilt”, its even presented right there in the clip posted by the editor, in the opening of the monologue LaVey says that religion has to dominate by fear in order to enforce its teachings of abstinence rather than motivating by indulgence.

Let me ask you this question. If a writer is willing to smear, lie and generally deceive by linking his or her opponents to boogie men like Anton LaVey and the Church of Satan what philosophy are they exhibiting? One that says “do as thou wilt” or one that says “I am the way the truth and the life”?

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This entry was posted on Saturday, July 28th, 2007 at 6:49 pm and is filed under Editor, ODM Writers. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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118 Comments(+Add)

1   phil    
July 28th, 2007 at 8:12 pm

It’s funny to me how paranoid some are about Anton Levay. I’ve heard his name come up so many times from people trying to connect different Christian writers or musicians to his teachings. They were probably people who have never even heard of the man, honestly. Probably the most ridiculous one I’ve ever read was when someone tried to connect Michael W. Smith, of all people, to him.

2   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
July 28th, 2007 at 11:43 pm

Ken or whoever the “editor” is is blowing a fuse man,

It seems that he cares little to have any credibility. I say let him keep pumping out lies like this so that people can see how far he has gone.

As I predicted, he will only get nastier… watch, I think there is one more level of stink he will descend into.

Pray for Ken as he is under great attack from Satan at this point… for I think that he has been turned over to his hearts desire, to be a great person like Walter Martin, but has forgotten God is the one who raises a person up.

This is a critical time… so again pray for Ken.

Be Blessed,
iggy

3   Ken Silva    http://www.apprising.org
July 29th, 2007 at 8:06 am

:-)

4   RayJr    
July 29th, 2007 at 8:07 am

Ken Silva’s descent into full on dementia continues apace. Sad to watch, really.

5   amy    
July 29th, 2007 at 8:12 am

Chris,
I can’t read your “threadjacker” comments, because they got blocked. So any wonderful remarks have been left unread by me.

You know you’re perfectly free to call me by name in any post you write about me. You are also free to put the arguments that I previously used about why I did NOT see Bell’s argument as one about homosexuality as one about homosexual tendencies, but the sin itself. I haven’t read your reply to those arguments yet, but I must say that they are worth considering.

You wrote the article as if there was no possibility of considering that Bell was talking about homosexual practices, and if there were no possibility that his audience would accept it that way.

In essence, you gave yourself a platform for your viewpoint, without my refutations present. I guess that’s a bonus in having your own blog. I hope that if I ever have my own site and write something about a threadjacker that I will first of all, describe HOW the “threadjacking” happened, and that secondly, any remarks I make in my aricle that have already been refuted by the “threadjacker” in question will be presented in the article itself.

I hope also, that if I had my own site and considered “threadjacking” such a noteworthy event, I would give equal attention to ALL threadjacking everywhere by everyone on my site.

I will respond to what you’ve said in the article sometime, but it won’t be under that post.

These are my quick replies after a quick reading of your article. I am not impressed with your integrity, Chris.

6   RayJr    
July 29th, 2007 at 8:32 am

Ken,

Shouldn’t you be getting ready to preach this morning’s sermon (”Is The Emergent Church Responsible For 9/11?”) instead of wading through the blogosphere? What would Spurgeon say?

7   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
July 29th, 2007 at 9:38 am

Amy,

Since you cannot see the comments there, I will reply here:

You know you’re perfectly free to call me by name in any post you write about me.

In line with previous stated intentions, I was not going to call you out specifically (since it isn’t just about you, but about the particular issue at hand), and since down the road when I do a ’search’ on the article 6 months from now, it will be about content not personality.

You wrote the article as if there was no possibility of considering that Bell was talking about homosexual practices, and if there were no possibility that his audience would accept it that way.

My apologies for not starting from an assumption of guilt and working backward from there (if at all). You’re at the wrong site for that.

That aside, I will note that, were the same words spoken by John MacArthur, I would not have assumed any differently, since, as a minister, he is likely to have dealt (or be dealing with) individuals struggling with this temptation and sin. It was not about personality, it was about sentitization.

To use a different arena for a moment: I have been involved, in the past, with twelve-step communities, and with the sensitization toward people who belong to these to help escape from addition, I can recognize almost immediately someone else who has knowledge – from a counseling or membership basis – of these groups. This is evident from the very language and mannerisms they use. Author Malcolm Gladwell refers to this as thin-slicing.

Now, back to the topic at hand. I have friends and relatives who have had struggles – or are currently struggling – with these issues, and I understand the impact the Christian community has on people with these temptations when they have a ham-handed approach (which is the normal approach) to separating the temptation from the sin and the sin from the sinner when it comes to homosexuality. This lack of separation also causes great confusion and despair on people who are tempted by attractions to the same sex, because they, too, then get this relationship of temptation:sin:sinner confused. I understand Bell’s comment exactly for the reasons he described.

You, on the other hand, obviously do not, as you still semantically treat the word homosexuality as something other than homosexual tendencies.

So, to get back to the question, why do I not assume that Bell may not have had the rationale insinuated by you – something other than ‘homosexual tendencies’? Because the evidence in his own church’s policy/methodology, the follow-up in his answer dealing with friends/family, and his choice of language are all completely in line with a proper method of counseling those struggling with this temptation and/or sin.

As for leaving those in his audience confused, if they were confused then it is likely that a) they don’t have a personal relationship with people who struggle with these issues and also desire to follow Christ, and/or b) they were looking for some sort of ‘proof’ of orthodoxy, and Bell didn’t give the red-meat condemnation they were looking for.

In essence, you gave yourself a platform for your viewpoint, without my refutations present.

I linked back to the discussion thread with all of your attempted refutations. Since we don’t delete comments or articles, they will always be there to review. Additionally, I did include your “oral sex” hypothetical, as it had not been completely dealt with, at that point. I was starting the conversation in the middle, linking to the beginning, rather than risk you (or others) crying ’straw-man!’ for mischaracterizing your attempts to refute. This seems to be a much more above-board manner of dealing with writing an article in the middle of a discussion, so I was trying to maintain proper integrity in writing it.

I hope that if I ever have my own site [...] any remarks I make in my aricle that have already been refuted by the “threadjacker” in question will be presented in the article itself.

Hypothetically speaking, I suppose this sounds reasonable, but I’m not aware of anything you’ve yet refuted on this particular topic.

I hope also, that if I had my own site and considered “threadjacking” such a noteworthy event, I would give equal attention to ALL threadjacking everywhere by everyone on my site.

In my ‘raking the sandbox’ post, I spoke specifically to the issue of ‘threadjacking’, and this was the first comment thread, to my knowledge, since that time that had been ‘thread-jacked’, which also led me to call it out. Additionally, Julie, bless her heart, tried to re-direct the discussion three times, getting a bit more directive each time. This was taken into consideration, as well… Most blogs, though, tend to give a warning (if that) to someone threadjacking and then ban them if it continues. Rather than be like ‘most blogs’, I don’t want to ban anybody, but I also don’t want every discussion to become an argument on Calvinism, homosexuality, or something else that the article being commented on is not about.

These are my quick replies after a quick reading of your article. I am not impressed with your integrity, Chris.

My apologies if you are offended by the handling of the discussion, but somehow, I suspect that we would be arguing about straw-men if I had handled it in the manner described.

To my knowledge, to this point, you’ve not refuted anything, but you continue to use language in a manner that gives the answer to why you don’t understand the issue. In actuality, I would hope I could refute Rob and find a way to help people who do not have a relationship (be it counseling, friend or family) with someone struggling with homosexual temptation and sin to actually understand those who do, and to understand how to best ‘love’ them (bringing them to Christ) without driving them away, instead.

Do you doubt that engaging in homosexual practice is sinful, as described in scripture? I do not, but I also do not consider it to be more of a sin than someone who engages in stealing. Why do I even need to say this, though? What is it that requires the litmus test of ‘tell me homosexual practice is a sin’, if you already know it is? What is it about your need to know that someone else agrees about that particular sin in a public forum that outweighs how that answer – not because of its truth, but because of the confusion surrounding the terminology – may drive away others who are wrestling with how to be a Christian while dealing with that temptation? What is it about your need to know that outweighs the need to love your neighbor? It is not a matter of if they ever deal with sorting out the issue of sin, but when and how – and both the when and the how are not all that effective in the public spotlight.

8   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
July 29th, 2007 at 11:37 am

Dang, I thought I was the “Threadjacker”!

Now lets talk about homosexual Calvinists that are really closet Arminians that are straight. Cuz, every time I bring this up I am blocked… or is that because of too much cheese…. hmmm I will get back to you on that.

iggy

9   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
July 29th, 2007 at 12:10 pm

Now on the topic…

Anton LaVey’s philosophy does not mesh with emergent too well. I think the big difference is that Anton is an atheist who believes in human potential and the “Devil” to him is anything that hold back humans from freely expressing themselves as to who they our.

While the emergents believe on Jesus Christ, see the devil and a person who is not out for any one’s best interest.

Note also that “Satan” is called the accuser of the brethren, and I see that the is also the father of lies… with that I would have to say the those who accuse the brethren falsely and hate their brothers and think protecting truth with lies… seem to be more in league and have more in common with Anton Levay’s church than even the one that the profess…

To further this thought here is the nine satanic statements:

The Nine Satanic Statements

from The Satanic Bible, ©1969

by Anton Szandor LaVey

1. Satan represents indulgence instead of abstinence!

2. Satan represents vital existence instead of spiritual pipe dreams!

3. Satan represents undefiled wisdom instead of hypocritical self-deceit!

4. Satan represents kindness to those who deserve it instead of love wasted on ingrates!

5. Satan represents vengeance instead of turning the other cheek!

6. Satan represents responsibility to the responsible instead of concern for psychic vampires!

7. Satan represents man as just another animal, sometimes better, more often worse than those that walk on all-fours, who, because of his “divine spiritual and intellectual development,” has become the most vicious animal of all!

8. Satan represents all of the so-called sins, as they all lead to physical, mental, or emotional gratification!

9. Satan has been the best friend the Church has ever had, as He has kept it in business all these years!

Here is Brian McLaren’s Jesus Creed.

By Brian McLaren

We have confidence in Jesus
Who healed the sick, the blind, and the paralyzed.
And even raised the dead.

He cast out evil powers and
Confronted corrupt leaders.
He cleansed the temple.
He favored the poor.
He turned water into wine,
Walked on water, calmed storms.

He died for the sins of the world,
Rose from the dead, and ascended to the Father,
Sent the Holy Spirit.

We have confidence in Jesus
Who taught in word and example,
Sign and wonder.
He preached parables of the kingdom of God
On hillsides, from boats, in the temple, in homes,
At banquets and parties, along the road, on beaches, in towns,
By day and by night.

He taught the way of love for God and neighbor,
For stranger and enemy, for outcast and alien.

We have confidence in Jesus,
Who called disciples, led them,
Gave them new names and new purpose
And sent them out to preach good news.
He washed their feet as a servant.
He walked with them, ate with them,
Called them friends,
Rebuked them, encouraged them,
Promised to leave and then return,
And promised to be with them always.

He taught them to pray.
He rose early to pray, stole away to desolate places,
Fasted and faced agonizing temptations,
Wept in a garden,
And prayed, “Not my will but your will be done.”
He rejoiced, he sang, he feasted, he wept.

We have confidence in Jesus,
So we follow him, learn his ways,
Seek to obey his teaching and live by his example.
We walk with him, walk in him, abide in him,
As a branch in a vine.

We have not seen him, but we love him.
His words are to us words of life eternal,
And to know him is to know the true and living God.
We do not see him now, but we have confidence in Jesus.

Amen.

As I see it some at CRN seem to be preaching a different version of this… and would if honest rewrite it like this.

By The Editor of CRN (as perceived)

We have no confidence in Jesus
Who healed the sick, the blind, and the paralyzed.
And even raised the dead.
This would mean that we would have to believe in the Holy Spirit and John MacArthur says he doesn’t do these things anymore.

He cast out evil powers and
Confronted corrupt leaders.
He cleansed the temple.
He favored the poor.
He turned water into wine,
Walked on water, calmed storms.
That would take too much actual thought so we will ingore all that.

He died for the sins of the world,
Rose from the dead, and ascended to the Father,
Sent the Holy Spirit. But again John MacArthur says that we don’t need that Holy Spirit guy… He is too charismatic and chaotic.

Having no confidence in Jesus
Who taught in word and example,
Sign and wonder.
He preached parables of the kingdom of God
On hillsides, from boats, in the temple, in homes,
At banquets and parties, along the road, on beaches, in towns, By day and by night.

He did not really show the way of love for God and neighbor,
For stranger and enemy, for outcast and alien.

We have no confidence in Jesus,
Who called disciples, led them,
Gave them new names and new purpose
And sent them out to preach good news.
He washed their feet as a servant.
He walked with them, ate with them,
Called them friends,
Rebuked them, encouraged them,
Promised to leave and then return,
And promised to be with them always.

He did not teach them to pray.
He did not rise early to pray, nor stole away to desolate places,
Fasted and faced agonizing temptations,
Wept in a garden,
And prayed, “Let them slander other as long as it is for truth.”
He did rejoice, or sing, nor feasted, he wept over the different styles and models of churches and worship.

We have no confidence in Jesus,
So we don’t follow him, or learn his ways,
Seek to obey his teaching and live by his example.
Other wise we might walk with him, walk in him, abide in him,
As a branch in a vine.

We have not seen him, but we know what we like.
His words are not for us words of life eternal for we must follow rules,
And to know him is to know the true and living God and that would interfere in building our own kingdoms.
We do not see him now, but we have confidence in Jesus take us away as we are so religious and worship according to our own preferences.

Amen.

So it seems that as the editor of CRN follows the way of his master, he has more in common with the Satanic Church than the emerging church ever will or has.

Be Blessed,
iggy

10   Julie    http://www.loneprairie.net/lp_blog/blog.htm
July 29th, 2007 at 11:34 pm

What annoys me, Amy, is that, again, that comment doesn’t really go with this post. Couldn’t you put it over on the post about homosexuality? This is a post about LeVay. That’s why I asked if Chris would post on homosexuality and drag it out from the comments section of another post that was about McManus. It is difficult (and highly annoying) to try to follow the topic at hand when someone drags it off on a tangent. I say this not to be cruel, but just as a very strong suggestion.

I don’t see calling someone a “threadjacker” as an insult, but a reminder to stay on topic and to put discussions where they belong. Nothing irritates me more than a person who uses the comments section of my own blog to tell me something that has nothing to do with the post at hand. Blogs have posts on specific topics, and the comments should relate. Forums have general, winding discussion. There is a difference.

11   Tim Reed    http://churchvoices.com
July 30th, 2007 at 12:15 am

I’m with Julie on this. you need to find some better filtering software or something.

12   amy    
July 30th, 2007 at 10:22 am

Julie,
I decided to put the comment here for a number of reasons:

1)As I said, I couldn’t post under the recent “Threadjacking” comment.

2)I thought that since I was taken to court without being there the least I could do was put my later answer somewhere where it would be seen.The comment “Looking into This” is quite buried now and the “Threadjacking” post that I needed to respond to is quite prominent.

I thought it was only fair to reply to an article that did not simply move the discussion to another place, but was a personal attack; you may not see it that way, since you were not the alleged “threadjacker.” Someone’s name does not have to be mentioned for something to be a personal attack.

3) I consider Chris’ article a poor representation of what happened and think that the points I brought up NEED to be seen.

4) Did you read my comment to Matt under “Looking Into This” about hijacking? About how “it” ever occurred. About why Matt shouldn’t have been the one to bring it up to me since he was trying to did it himself. I believe that just about every route thinkable was taken to not address the questions that I was asking about the things that Mcmanus actually said. I DID WANT TO ADDRESS THE POST AT HAND. I think that the reason why people were not answering my questions is that some people are put on a pedestal. My point was that, from what I could see, just as Mcmanus was being treated as above reproach, so perhaps was Bell. That is what I said, and that is why I mentioned the issue with Bell in the first place. I brought it up a long time ago and it was just ignored at that time, and I wondered why.

Chris could have easily started a new thread discussing the issue with Bell, had he truly seen the “threadjacking” as serious. It wasn’t until AFTER much discussion that Chris decided to move the discussion elsewhere. I have absolutely no problem with moving the discussion elsewhere, if that was all that happened. It wasn’t.

13   amy    
July 30th, 2007 at 11:39 am

Chris,
Regarding Tim’s comment about “filtering software,” etc, and this whole business.

You guys are being totally unfair.

I brought up Rob Bell/homosexuality as another example of why I wonder if you all just aren’t really willing to have open discussions about things said by certain people. Look at the discussion about Mcmanus and see how my questions about how what he said could match up with scripture were not addressed, again and again. Consider my frustration about NOT BEING ABLE TO ADDRESS THE POST.

Consider that after I posed the Rob Bell issue as an example of wondering about people being put on pedastals, 2 or 3 people immediately wanted to know my opinion on the subject. One was your very own Joe.

Now, I COULD have said, “Could we please move this discussion to another thread?”

But HOW was I to know that such a suggestion would have indeed been wise? I regularly see the discussion in question switch to Ken, Ingrid, or John Macarthur, personality or something that they’ve said or done or not said or done, with no accompanying suggestion such as, “Could we please now open another thread to discuss Ken, Ingrid, or John Macarthur, their frigidity, ugliness, lack of proper research skills, etc, etc.”

And since the discussion continued for quite some time, especially with Chris, why did it suddenly rate it’s own “threadjacking” post?

Please consider this as well as the other things I said about “Expectations” (for bloggers here.) I don’t think that people have to agree on everything to be treated with fairness. It’s not happening, folks.

If you simply want to put a filter out that deletes all comments by Name: amy, simply say so. I’ll go away. And continue to do that with anyone who disagrees with you regularly. That’s really the “deep structure” that exists here, isn’t it? All comments are welcome . . . right.

By the way, you’re free to start another thread on this. Sorry that I can’t comment under the actual post in question.

14   nathan    http://www.nathanneighbour.com
July 30th, 2007 at 11:45 am

Amy, contrary to popular belief, your opinion is actually welcomed here. However, when someone disagrees with you, you see it as a personal attack or everyone ganging up on you.

This blog obviously attracts a certain demographic. If I was to go post at Slice, I would either be attacked or deleted (and have been many times).

15   Julie    http://www.loneprairie.net/lp_blog/blog.htm
July 30th, 2007 at 11:55 am

Amy, I don’t know why you think unfairness is happening here. You are given, like everyone else, ample space to comment. Long comments, short ones, multiple comments per post… I’ve seen some of the other regular commenters get called to task on tone or content. A big part of the apparent unfairness is that Chris was gone for a long spell this summer and when he came back, wrote the posts on the new direction, etc. It is since then that the threadjacking has been noted. Whether or not it should have happened previously, for other writers (which it probably should have) can’t be helped.

I can’t imagine why you aren’t allowed to comment on the earlier post that would be more topic-appropriate, but perhaps a better method would be to note your complaint in a direct email or in the submissions page. I don’t know. To compound the problem by doing it again…

Look, I’m not trying to personally attack you. Sometimes your comments get so long and drawn out that I have a difficult time in following them. I did read the posts and comments in question, but when a comment gets so long and seems to keep saying the same thing or quoting/addressing multiple points from different commenters, it is very difficult to process. I didn’t note that Matt or Joe pulled the topic off course. I just noticed it more in your comments because I couldn’t see how they arrived in the conversation.

If there is an issue with the comments of someone not being allowed by being caught up in the filtering software, I’m sure one of the blog guys here will look for it. It’s happened many times for me, and they usually find it. Just keep trying. I know it can be frustrating to feel as if you can’t defend or speak up for yourself. I do know that. Again, an email to say your comment was lost works. I’ve done it.

16   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
July 30th, 2007 at 12:25 pm

Amy,

I’ve looked back at the McManus thread, and it seems to me that the substance of your questions were all answered, though the wording of many of your questions was disregarded because of false supposition (which was why I posted the link to the fallacy of many questions for you). Your questions about McManus were given aple answer again and again and again, but your presuppositions and choice of wording were not acknowledged in the answers given.

I would also note that everyone was much more accomodating toward you in trying to answer your questions – whether you liked or acknowledged the answers or not – that you were in answering two simple questions in this thread - which never did get answered.

17   amy    
July 30th, 2007 at 1:04 pm

Chris,
If everyone was so accomodating, why did I have to keep posting the question over and over again?

You finally gave me an answer. If other people have, it’s been in the last couple of days; I haven’t yet had a chance to finish reading all that is there.

Regardless, my point remains. My questions remained significantly unanswered, and I was given reasons why I shouldn’t be asking the question instead of having the question answered. That is not “accomodating.” That is an “why don’t you shut up, you have no right to speak here” attitude. You may also recall that in the last Bell discussion I was in, under something Nathan had brought up, that this same pattern of “my having no right to ask the questions” was apparent.

The questions should not have been that difficult if the answers were apparent – the basic gist of them was where does the Bible say what Mcmanus was saying (his direct words, not an interpretation of what he said?)

Since when should a Christian have to feel bad about asking such questions?

As far as comparing this to the yoga post, my questions in “Looking” were about the immediate context of the post, not some question that I came up with about a different issue, that I just knew and insisted, if answered, would discredit everything you said. Questions on words straight from Mcmanus, not questions about someone’s assessment of him. Not a question based on my own assessment of “believing such and such means you can or cannot believe such and such,” such as the question mentioned in the yoga discussion.

I am often one person trying to answer the questions of many. If it gets complicated for the reader (as Julie has expressed) imagine how complicated it is for me who is not only held responsible for reading everyone’s comments, whether or not they directly affect the issue, but answering them.

Many of my questions go unanswered. Many, many of them. Sometimes one person may answer the question; others won’t; yet you all feel free to ask me whatever you want.

To answer that question mentioned in the yoga discussion would have been to start another whole new discussion, including a discussion of whether or not my answer discredited everything I said. I chose not to go that route. As someone who was already spending way more time than I should have on that particular post, that was my choice to make.

18   Tim Reed    
July 30th, 2007 at 1:24 pm

Amy,
When did you stop smuggling cocaine, kicking puppies, and spiking the coffee at AA meetings?

Is that a legit question? Because within questions certain assumptions are made, in this case I’m assuming that you smuggle cocaine, kick puppies and spike the punch at AA meetings. Some of your questions contained assumptions that many of us reject, and so the questions themselves were inappropriate.

Also, unless I missed it you tended to simply ignore every scripture given, most notably the passages from Romans 1 in which Paul writes the law is on the hearts of all men.

Frankly, on this particular topic you’ve come off as hard headed, and unwilling to examine any arguments that challenge your view.

19   Henry (Rick) Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
July 30th, 2007 at 1:34 pm

I was raised in a evangelical atmosphere that preached “Homosexuality is a choice, no one is born one!”. And all the people said “Amen!”.

That is not true, people are born sinners with a myriad of sins in the forefront, including an attraction for the same sex. It is obviously a bondage, and I am waiting to see more tears than condemnation from the representatives of the One who could deliver them.

In full dislosure, I once spoke disparagingly of those for whom Christ died. I have long since repented and I now try and show His love.

20   amy    
July 30th, 2007 at 1:37 pm

For the record, “Looking into Things” has now been blocked by IPCOP as well. So I won’t be able to read anything there and reply to it, unless I can do it sometime at the library. And also, a note for someone, I think Nathan, I had not read your last comments to me, even though I commented under them to Chris, because I was reading and answering comments generally as they came, and I was answering Chris’s first.

Tim,
The questions that I asked repeatedly that got unanswered had to do with Mcmanus exact words, the paragraph that 9 marks was addressing in the article that Nathan wrote.

The questions that I asked are nothing like, “When did you stop smuggling cocaine, kicking puppies, and spiking the coffee at AA meetings?” The only way they could be similar is if I had actually written something like, “I smuggle cocaine, I love kicking puppies, and spiking the coffee at AA meetings.” If I said those things, and acted as if they were spiritual and Biblically based, then you would have every right to ask me “How do you justify, from the Bible, smuggling cocaine? Kicking puppies? Spiking the coffee at AA meetings?”

If, instead of answering such questions, I said that you had no right to ask those questions because you “hadn’t read the book” or “disagreed with Nathan who had read the book” . . . THEN you would have more of a parallel situation.

21   amy    
July 30th, 2007 at 1:47 pm

I see no point in arguing back and forth about something that we see so differently. I do wish that you all would consider that there may be some truth in what I’m saying. It might be more beneficial to go back and read the discussion on “Looking into Things” and look at what actually happened there, especially in the early part, that led up to my writing the “Expectations” comment.

22   Tim Reed    
July 30th, 2007 at 1:48 pm

Amy,
If you’re not enough of an adult to access the internet without a filter, or the ability to bypass that filter, or at least change the settings, then perhaps you shouldn’t be trying to have conversations about adult subjects.

Also those few bare paragraphs were explained to you over and over and over and over again. As were the verses quoted included Romans 1, which you still haven’t bothered to address. I’m quickly coming to the conclusion that its not that your questions weren’t answered, they just weren’t answered with the answers you wanted.

Rick,
I feel you bro.

23   Julie    http://www.loneprairie.net/lp_blog/blog.htm
July 30th, 2007 at 2:06 pm

Here’s a question about questions, then: Who decides when a question has been answered? The one asking it, or the one trying to answer it?

What do you do when you feel like your question isn’t answered and all the people who say they’ve answered it can’t give you any more?

Is it a matter of two very different viewpoints seeing the question differently, and therefore, seeing what is a complete answer differently?

All this to say that it seems as if Amy feels as if her questions weren’t answered while many others feel as if they were, many times over, and have expressed a desire for her to stop harping on them.

I guess if you’ve asked a question and can’t “get no satisfaction” then… what? Drop it? Rephrase it? Rethink it? Translate it into the “language” those who will do the answering understand? Go elsewhere and ask?

24   Julie    http://www.loneprairie.net/lp_blog/blog.htm
July 30th, 2007 at 2:08 pm

Amy, what is IPCOP? A filter by choice? Perhaps that explains some of the difficulty in leaving comments and such that you’ve mentioned, Amy. Would it? In that case, it isn’t the fault of this site nor would it make it OK to post off-topic comments on posts that a filter would allow you to work with. Perhaps you could adjust it so that you would be given more flexibility. Would that be an option for you?

25   amy    
July 30th, 2007 at 2:30 pm

Julie,
If you go and look at the “Looking into Things” there was a discussion about how my already mentioning “comments blocked” without specifying IPCOP caused some problems. I explained it there.

But my comment about “filtering” at 11:39 on this site had nothing to do with that – I was responding to Tim’s suggestion for a filter which were motivated by my “threadjacking.”

Tim,
“If you’re not enough of an adult to access the internet without a filter, or the ability to bypass that filter, or at least change the settings, then perhaps you shouldn’t be trying to have conversations about adult subjects.”

Wow, Tim, that comment speaks volumes.

I’ll address the latter part of it first. We’ve had a number of problems with our computer, some which were causing the whole system to slow down. When we got those fixed, the method we used to bypass the IPCOP filter no longer worked. I don’t know how to fix it and neither does my husband – our not getting it fixed has nothing to do with being adult but with our priorities. That’s more of an answer than I really even want to give to an extremely ungracious question.

“If you’re not enough of an adult to access the internet without a filter,” Since when is maturity discerned by whether or not one uses an internet filter? FYI I have kids; but even if we didn’t I would probably still want some kind of block on – I can’t imagine why anyone would want to negatively judge us for that.

26   Tim    http://churchvoices.com
July 30th, 2007 at 2:39 pm

amy,
It is unfair and unreasonable to expect everyone to accomadate your technical issues in the way that you have. Because of your expectations in this matter we are on, I think, three different posts with the same topic.

Also consider your vehement reaction to what I wrote and also consider it is quite mild in comparison to what is regularly written on sol/c?n/am/etc. Why don’t you have that same reaction towards them as you have towads me?

You still have not dealt with Romans 1 yet.

I apologize if that was a bit harsh but I find it incredibly strange an adult is at the mercy of aninternet filter.

27   amy    
July 30th, 2007 at 2:50 pm

Julie,
“What do you do when you feel like your question isn’t answered and all the people who say they’ve answered it can’t give you any more?”

I think if you’ll go back to the “Looking at Things,” at the beginning, you will see that the questions were not being answered. People were talking about what the book meant, according to them, or according to Nathan, but people were not addressing the questions about Mcmanus’ points in the paragraph discussed.

The only answer to the question that I read was Chris’s. If there were more since a couple of days ago, I haven’t seen them.

Why did Chris, even in answering the question, continue to act as if I had no right to be asking it?

If people don’t want to answer questions, that is one problem. But that problem was compounded with my being given given reasons for why I shouldn’t be asking the questions.

The questions were basically asking, “Where does the Bible Say?” followed by the quotes from Mcmanus. If people didn’t want to answer it because they can’t answer it, then let them just simply say so instead of treating me as if I have no right to ask the questions in the first place.

The list I made under “Expectations” are all things that happen here. Basically, it’s a list of things that I’ve faced when trying to have discussions, including some of what I was facing with the attitudes towards the questions that I was asking about Mcmanus.

I believe that the questions I asked caused so much problems, not because I hadn’t read the book, but because there is simply no way to show scriptural support for the statements Mcmanus made.

28   nathan    http://www.nathanneighbour.com
July 30th, 2007 at 2:56 pm

Amy,

all of your questions were answered with both scripture and logic. You kept rephrasing the questions, changing what you were asking…heck, we ended up talking about Bell’s view of homosexuality. The problem you have is that you are unable to stop and take in ideas outside of your paradigm.

29   amy    
July 30th, 2007 at 3:10 pm

“It is unfair and unreasonable to expect everyone to accomadate your technical issues in the way that you have.”

Then please don’t accomodate it. Just close it down if you want. That’s fine with me.

Romans 1 is a picture of a people who definitely should be able to know God and what he is like from his creation, people who can not look inside themselves to find the kingdom of God; they are “dark, confused, fools, choosing to believe lies.” Romans 1 is about the last passage I would try to use to prove that “every soul craves God.” And the very very last to show that “the kingdom of God is within you” are that you need to look deep inside the human spirit to find God.

“I find it incredibly strange an adult is at the mercy of aninternet filter.” I find it strange that you find it strange. And as you don’t now how we have our system set up, not being able to fix it may be quite a bit more complicated than you think.

This is the FIRST time it’s affected a discussion that I’ve already been a part of. If it happened all the time, I would probably get someone to help me with it. I’m not an ubergeek (and if I was I would know how to put the umlauts in there, I guess) nor do I even have average no-how about numerous things on the computer. It’s not a priority that I have.

30   amy    
July 30th, 2007 at 3:14 pm

Nathan,
If all of my questions were answered with scripture and logic so clearly and willingly, then why was it that I kept having to post the questions and why was it that I was told I had no right to ask the questions?

31   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
July 30th, 2007 at 3:14 pm

Amy,

It was not so much that you didn’t have the ‘right’ to be asking the question, it was that you were being insistent on getting an interpretation of a single paragraph of a chapter without knowing the context of the chapter or book in which it was contained.

This is the game watchdawggies love to play, because they get to pick and choose what paragraphs you see and which ones you don’t. Nobody was willing to play the game of ‘respond to the eisogetic passage’, thus the responses you received were to the message of the book/chapter.

I believe that the questions I asked caused so much problems, not because I hadn’t read the book, but because there is simply no way to show scriptural support for the statements Mcmanus made.

No, it was for the aforementioned reasons. I (at least) had not read the book, but I had read a synopsis, but I had not read that specific chapter or paragraph. Nathan works with the guy and replied that what was being insinuated from the meaning of the paragraph was not what McManus wrote about or believes, and he then went on to give McManus’ thesis.

Your entire question was based upon a false supposition of guilt of an out-of-context passage, so to answer your question without the context of the chapter would require first to cede to your false presupposition, which you have further indicated in the paragraph above.

Maybe you should stop reading books on Wicca and pick up the ones you want to criticize first. Even with Johnnie Mac’s Truth War, I read it over lunch a couple days in the bookstore before reporting what a hack job it was…

32   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
July 30th, 2007 at 3:16 pm

Amy,

Its not that you didn’t have the right to ask the questions, it’s just that you shouldn’t expect people to match your false presupposition before answering. Nathan did answer them clearly – he just didn’t fall for your presupposition before answering.

33   Julie    http://www.loneprairie.net/lp_blog/blog.htm
July 30th, 2007 at 3:47 pm

Full confession: I don’t have time to go back to “Looking Into Things.” I have work to do and such, and can’t spend all day trying to sift through long comments that wind and drag, and sift through a site to find proof. This is why:

1. I can’t stand threadjacking because it prohibits manageable participation for me.

2. I asked Chris to put the homosexuality topic in a new post, since the old one was old and had dropped of the page and I no longer could stomach all the rehash of old stuff already moldering in the comments section.

3. I had hoped that a fresh start would mean an end to dragging all the same old same old into a new section of comments so that I could better process the ideas being presented on homosexuality.

4. I find it mildly irritating to expect every reader to have read everything a person has ever written so that they no longer explain, or PROVIDE A DIRECT LINK to where they explained it if that is the case, because it is impossible for those of us with limited time to keep track of it all.

I have rather stringent comment rules on my blog, not so much about blocking or not publishing, but in regards to threadjacking, going off topic, those people prone to grandiose expounding of hot air, those like a dog on a piece of meat that won’t let something go and drive the rest of the people away, those who must have the last word…

…and what’s happening in this post is is why.

I didn’t know about IPCOP. I didn’t read it all. I’m sorry. There’s too much to read. I tend to hit the comments of people I’ve grown to appreciate, the shorter comments, the ones of people who compose comments well with decent spelling and punctuation and paragraphical spacing, or those who do not tend to go on and on over the same ground. I don’t always read everything you write, Amy, because I feel like the same ground gets tread and retread and more. I know you will latch onto one or two things and then go at them continually until you feel satisfied with the answer. Sometimes there is no satisfaction.

I’m sorry. That’s my confession. I won’t be changing any time soon.

34   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
July 30th, 2007 at 3:49 pm

Amy this and Amy that… lets all stay on the topic or talk about what i wanna talk about!

Let’s all talk about the top 100 Simpsons Christian moments…

Then we can talk about how of the Nine Satanic Statements that Ken Silva promotes ever so subvertly at CRN…

4. Satan represents kindness to those who deserve it instead of love wasted on ingrates!

It seems that kindness is not a virtue there… so what do you think is the real connection? = – )

iggy

35   Joe    http://joemartino.name
July 30th, 2007 at 4:02 pm

Iggy,
Could you email me your interpretation on Romans 9. I had never heard it that way before you explained it one day in a post here that I cannot find. I was trying to explain to a buddy of mine and in the immortal words of Bruce Willis, I did a poor job of it.

36   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
July 30th, 2007 at 4:41 pm

Done.

iggy

37   Tim Reed    
July 30th, 2007 at 5:20 pm

Amy,

You still ahve not dealt with the specific implications of Romans 1, with the Law being written on men’s hearts. Your claim is basically that the writing of the Law on men’s hearts makes the more blind than if it hadn’t been the case. I, on the other hand, am making the claim that it makes them more aware of God.

38   Tim Reed    
July 30th, 2007 at 5:23 pm

BTW, while this is far from scripture, the only reason that I ever came to believe in God was because of the moral argument, roughly outlined by William Lane Craig/CS Lewis et all, which is what Paul describes in those passages.

39   amy    
July 30th, 2007 at 7:50 pm

Chris,
“Your entire question was based upon a false supposition of guilt of an out-of-context passage,”

My question was based on not seeing how the stand-alone concepts (3) in those sentences could have a biblical basis. And I still don’t.

I could just as easily say that your not being willing to answer the questions was based on a presupposition of innocence of an out-of-context passage, and your judgement of the those comments was based on Nathan’s reading of the book, not your own.

You also judged 9 marks evaluation of the book as incorrect even though you hadn’t read the book. Possibly the person who wrote the statement had read the book?

“Maybe you should stop reading books on Wicca and pick up the ones you want to criticize first.” We’ve already covered that territory.

Anyway, let’s just drop it.

40   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
July 30th, 2007 at 8:07 pm

My question was based on not seeing how the stand-alone concepts (3) in those sentences could have a biblical basis. And I still don’t.

Newsflash – that was the problem. They weren’t necessarily “stand-alone” concepts – that’s why I kept using words like ‘eisogetic’, and why the answers you were getting were going to theme rather than individual sentences for which we have zero context.

I looked at those sentences, and I’m pretty sure I could give you one of several biblical interpretations of each, but apart from the context, I wouldn’t know which one was applicable to the book in question. Then, no matter which one I chose, you would then be hounding me on how I know it was the one McManus intended. If you don’t believe me, let’s just take the Rob Bell/homosexuality discussion as an example, where I do know what he meant, and you’re still playing that game.

You also judged 9 marks evaluation of the book as incorrect even though you hadn’t read the book.

Actually, my assessment of the 9marks review was based on their use of systematic theology (Calvinism, in this case) and a parallel in CS Lewis that doesn’t square with their stilted view. Once again, I took the context (this time, theirs) into account as part of my assessment, since I have read all of Lewis’ works and I am familiar with, but in disagreement with, their viewpoint.

41   amy    
July 30th, 2007 at 8:27 pm

If you can do all that with the 9marks review, can I do something similar with scripture?

Actually, my assessment of the Mcmanus remarks was based on scriptures that I’ve studied(NIV, in this case) a number of scriptures that don’t seem to square with Mcmanus view. Once again, I took the context (of the Bible, that is) into account as part of my assessment, since I have read all of the Bible and am familiar with, and thus in disagreement with Mcmanus’ paragraph.

“They weren’t necessarily “stand-alone” comments.” If they were 3 concepts that I had agreed with, that made Mcmanus look “evangelical” or “orthodox” would you still consider them to be “stand-alone” comments by which no one should be presuming to understand what Mcmanus believes?

42   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
July 30th, 2007 at 8:33 pm

Thank you amy, you’ve just given me impetus to write the article Julie requested on logical fallacies, which you seem to be so adept at using…

43   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
July 30th, 2007 at 9:42 pm

Just as an FYI – the logical fallacy I’m referring to is eisogesis, which you apparently still don’t understand (or have chosen to ignore as being invalid).

You asked me about how I was able to render an opinion on the 9marks review (a work to which I had access in the whole), and I gave you a general answer that dealt with the work as a whole (the systematic theology and similar passages from CS Lewis references).

You, then, attempted to use the same method (or at least tongue in cheek) with the three sentences of McManus’ book – which you admittedly do not have access to in the whole. So, by trying to render judgement on the whole based on a very small part without any context, you were compounding the eisogetical error.

It’s these consistent inconsistencies in your logic which make exchanges with you so painful at times. Your complaining about people not answering your every question makes the irony in your not applying the answers you receive a very rich one, indeed.

44   Erica    http://joemartino.name/erica
July 30th, 2007 at 9:53 pm

Julie,
Well said! I could not agree with you more!

45   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
July 31st, 2007 at 12:52 am

Amy,

I was reading the bible and realized that there is no salvation except by God’s arms!… We are not saved by Jesus, Isaiah stated so! I eisogesised (s?) this scripture and pulled out of it want I thought it should say and it proves that this is the true gospel of the whole bible! Here is the verse…

“Isa 59:16 And he saw that [there was] no man, and wondered that [there was] no intercessor: therefore his arm brought salvation unto him; and his righteousness, it sustained him.”

Be Blessed,
iggy

46   amy    
July 31st, 2007 at 9:27 am

“Thank you amy, you’ve just given me impetus to write the article Julie requested on logical fallacies, which you seem to be so adept at using”

If what Mcmanus said was scriptural, then couldn’t you say that scripture could serve as the context for his beliefs? What’s the difference in your judging 9marks viewpoint by their Calvinism background, and me questioning Mcmanus viewpoints by their scriptural background, if indeed scripture provides the larger context to what he is saying?

Scripture tells us to test all things. It doesn’t say, “Test all things only if you’ve read the book or think you understand the systematic theology behind them.”

Another way to look at this is that in spite of not having Mcmanus’ books I have read his personal testimony “as a whole” and some interviews “as a whole.” Not only have I read them, I’ve discussed them with the local Mcmanus rep. Why does your reading the 9 marks review “as a whole” count for so much more than what I’ve done?

What is the difference?

47   amy    
July 31st, 2007 at 9:36 am

Erica,
It’s interesting that you liked Julies comment, which continues to accuse me of threadjacking even though she previously admitted she hadn’t really been following the discussion.

I would think that to say something critical about me Julie would need to at the least read ALL of my comments. I mean, after all, if I should not only read Bell’s books, but ATTEND his church to even pose questions, the very least Julie could do is read the discussion in question before bringing up threadjacking issues.

Don’t you think? :)

Maybe, when I make a comment, instead of trying to defend it, or get an answer, I should simply say, “Hey everybody, you have no right to speak! You haven’t read all my comments! You jumped into the middle of the discussion! You don’t go to my church!”

48   amy    
July 31st, 2007 at 10:03 am

Nathan,
Does Mcmanus present the gospel in Soul Cravings? Does he ever encourage the reader to look at scripture to find God? Or is it about looking inside themselves?

Just wondering . . .

49   Julie    http://www.loneprairie.net/lp_blog/blog.htm
July 31st, 2007 at 10:09 am

1. I have read many of your comments.
2. Many of your comments are a repeat of the previous many comments.
3. I see no sense in re-reading on limited time.
4. I still, out of all your comments in this post WHICH I HAVE READ, see nothing new that you’re saying. Not. A. Thing. It’s the same stuff, rehashed.
5. So I wasted my time.
6. In this post, you did, indeed, threadjack. I attempted in a most kind way (at first) to point that out. I initially tried to be helpful and not overly critical, though that time is passing fast.
7. The post in question has comments by me that do pertain which indicates I was following the coversation and attempted to get things on topic.

Are there any other gnats you’d like to strain?

Please refrain from using me as an argumentative device, with or without smiling emoticons, when making a point to someone else. I am not your object lesson.

50   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
July 31st, 2007 at 10:12 am

Nathan,

While you’re at it, does McManus’ book lay out the Roman Road, and Augestine’s five laws, as well? Does it lay out CS Lewis’ definition of love? Does it outline the Ten Commandments and contrast them with the Noaic Law, along with the Jerusalem council’s ruling in Acts 15, as well?

I wonder if I can add some more attempts to exemplify the fallacy of many questions.

 

Just wondering.

51   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
July 31st, 2007 at 10:13 am

Speaking of which, Nathan – have you stopped beating your wife?

52   phil    
July 31st, 2007 at 10:21 am

Amy,
I honestly must say that I have a hard time keeping track of comments on threads that you comment on. Maybe it’s just because you are attempting to answer many people at once, but usually I give up.

I didn’t comment in the thread about McManus originally because I hadn’t read that specific book. I’ve read two of his, and they were fine theologically, so I didn’t expect anything different, necessarily from that book. It just seems to me that there are group of people who won’t accept anything other than a very Calvinistic presentation of their version of the Gospel.

I would say if you haven’t read the book, or any of his books for that matter, you don’t really have the right to really offer any criticism in those threads. I decided a while ago that I really wouldn’t trust anyone’s interpretation or review if a given book other than my own. I may respect their opinion, but everyone reads with their own prejudices. There are times when I even disagree with my wife about certain books. Online it is even more inportant. Everyone has agendas to some extent, and if you don’t do your own research by reading some of things you’ll have misperceptions.

53   Tim Reed    
July 31st, 2007 at 10:36 am

QFT:

I still, out of all your comments in this post WHICH I HAVE READ, see nothing new that you’re saying. Not. A. Thing. It’s the same stuff, rehashed.

54   Joe    http://joemartino.name
July 31st, 2007 at 12:15 pm

Ok, I can’t believe I am about to do this but….

We all back up the truck here and “rake the sandbox”. Amy, you are coming across as simply quarrelsome. When your issues were just with me (and maybe Nathan) you could chalk it up to personality differences, but it seems a lot of people struggle to follow your logic and you (along with some who are very anti-reformed) seemed to always come back to the same topic. If you really want to attend my church, sell your house and move out here. Otherwise….well there really is no nice way to say this, go away.
Chris L, you seem to me to be violating your own rules here. Your comments to Amy seem borderline mean.
I agree with you and Julie about everything you said, but it seems that we’ve moved into “flesh and blood” territory. That flesh and blood territory seems to be named Amy. I’m not sure how this is different from other exchanges with Ken Silva that we have said will no longer happen.
Just my two cents…

55   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
July 31st, 2007 at 12:47 pm

Joe,

Your point is taken, and perhaps it is my working on the ‘logical fallacies’ which is making them so apparent right now. Seriously, I had just finished writing a small paragraph (still far from an article) on ‘the fallacy of many questions’ when amy wrote a textbook example.

I would agree that the quarrelsomeness has just worn me to the point of ‘why bother giving a serious answer when it’s just going to be ignored or mischaracterized’. However, I would not counsel anyone to ‘just go away’, but I think that the expectation of being taken seriously is closely tied to how seriously one takes the responses of others.

I ask dozens of questions in comment threads (not singling out Amy or anyone else) of which probably at least half go unanswered. That’s the nature of comment threads. I have not seem amy falling into the same interaction category as Ken, though, as we’ve not just switched to name-calling and pious posturing.

It is probably the endless harping on Bell, McManus and others decoupled from any willingness to actually expend the energy and resources required to read an entire book, apart from an eisogeted quote that is most tiring. I will check my tongue, though.

Thank you for the observations Joe…

56   Ken Silva    http://www.apprising.org
July 31st, 2007 at 12:55 pm

‘why bother giving a serious answer when it’s just going to be ignored or mischaracterized’.

57   Julie    http://www.loneprairie.net/lp_blog/blog.htm
July 31st, 2007 at 1:12 pm

Thanks Joe.

True.

58   amy    
July 31st, 2007 at 1:18 pm

Julie,
You’re kind of mad aren’t you? What happened to your sense of humour?

I thought the threadjacking you referred to was on the previous one being discussed. Sorry if I misunderstood.

Repetitions. I know I repeat. I’ve had too many conversations with people coming in not having read what is going on previously, and it’s much easier to repeat initially than to go back and find what I previously said to say it to the newcomer. Also, I repeat what I think is important, in the hopes that someone will address it. For someone like yourself who is paying such close attention to what I write (:)) (Oops, can’t do that) you can simply skim over the repetitions.

Some of the things I’m repeating here are because I’m being asked the same questions I was asked before.

I’m sorry for the threadjacking here. I already explained why it happened, and thought my explanation was graciously received by you. I guess I was wrong, and I guess I won’t repeat the explanation, lest I offend you.

I’m sorry for my abysmal ignorance about things such as how to straighten out my IPCOP, which has direct bearing to the threadjacking on this post. My lack of being able to diagnose and deal with the problem comes from having an unusual setup as well as being below average in knowing how to handle the internet. I got a late start because of spending years of my life where I couldn’t have internet access, due to the fact that I think it’s important to go to the whole world and share the gospel. It was difficult at times to even use the telephone when I got back, without saying “over.”

But this is getting too long, and you don’t like that either . . .

59   Joe    http://joemartino.name
July 31st, 2007 at 1:20 pm

I just re-read what I wrote and I would like to clarify one thing: I wasn’t equating Amy with Ken, I was equating our response to her with our response to him. I hope that clarifies that part.

60   amy    
July 31st, 2007 at 1:32 pm

Chris,
There must be certainly a fallacy of too many questions. But what’s the crime in asking if a book directed towards non-believers shares the gospel or points the reader towards scripture?

The kind of answer you’ve given, including the “Nathan do you beat your wife?” question makes me wonder why I even attempt to discuss things with you.

The gospel is important to me. I don’t know if Mcmanus is sharing it in the book “Soul Cravings” or if he is presenting the reader with a substitute answer to their spiritual depravity. It’s a pity that my asking some very basic questions, and trying to work my way through a discussion in which you all don’t even agree among yourselves has led to all of this.

I can find a lot of books and excerpts from books that tell me to look inside myself to find God. Lots. I can find lots of books that focus on seeing how I can have my needs fulfilled. I can and will continue to compare what I read with scripture.

61   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
July 31st, 2007 at 1:53 pm

Amy,

The question, itself, implies that if the book does not contain an outline of the gospel that it is inherently flawed.

This is kind of like the old saw about whether or not a song has ‘Jesus’ or ‘God’ named enough times as to whether or not it is ‘Christian’. I once heard a Christian musician comment that he’d had to rewrite a verse of a song because the studio said that the ‘Jesus count’ wasn’t high enough for airplay on the most conservative stations.

It is also reminiscent of a recent discussion on whether or not every sermon must contain the basic gospel outline in order to be ‘valid’.

Certainly, inclusion of the gospel in a book is a good thing, after all it is the Good News. However, the question puts forth the unspoken premise that the only acceptable answer is ‘yes’.

62   Julie    http://www.loneprairie.net/lp_blog/blog.htm
July 31st, 2007 at 1:57 pm

Amy, I’m not “kind of mad” since, when I get mad (angry is probably the best word, lest I have rabies), it’s fairly brutal. I am, however, annoyed.

Again, you’ve left a comment getting in a couple of “humorous” jabs calling me to task for both not reading all that you write and telling me to skim/skip your repititions. It’s like the Song That Never Ends.

Joe is right. The fight isn’t against you. It’s more about being concise, brief, to the point, letting some things go, and not constantly stirring the mud up in the puddle to cloud it just when it was about to be clear.

I will just have to leave it at that and, at some point if necessary, ignore your comments completely, like I do Ken’s. Sometimes the only way I can function and process information that I want to understand is to be my own editor and cut out the background noise.

63   Erica    http://joemartino.name
July 31st, 2007 at 2:09 pm

Amy,
I hope this is helpful! I agree with Julie because she has a lot of valid points when trying to carry on a conversation with you.
1. You often want others including myself to go back and re-read previous threads so you can prove your point. No one has time to do this. I have read this thread through but if you refer to it again in a week I will have already forgotten this conversation and I will not have the time to go back and re-read it. No one has that kind of time.
2. You seem to repeat the same thing over and over again. Your questions get answered but you re-word them and ask again. If one person answers you and the other people in the conversation do not than that means they were in agreement with the person who already answered you or they would bother to expound upon the previous persons answer.
3. A little advice, If you are not getting any where after trying and trying and trying than give up! Trust me it is good for you. At some point you have to realize you will not change their minds and you give up and walk away. I often feel like you like to argue for the sake of arguing. You can not tell me you disagree with everything that is these men write.
4. It also helps if you have no idea what is being discussed not to get involved in the conversation. These men who write for this site are very well educated in the bible and are very knowledgeable. I know Iggy is not a contributor here but you can tell he knows his bible. I don’t always agree with everything being said but I learn a lot by sitting back and digesting what these men say. Often times I will realize by going back and reading a passage of scripture that they were right. I learn a lot by not getting involved in the conversation but by reading what is going on.
5. I know you say you have all this background as an interpreter but I would still say these men blow you out of the water on every debate you get involved in. That is one of the reasons I never went back and read the Peter and the Rabbi thread that you wanted me to read. You implied that you won a debate with Chris L. Of course Chris was not around to defend himself but I knew it was impossible. No offense to you, you can tell these men have a lot of knowledge and wisdom when it comes to the bible than you do. Or even more knowledge than I do.
6. I am more than willing to admit these men are far more intellectual than I am. Therefore I stay away from conversations that I know I can not win because of my lack of knowledge in the subject area. I would suggest you to do the same. It will save you all this hassle.

64   amy    
July 31st, 2007 at 2:22 pm

The basic problem is not with my writing style (which I agree could use a lot of improvement.) The basic problem is that I’m disagreeing with the majority. Fault will be found no matter how concise, brief, and perfect I am – with my logic, my research, my lack of required qualifications for having a legitimate opinion, my interactions, my humour, with my taking things to seriously.

In my defense the questions I have asked have been as concise and brief as I could make them. I would repeat them here for your enjoyment, to demonstrate what I mean, but fortunately (for you all) I can no longer access them.

I never realized the puddle was about to be clear.

Personally, I don’t like all the focus on myself. I would much rather still be discussing the first issue.

I have spent some time reading some reviews of “Soul Cravings” this morning. From what I’ve read, I gather that if I read the book I would still be asking the same questions I’ve been asking. And more. And making summaries of the book which no one would like.

So maybe you all should be thankful that I haven’t read the book.

65   Julie    http://www.loneprairie.net/lp_blog/blog.htm
July 31st, 2007 at 2:27 pm

The Song That Never Ends.
Who will get the last word?

“Never explain yourself”
– Katherine Hepburn

“Methinks the lady doth protest too much.”
– Willy Shakespeare

Not always great advice, but sometimes, it’s apt. Resist the temptation for another jab.

Question: How important is it, in a discussion, to worry about our own defense? That implies a battle, whether in the majority or minority. I defend myself in battle, but in discussion, where I want to learn something, I am not concerned about my defense.

66   amy    
July 31st, 2007 at 2:53 pm

To address your points, Erica, (or should I just “let them go?” hmmm”)

1) You often want others including myself to go back and re-read previous threads so you can prove your point.”

Julie came to the discussion very late. She was concerned about threadjacking and I directed her back to the post in question. Was I supposed to rehash everything for her?

I “often want” with you? Uh, I don’t believe we’ve spoken for months.

Let’s see, point 2, already covered.

Point 3, “give up:”
I learn all kinds of things by not “giving up.”

I would, if I didn’t think there was still hope that someone might either a) realize there is a problem with what is being said versus scripture or b) be able to convince me that there isn’t a problem, from scripture.

Giving up would mean not giving you a chance to explain things. For example, on the recent “An Emerging Response” post I would not have been able to ask Nathan the question about Spencer Burke and universalism. I could have just assumed that he would define universalism differently than I, could have assumed that therefore Mcmanus is a universalist . . . you get the picture.

(Notice that in that question I was not considered quarrelsome, nor was I asked how many Spencer Burke books I had read. Why? Because “you all” agreed with me.)

4. “It also helps if you have no idea what is being discussed not to get involved in the conversation. These men who write for this site are very well educated in the bible and are very knowledgeable . . . ” That explains why there is so much willingness to discuss whether or not the Bible agrees with what is being discussed. Actually Erica I would bet that I have close to, as much, or more, bible education than most of the men here.

Point 5: “these men blow you out of the water on every debate you get involved in. That is one of the reasons I never went back and read the Peter and the Rabbi thread that you wanted me to read . . . ” Wow, Erica. You just knew, without even reading it. I don’t put that kind of trust in anyone’s logic. FYI I don’t care to “win debates. ” FYI, Chris realized that some of what he was saying was based on what Ray Vanderlaan, not Rob Bell said. I certainly don’t hold that against him.

I’m not an interpreter.

Point 6: Implied info: I, like you, am not as “intellectual” as these other men. Think whatever you want to think, Erica. I’m guessing that you’re judging how “intellectual” I am by the fact that I have a different viewpoint than most folks here on issues.

67   amy    
July 31st, 2007 at 2:59 pm

Julie,
I have considered just walking away from this, several times. I really don’t care if I get the last line. You can choose to believe me or not, but most of this has just made me laugh.

I’m just seeing the same kinds of things happen with me that happens with other people who disagree.

The bottom line is that anyone who holds a different viewpoint will most likely be attacked in some way and that a number of valid questions they have will remain unanswered.

Please be my guest and write a reply so you don’t think that I’ve had the last “jab.” Or not.

68   Joe    http://joemartino.name
July 31st, 2007 at 3:12 pm

Well, there you have it. Can we close this thread now?

69   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
July 31st, 2007 at 3:20 pm

Amy,

You wrote:

I’m just seeing the same kinds of things happen with me that happens with other people who disagree.

Just looking over the past month or so, I would look at Henry (Rick), clearly, Houston John and some others as folks who I have partially (or completely) disagreed with on at least one or more topic, yet I do not see the types of exchanges as I see from you or toward you. I do not know why, nor do I really have the time/energy to figure it out. I would not count you as ‘typical’, though, as I see few others (for example) creating extreme hypotheticals and then treating the hypothetical as the issue (for instance).

I do not doubt that you have a biblical background and formal training equal to at least myself, who I do not count as a giant, by any means. I do see, though, that you have difficulty in connection of left-brain and right-brain style and thought, and that your associative barriers tend to be unreasonably high when evaluating writing styles which are not linear and/or systematic. Thus, you are unable to consider Torah as more encompassing than the English translation “Law”, and that its effect upon the human heart, as described in Romans 1, is in creating a ‘need’ that can only be filled by God. Perhaps my frustration is in my trying to, but failing to, assist you in understanding a biblical concept that does not fit the exact mold you have created for it (for example, in separating homosexual sin from homosexual temptation, and understanding that one does not equal the other, and that the term ‘homosexuality’, to those who counsel and work with people who suffer from this affliction, applies to the temptation and not the sin.)

70   Erica    http://joemartino.name
July 31st, 2007 at 5:40 pm

Chris,
Your last paragraph was very well said.

71   Erica    http://joemartino.name
July 31st, 2007 at 5:43 pm

Tim,
(Back on topic!:-) It is amazing to me the links they will go to in order to prove their point. Their jumps in logic are absurd. I am not sure how they can associate the emerging church with the church of Satan. Obviously the church of Satan worships Satan and those who are emerging worship God. I don’t understand.

72   Henry (Rick) Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
July 31st, 2007 at 6:31 pm

I believe the hyperbole has clouded the issues and are a barrier to any loving and substantive exchanges. I saw MacManus on TV for the first time while I was recuperating and he made some thought provoking observations about pride.

I know I would not agree with him on a number of issues, but how I attempt to understand him will help me to sort out issues. If I feel him to be a Satan worshiping false prophet I will not hear him. If I consider him a brother with whom I disagree but love, I can speak with him on a Christlike level.

We must hear each other. Acting out sin is different than thinking it, but as our Lord pointed out the guilt is equal. Being tempted is not sin, and to place all of us on the same page every pastor has been tempted by sexual impurity, and even those who have not acted those out have on some level mentally entertained them, just as a former homosexual does with his thoughts.

So put down the stones unless you are sinless.

I thought so…

73   nathan    http://www.nathanneighbour.com
July 31st, 2007 at 6:38 pm

When was McManus on TV?

74   Tim Reed    
July 31st, 2007 at 6:48 pm

Erica,

Its largely a matter of putting tradition above scripture. Emergents put scripture above the traditions of all those reformed watchblawggies and so they get irritated. And by irritated I mean super-pissed.

75   Erica    http://joemartino.name
July 31st, 2007 at 6:56 pm

Your right that is the problem. I am still unclear what the big deal is as to wether or not we hold on to “Tradition” if you know please enlighten me! It makes no sense to me.

76   amy    
July 31st, 2007 at 7:04 pm

Chris,
I really want to drop this, but please understand that your last paragraph makes me feel extremely frustrated. Why? Because the issues relating to “every soul craves God” and the questions I had go so much deeper than you have described.

Regarding the homosexual temptation versus practices, when I left the discussion we were discussing whether or not Bell was talking about practices versus temptation. When I left the discussion you were making it sound as if the issue were somehow absolutely decided, and I see that that is still what you think. I don’t know if that is because you value your opinion above mine, or if you actually proved it in some way.

77   Tim Reed    
July 31st, 2007 at 7:06 pm

Erica,

Well, the other problem is that they have no ability to understand those that aren’t already like them. That’s why you see such bristling to the phrase “Christ-follower” as opposed to “Christian”, and “campus” instead of “church”, despite the fact that Christ-follower and campus are more accurate than the terms to which the watchblawggies are used to. However, their unfamiliarity is enough to condemn the users of such words.

78   amy    
July 31st, 2007 at 7:20 pm

Erica,
Part of me doesn’t want to say this, but I feel I must. Your comments did not “hurt” me in any way. However, I must say that your comments were extremely unkind. I can’t really imagine saying some of the things you said to anybody. You could really hurt someone.

Let’s take, for example, comments relating to intelligence/logic. I could provide you with numerous examples beginning with the questions, “If I am unintelligent, how did I manage to . . . ?” I refuse to do that. I think it’s stupid to compare degrees, grades, and so forth. There are many extremely intelligent people in the world who have never had the opportunity to even study, or have chosen to use their intelligence in a less traditional way.

But what if I were someone who had constantly struggled in school and had a chip on my shoulder about my intelligence? Your comments could have just ripped me apart.

Comments like, “It also helps if you have no idea what is being discussed” and “these men blow you out of the water on every debate you get involved in” are not helpful.

You also said, “You implied that you won a debate with Chris L.” It’s been a long time ago, but I beleive I brought up the discussion that I had with Chris over the Peter/Rabbi issue to point out that he partially ended up agreeing with what I said, to try to get you to see that maybe my concerns about the unbiblicalness of the message had some merit. My intention was never to imply that I won some debate with Chris. If I ever felt like I had “won some debate” with him the last thing I would be doing is bragging about it.

79   Erica    http://joemartino.name
July 31st, 2007 at 7:31 pm

Tim,
Ok what I do not understand is, in opinion, the way church was done in the New Testament is vastly different from the way it was done a hundred years ago, now we are moving into new terminology and methods . Heck words that had a certain meaning a hundred years ago means something different now. We all still serve and worship the same Jesus! Why are the watch dogs so against these new terms or methods? How can they even relate the emerging church to the church of Satan. It just baffles my mind!

80   amy    
July 31st, 2007 at 7:40 pm

Tim,
You’re fairly new here, and I wasn’t around for a few weeks when you first came. I’d like to understand what “emerging” stuff you are and aren’t supportive of.

A few weeks ago I spent some time on the Emerging Women blog. It’s just been mentioned at CRN. I’d like to know what you think of it, if you’re interested. You could start with the ideas on the introductory page.

81   Erica    http://joemartino.name
July 31st, 2007 at 7:42 pm

You know what Amy, here are the facts, I did struggle through school. I was that girl you described. I am not book smart nor am I good at arguing logic. I am wise and smart in other ways. For instance I started and ran a very successful business until I became a mom. It is not a value judgment on you in any way. I am simple saying you will save yourself great frustration not to argue with people that are not on the same page as you. You are gifted in other ways I am sure! I am sure you are smart. I can tell you are very passionate about what you believe. It is just an observation; you are not good at communicating what you believe especially on this site. The people you engage in conversation are very analytical. You were not gifted that way, like I said you have many other gifts but this is not one of them. I can say the same thing about myself. Take this not as being mean to you but as wisdom.
Now I am sorry your feelings were hurt that was not my intent I am trying to help you out a little. I would like to focus on the discussion on this thread now. Again I am sorry your feelings were hurt.

82   henry frueh    http://followingjudahslion.com
July 31st, 2007 at 8:21 pm

He was on James Robison

83   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
July 31st, 2007 at 9:53 pm

Amy,

The ‘every soul craves God’ debate hinges upon one’s understanding of Paul and Torah. If you do not accept Torah as more than the dry English word ‘law’, but as a fulfilment of our need of direction and purpose from God – which is how the Jews see and saw it – then you will likely not reach what McManus (or, in this case, Paul) is getting at.

God created man and wrote His Torah upon man’s heart. Man, though, desires to be like God, having himself the knowledge of good and evil – rather than faith in God, and given his own devices tries to fill that God-given need with other things. However, when man surrenders his desires and fills that ‘hole’ with God, he is fulfilled. Unfortunately, this is not a systematic A+B=C type of discussion, but it is rather a more Hebrew/Eastern discussion in which the picture created is more important than the words used to create it.

As for the question on homosexuality, I felt that I had dealt with the questions raised in the July 29, 2007, 9:38 am post above. As someone with a personal relationship with other people struggling with this exact issue, I can see the damage that “the fundamentalist’s need to know what they already know or litmus test on a topic they don’t have any real questions about” does on a daily basis to Christians and seekers who intrinsically know that acting upon homosexual impulses is wrong, but have no desires toward the opposite sex and/or attraction to the same sex. I know the language that is used in counseling and discussing about this issue. Bell’s answer was loud and clear and in accord with his church’s orthopraxy on this issue to those with ears to understand it. There is no doubt in my mind on this issue, for the previously stated reasons.

Having corrected you three or four times, though, you are still insistent on using the phrase ‘homosexuality is a sin’, when this very phrase shows that you do not really understand the issue. Homosexuality is not a sin – lusting or acting out upon same-sex attraction is a sin.

Words mean things, and because our (the Christian community’s) words around this particular issue have historically (and in some cases still do) treated it differently than other sins, it is therefore necessary for us to be more careful in the way we approach people struggling with this temptation. So – does your ‘right’ to know someone’s stance on homosexuality-related issues in a public forum outweigh the effect that those words – and confusion around them – will likely have in driving away people struggling with those temptations? If it does, I seem to recall a word picture that involved millstones as neckware.

84   Henry (Rick) Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
August 1st, 2007 at 7:37 am

Chris – I understand where you are coming from and I completely agree the church has been self righteous about this issue. But homosexuality is a perversion and a sin, just as lust is a sin. Attraction to the opposite sex is not natural and indicates the sinful nature of the flesh. We all sin every day either by actions or thoughts, but homosexuality, even if it exists in a man who has had victory over it, is still a sin.

A man who is addicted to pornography, but has victory over it and does not look at it, if the desire is still there it is a sinful desire. Our problem is that we have carved out certain sins that are not prevelant in church and used them to bolster our self righteousness. The church’s delving into politics has added to the mess and we have been grouped with “right wing” views that have distorted the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Much of this may be semantics, but the desire for the same sex is sin just as the desire for your neighbor’s wife is sin.

85   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
August 1st, 2007 at 8:32 am

Henry,

Having not yet defined ‘desire’ in this particular context, if by “desire” you are indicating something beyond temptation – into the arena of lust – then I would agree with you. Where temptation becomes lust/covetousness is when the willingness to sin exists, but the circumstances do not allow it.

It is this line which separates ‘homosexuality’ (the temptation) and ‘homosexual sin’.

86   Henry (Rick) Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
August 1st, 2007 at 8:53 am

I contend that sin is inherant in our old nature, ALL sin. So when there is a realization within us of a desire that is not Godly that is sin, recognized but as yet not acted upon. I contend that is victory in Christ.

Like the commentor “Matt” said he had homosexual desires but was on staff at a church with full disclosure, that is God’s victorious grace in action. But every time he senses that desire it is sin, embedded in his old nature, and must be defeated. What the evangelical community has done is make it a choice and not a result of the fall. It is a choice to act on it, but not a choice (in most cases) to feel a same sex attraction.

What separates homosexuality from sins like adultery is that it a perversion and not just a misuse of God’s natural plan. The same goes for child attraction, who chooses to be attracted to a three year old? But our message to all sinners must be the same, “Jesus came not into the world to condemn the world, but that the wortld through Him might have eternal life”.

87   phil    
August 1st, 2007 at 9:03 am

Henry,
I would say the line between temptation and desire is fuzzy at best. I think we need to be somewhat careful about condemning poeple for sins if the mind. I’m not discounting what Jesus said in Matthew 5, but I think the way Christian have approached the Sermon the Mount is somewhat misguided. The way Dallas Willard talks about in The Divine Conspiracy is probably the best handling of it I’ve seen.

I don’t think Jesus was instituting a stricter version of legalism in Matthew. It seems to me he was describing what Kingdom life would be like. It is impossible for a person to change his desires on his own, only through the work of Christ can it truly be done. Here’s quote from Willard describing that passage:

What, exactly, is Jesus doing here? One would certainly be mistaken in thinking that he is advising anyone to actually dismember himself as a way of escaping damnation. One must keep the context in mind. Jesus is exhibiting the righteousness that goes beyond “the righteousness of the scribes and pharisees.” This latter was a righteousness that took as its goal to not do anything wrong. If not doing anything wrong is the goal, that could be achieved by dismembering yourself and making actions impossible. What you cannot do you certainly will not do. Remove your eye, your hand, etc., therefore, and you will roll into heaven a mutilated stump. The price of dismemberment would be small compared to the reward of heaven. That is the logical conclusion for one who held the beliefs of the scribes and the pharisees. Jesus is urging them to be consistent with their principles and do in practice what their principles imply. He reduces their principle–that righteousness lies in not doing anything wrong–to the absurd, in the hope that they will forsake their principle and see and enter the righteousness that is “beyond the righteousness of the scribes and pharisees”–beyond, where compassion or love and not sacrifice is the fundamental thing. Jesus, of course, knew that if you dismembered yourself you could still have a hateful heart, toward God and toward man. It wouldn’t really help toward righteousness at all. That is the basic thing he is teaching in this passage. Failure to appreciate the logic makes it impossible to get his point.

It seems to me with homosexuality and a lot of other sins the church tells people that they need to change themselves. The problem with that is that it’s impossible.

88   Henry (Rick) Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
August 1st, 2007 at 9:49 am

Phil – I agree with you. My only point is that until the old man is eradicated sin will always be with us, real sin with real temptation and desire, but we can have victory. Like “Be angry and sin not” we can feel the temptaion and not act upon it.

Homosexuals have been a convenient whipping boy while divorce, adultery, pornography, prayerlessness, and other sins run rampant in most evangelical fellowships. It is time to look at our own mote and seek revival individually and as a body. And let us revive God’s love which has been dormant for far too many years.

89   amy    
August 1st, 2007 at 12:34 pm

“Having corrected you three or four times, though, you are still insistent on using the phrase ‘h is a sin’, when this very phrase shows that you do not really understand the issue. ”

(I’m using abbreviations to keep this discussion from getting blocked by IPCOP again)

I went back and read Witherington’s article again, as well as the comments under it. I still don’t see why you insist that he was talking about Rob Bell talking about “h tendencies” as opposed to “h acts.” I already wrote a post about this and noted the phrases Witherington used that had to do with “sin” as well as his talking about “sexual orientation” at the END of his article.

Look at this quote from Witherington’s article: “Secondly, Rob then makes an argument from silence which is in fact misleading. The argument is this— “Jesus never said anything about homosexuality”. This is not quite true. Jesus took all sorts of sexual sin very seriously, . . . ”

Are you saying that you think that Witherington himself misinterpreted what Bell was talking about? Would you feel confident enough about that to use it as “proof?” Witherington was at this forum, you weren’t.

It may be that you only use the word “homosexuality” to only talk about one who is tempted to lust after the same sex. Many do not use it that way, or do not use it that way exclusively. Look at Wikipedia; google “homosexuality . . . sin” and see what you come up with. A lot of people are not specifying “homosexual acts” when that is what they are talking about.

By insisting that your interpretation of Witherington is right, you effectively shut down the discussion about Bell’s “softening.” (For the record, even if Bell were talking about “homosexual tendencies” I would still have problems with the way he addressed the issues.)

You use “proofs” yourself which you would rip apart if I were using them to “prove” something you didn’t agree with.
For example, if I used an out-of-context earlier discussion with an elder who was talking about why Rob Bell didn’t address h to put meaning into a later discussion in which Bell is talking about h, you would say, “Different time, and apparently Bell has decided to change tactics a bit. People change, don’t they? How can you know how that “then” situation applies to “now?”

You can tell me confidently how a certain word is properly used, and should be used by me, yet when I was asking you about Mcmanus 3 concepts, I understood that I couldn’t possibly know what he means without reading the book.

For the record, please don’t think that I’m thinking of these issues without specific faces of people that I care about, or have cared about, connected to them.

As for our discussion about Soul Cravings, after looking at a number of reviews (about 95% “positive,” so don’t blame me for only reading stuff from people who are looking for negatives), after seeing your reaction to my question about the gospel and scripture, I can only conclude that our discussing this further serves no purpose.

90   amy    
August 1st, 2007 at 12:48 pm

Erica,
Here me again: My feelings were not hurt.

If I believed the same things you do, or think you do, you would be cheering me on.

I think some of the same thoughts that you think about my comments towards certain folk’s comments. I can’t think of any “fruit of the spirit” that would be demonstrated by my sharing my thoughts with them.

What you are writing to me is not “wisdom.” I am sorry that you consider it such.

91   Henry (Rick) Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
August 1st, 2007 at 1:38 pm

Bell’s problem is that instead of questioning the church’s approach to the gay issue he questions the Biblical teaching of that issue. He seems very mircurial in his answers and instead of saying that homosexuality IS a sin, and then go on to point out the hypocrisy of the church, he clouds the issue by remaining at least verbally uncommited to the orthodox view.

So what if Jesus did not address it, He also said nothing about the bride (Paul), the church (Paul), the church leadership (Paul), and so on. It is disingenuous to use the gospels as the foundation with no regard to the completeness of the New Testament.

At best (I hope) it is a reactionary attitude toward the self righteousness of the church concerning these issue and not the denial of such.

92   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
August 1st, 2007 at 1:43 pm

Amy,

I’ve gone from Witherington’s quotes of Bell, not his (Witherington’s) discussion on homosexuality. My understanding from a play-by-play of the entire session (which I can’t find, though if someone has a link, please post it) was that Bell’s response was about a paragrpha or two in lenght before he moved to the next question in the Q&A. If this is the case, and Witherington’s article doesn’t seem to refute this account, then all of Witherington’s discussion is his own, and not a paraphrase of a discussion by Bell – which leads right back to the same pitfalls we’ve been discussing.

Amy, it is as if you keep looking for Bell to say your magic words “homosexual tendencies”, when, to someone versed and working in that field, that phrase would be longhand for ‘homosexuality’ – a term Bell did use.

It may be that you only use the word “homosexuality” to only talk about one who is tempted to lust after the same sex.

I don’t have to go any further than the correction made by Bob Hyatt on this site back in January, which led to an update of the article.

Just a clarification.

I would (very intentionally) not make the statement “Homosexuality is sin. Period” What I would say is “Same sex sexual behavior is a sin. Period.”

Orientation is a tricky thing- neither (IMHO) something one is born with NOR something one chooses- but something that is formed (or mis-formed) in you by a number of factors.

I have a number of homosexual friends who are unable to change their orientation, but are committed to celibacy. I do not think they are in sin at all.

A small point, but for those struggling, I think an important one.

However, I will go farther with an example. If I use the word ’serenity’, this word conjures up one of two meanings, wholly dependent upon whether the hearer has been involved in a twelve-step community in some form or fashion. Witherington’s use of the word ‘homosexuality’ fits the same, broad pattern you and other Christians unwittingly (or wittingly) use to describe what is sinful.

Additionally, Ben paraphrases Rob making the same distinction:

Rob then raises the point that the Bible says nothing about sexual orientation.

Witherington then observes:

This is true, but irrelevant.

Actually, it is relevant. The confusion between the attraction (or ‘orientation’ which is similar) and the act of sinning is what creates much of the difficulty in counselling.

In evaluating this article (which we have in the whole), it is important to distinguish which voice is Witherington’s, which voice is Bell’s, and which voice is a paraphrase of Bell. For instance, Witherington quote’s Bell:

Rob then makes an argument [...] “Jesus never said anything about homosexuality”.

He then injects his voice

This is not quite true. Jesus took all sorts of sexual sin very seriously,

So, here, Witherington defined Bell’s use of the term ‘homosexuality’ as equal to ’sexual sin’. He then explounds:

celibacy in singleness is the standard Jesus holds up for the unmarried.

The implication here follows the “tyranny of the ‘OR’” – or the fallacy of false dichotomy – in which ‘homosexuality’ (as meant by Bell) is incompatible with ‘celibacy’. However, these are not incompatible concepts if one follows a Christian counseling usage of ‘homosexuality’ as a term which implies the temptation, not the physical/lustful sin.

I could do the same with the remainder of the article, but most of it is in Witherington’s voice (which you have quoted) and not Bell’s. Additionally, I use the evidence of his church’s position on the issue (where he is one of, if not the, key influencer), and that he did not condone ‘monogomous homosexual relationships’ (which is the normal liberal Christian fall-back, along with his frequent book recommendation of William Webb’s “Slaves, Women and Homosexuals”, which lays out a somewhat egalatarian view of women but affirms a consistent biblical prohibition against homosexual activity. This particular book is reviled by a number of liberal Christian groups, because it does not allow for ‘committed monogomous homosexual relationships’ and a number of fundamentalist groups dislike it because it is not complementarian enough. It is not a book that you recommend unless you stand where its theses lie.

So, amidst the overwhelming external evidence, evidence within a single report of the event, along with personal experience with this issue, do I accept your version (and parts of BW’s interpretation) of ‘what Rob meant’, or do I accept what the evidence supports?

How can you know how that “then” situation applies to “now?”

We’re talking a difference of 5 months between ‘then’ and ‘now’ (the ‘now’ when the article was written). Additionally, there are enough G-Rap MH critics who would jump all over a change in the church’s treatment of homosexuality and homosexual sin in the direction you suggest.

Strangely, you’ve still not addressed why it is such a pressing need for Rob to fully explain his (and his church’s) stance on homosexuality in a public setting… What is our driving need to know, when he’s not teaching that ‘committed consensual homosexual relationships’ are in accord with scripture?

93   Henry (Rick) Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
August 1st, 2007 at 2:09 pm

Chris – if people like Bell and others want to make a linguistic distinction between homosexuality and homosexual behavior is fine, in the end it is misleading to the average understanding. Adultery is sin, whether itis acted upon or not.

I still contend that the emerging perspectives sometimes originate in an understandable rejection of the historical evangelical vitriol against sinners of some persuasions without addressing our own sinfulness. Just as Ken would never want to agree with Bell on anything, so some of the emerging teachers seem to go out of their way to distance themselves from historical orthodoxy even when in the final analysis they agree. The hair splitting definitions about homosexuality serve no purpose, it is sin in all its forms as is pride, lust, temper, etc., etc., and etc.. These sins are embedded in our old man whether or not they even make their way through the Seratonin Sea.

94   Tim Reed    
August 1st, 2007 at 2:22 pm

Adultery is sin, whether itis acted upon or not.

What? I don’t understand this attitude of equating temptation with sin. Hebrews tells us that Jesus was tempted, yet was without sin. If temptation = sin then how was Jesus tempted and without sin? Was he a special case (and if so, it brings up all sorts of questions about the humanity of Jesus and the propriety of referring to him as an elder brother).

95   Henry (Rick) Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
August 1st, 2007 at 2:30 pm

The temtation I refer to is within us, which did not happen in Christ. His temptation came from without with even the absence of mental desire within Himself. We all have sin within us, Jesus never had any. Apples and oranges.

96   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
August 1st, 2007 at 2:32 pm

Rick,

if people like Bell and others want to make a linguistic distinction between homosexuality and homosexual behavior is fine, in the end it is misleading to the average understanding.

I agree with this, but the question becomes: Who are we trying to reach? Is our desire to preach to the choir or reach out to the lost? We certainly get a lot of approval of ‘righteous men and women’ if we preach to the choir, but we get no real thanks if we eschew the first for the purpose of the second.

Is Bell trying to reach the self-righteous Christian who needs to explicitly know that Rob believes that homosexual practice is sinful, or is he trying to use language in a way that won’t condone homosexual practice but also will not drive away people struggling with homosexual issues. One’s sexuality is probably (if we are to believe overwhelming psychological evidence) the biggest affector of who and what a non-Christian believes he or she is. For someone struggling with homosexual temptation, the Christian pronouncement ‘homosexuality is a sin’ immediately bears the meaning ‘everything I believe that defines my identity will never be acceptable to God, even if I believe in Him’ – it is an immediate sense of despair which immediately shuts down any clarifiers about grace, atonement or salvation.

By all means, the church has dug the hole into which it finds itself in reaching out to people struggling with same-sex sin.

All I see Bell trying to do is climb out of the hole to reach them, while everyone remaining there in Plato’s cave gnashes their teeth at him.

97   Henry (Rick) Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
August 1st, 2007 at 2:38 pm

Yes, but I have hear several homosexual preachers who have been saved preach that homosexuality IS a sin. Even ministries like Exodus and others include that in their creed, and who are more equipped to expound on it. In the end Bell should be clear that he is making it primarily an issue of methodology rather than substantive disagreement.

98   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
August 1st, 2007 at 2:39 pm

Henry,

I think to define temptation as something purely external maintains Jesus’ divinity but denies his humanity. God does not allow us to be tempted beyond our means, but He also defines at least one sin in the Ten Commandments which is purely an internal sin – covetousness. In that case, the line is crossed when the attraction of an object or person moves beyond attraction to desire to possess it/him/her – a fully internal process.

If Jesus was never dealt with internal temptation, then he was not really human. When Satan tempted him with rocks to become bread, Jesus had to be hungry if he was tempted – the desire had to be there for the offering of turning stones to breat to even be a temptation.

99   Tim Reed    
August 1st, 2007 at 2:40 pm

The temtation I refer to is within us, which did not happen in Christ. His temptation came from without with even the absence of mental desire within Himself. We all have sin within us, Jesus never had any. Apples and oranges.

In other words, Jesus experience on earth was completely different from ours. So, how does that make him high priest who can sympathize with our weaknesses?

100   Henry (Rick) Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
August 1st, 2007 at 2:42 pm

Jesus was human as was a pre-sinful Adam. The inward sin did not enter until Adam sinned, and because Christ never sinned then “sin was not found in Him”. He could be tempted from the outside, but there was no inward sin in which to identify with us.

We are sons of Adam, He was not.

101   phil    
August 1st, 2007 at 2:44 pm

Being tempted whether internally or externally is not a sin. I don’t really see how we can make such a distinction. How do you even draw a line? I think the issue here is that we are looking at things through the eyes of Augustine or Luther more than the eyes of a Jewish reader of the NT. There was a concept of “orginal sin”, but not in the way we think of it today.

102   Tim Reed    
August 1st, 2007 at 2:45 pm

You still didn’t answer my question. If Jesus’ experience was fundamentally different than yours or mine in that the type of temptation we suffer is markedly different from our own, then how can he sympathize with our weaknesses?

103   Henry (Rick) Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
August 1st, 2007 at 2:49 pm

The incarnation was a mystery, He was “separate from sinners” and yet tempted in all points. He can identify with us as our Creator and even in human form, but without any inward sin His experience with temptation was different than ours. Having never given in to lust He did not do the fleshly battle that we experience.

I just believe that the overboard reaction to the gay issue by some may bring some balance. The hair splitting is immaterial and provides little purpose. Christ died for the gay people and it is that message that should powerfully and lovingly be our banner!

104   Tim Reed    
August 1st, 2007 at 2:52 pm

Henry,
With all due respect, it seems like you are stripping the humanity from Christ. Which is as grave an error as to strip his deity away.

105   amy    
August 1st, 2007 at 2:54 pm

So I never “misread” Witherington. I just didn’t realize that you had simply stopped discussing his article because you considered his viewpoint invalid. Did you point that out before?

Basically, you’re telling me that we can’t consider using Witherington’s interpretation of the meeting with Bell because you, who weren’t there, know what Bell meant.

Notice that Witherington never said that Bell supports homosexuality including homosexual acts. I think that Witherington thinks that Bell might be headed that way, and that’s why he wrote the article. He said, in the introduction, “The second problem area is ethics, which became very apparent tonight when Rob Bell was asked about homosexuality. His answers was evasive in part, and disturbing in other parts, and clearly unBiblical in other parts and in this he sounds like some other leaders in the Emergent Church movement. Some specifics should be mentioned.”

Someone in the January discussion on this site called it something like “softening” on his position.

The reason Bell got brought up was in the first place was my saying that you didn’t seem to be willing to look at some folks objectively, or something to that effect.

That is what I see happening here.

Maybe you could write to Witherington and see if he thinks he wrongly represented Bell. It seems like someone who likes Bell would have been very careful to give him every benefit of the doubt.

“Strangely, you’ve still not addressed why it is such a pressing need for Rob to fully explain his (and his church’s) stance on homosexuality in a public setting…”

He did answer questions publically, didn’t he? So I’m looking at his answers which have brought up questions and wondering what his underlying beliefs are and where he is going with this.

I was under the impression that a leader who is affecting people all over the world, (and for me personally, people I know) should be quite willing to let people in on what his ethics are. If he is going to lead and influence people they should know if his ethics are in line with scripture, or contradict scripture.

106   Henry (Rick) Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
August 1st, 2007 at 2:56 pm

He was fully human, but not fully sinful, Tim. He was in human form but very different. His divinity had an effect on His humanity. But as Paul said, “Great is the mystery of godliness. That God was manifest in the flesh”. It is not as simple as saying Jesus was like me, in some ways yes and in some human ways no. He was a perfect human, very unlike me. He never had a sinful thought, very unlike me. So His human experience was not a mirror of mine, neither was it intended to be.

107   phil    
August 1st, 2007 at 3:06 pm

Amy,
I don’t know what you mean by “looking at people objectively”. Many of us have read Bell’s books and listened to his sermons. We have measured the evidence and decided that we, for the most part, agree with what Bell says. I can only speak for myself, but I cannot take someone else’s commentary (even if it is BW3) on one question from one speaking engagement and let it change my overall view.

It seems to me that you are giving this one piece incredible weight compared to the bulk of info that is available on Bell in his books, other interviews, sermons, and his church’s website.

108   amy    
August 1st, 2007 at 3:13 pm

If Witherington’s article was an accurate representation, Phil, then it demonstrates that Bell’s view of scripture is “take some, and leave some,” no matter what claims he may make to the contrary.

If Bell were someone who was influencing me through his teaching, I would do whatever I could to look into this further.

109   Tim Reed    
August 1st, 2007 at 3:14 pm

Henry,

It seems your view does not line up with view of the writer of Hebrews when he refers to Christ as our older brother, and as one tempted as we are yet without sin.

110   Tim Reed    
August 1st, 2007 at 3:16 pm

If Bell were someone who was influencing me through his teaching, I would do whatever I could to look into this further.

On the other hand, I suppose, if our goal is only to criticize your advice is not the same.

111   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
August 1st, 2007 at 3:17 pm

*sigh*

I should have written: Strangely, you’ve still not addressed why it is such a pressing need for Rob to fully explain his underlying beliefs on homosexuality.

Sorry for the poor wording, previously. Thank you, though, for giving an answer to the intent.

The next question would then be, though, which is more important – Rob defining his “ethics” (which I put in quotes because the suggestion that the answer to this question defines his ethics) or an effective witness.

As for Witherington, I went through the entire thread – including the unanswered questions from the last half – to see if Witherington addressed the points. Here again, it is important to distinguish between one person’s translation of what was said (which was written in far more words than Bell is reported to have used in answering this question) and what was actually said.

Joe – you attend Mars Hill. Are you aware of any change in its handling of homosexuality or homosexual sin? Have you heard Rob (or anyone at MH) speak on the topic, or suggest that a monogomous homosexual relationship is a sin-free way of life?

Even in summing up Bell’s comments, Witherington did not contradict anything I’ve discussed to this point. Only BW’s personal analysis and interpretation of Bell’s stance is in contradiction, and even there because of the way he has defined ‘homosexuality’.

So, let’s look at the evidence at hand:

Evidence for “Bell thinks an active homosexual lifestyle can (or might be able to) honor God and His instructions in scripture”:
- Ben Witherington’s commentary on Bell’s brief statement on why he would not address the topic of homosexuality.

Evidence for “Bell does not support an active homosexual lifestyle, but chooses to stay mum on the subject in public because of the confusion around the terminology and treatment by the church and to avoid causing little ones to stumble”
- Mars Hill’s treatment of homosexuality and homosexual sin
- Bell’s frequent recommendation of William Webb’s book (even on Bell’s website), whose only ‘ground-breaking’ claim is the decoupling homosexuality from the issues of slavery and subjugation of women in the Bible.
- Bell’s consistent action on not commenting in depth on the subject of “homosexuality” in public
- Bell’s actual words and actions, as described by BW (including the isolation of ‘homosexual orientation’ within the discussion), which also completely avoided approval of ‘commitment/monogamy’ as a qualifier for homosexual behavior
- Consistency with effective witnessing techniques specifically geared toward homosexuals.

So, if I have to weigh the evidence in hand, it is not that difficult a thing to do, particularly since I do have first-hand dealings with helping people afflicted by this temptation.

If nothing else, I think the only thing you’ve proven in this discussion is that Bell is right and that that this topic isn’t something that can or should be answered in public Q&A session.

112   phil    
August 1st, 2007 at 3:21 pm

Amy,
Actually, no I think Bell’s view of Scripture is quite high. There is very little actual info in that piece. I don’t see Bell as “taking some and leaving some”. In any case, you’d be hard pressed to find a pastor or teacher who doesn’t do this.

It doesn’t really matter to me that much whether you like or dislike Bell. It just seems you are on some sort of crusade here to convince us of something here.

I respect BW3, and I actually think he’s one of the most fair and accurate NT scholars out there. He does not even take the stance you are taking. He actually recommends Bell’s books and says good things about him for the most part. One area of disagreement or unclarity is not enough to condemn someone as an apostate.

113   Daryle    
August 1st, 2007 at 3:25 pm

All,

I have enjoyed reading through the various blogs. I started researching this “Emergent Church” thing a few months ago hoping to understand what all the confab was all about. I have been on both this blog as well as the “discernment” blogs, and I have to say at this point as far as Christian attitude, I’m very disappointed with the discerners. So now, oh hi there Ken, I’ll be labeled part of the man-centered semi-pelagian postmodernism serpentine movement of Satan.

114   amy    
August 1st, 2007 at 3:29 pm

Tim,
You don’t know what my goals are, and I really don’t think I could help you understand them no matter how I tried to explain them.

Chris,
“Even in summing up Bell’s comments, Witherington did not contradict anything I’ve discussed to this point.”

????

“Evidence for “Bell thinks an active homosexual lifestyle can (or might be able to) honor God and His instructions in scripture”:
- Ben Witherington’s commentary on Bell’s brief statement on why he would not address the topic of homosexuality.”

The “brief statement” is the problem under discussion. It’s a brief statement that Witherington had the response I’ve already given, above to. A significant “brief statement.”

I give up.

115   amy    
August 1st, 2007 at 3:36 pm

Chris,
In reference to Daryle’s comment. Do you realize that you could be inadvertently defending all things emerging? Are you willing to lead some newcomers into the world of emerging without giving them the total picture?

How about looking at the Emerging Women sight and discussing some of the problems with “emerging”? Or do you not see problems there?

116   Joe    http://joemartino.name
August 1st, 2007 at 3:39 pm

Chris L.
It is my policy to not discuss Rob at all in these threads. However, your question seems to apply to my church so I want to answer it. We have programs that help people heal from gender identity issues. I have seen nothing that would make me think the position of Mars Hill or our leadership is in any way contrary to Scripture
Peace

117   Tim Reed    http://theotstrikesback.com
August 1st, 2007 at 4:12 pm

You don’t know what my goals are, and I really don’t think I could help you understand them no matter how I tried to explain them.

Amy, its been clear what you’re doing here for quite some time. You’re here to interpret as uncharitably as possible anything written or said by a significant emergent figure. Has their yet been a single topic you’ve commented on where you’ve chosen to accept an explanation/interpretation that puts the subject of the post well within historical Christianity? Because so far, I can’t think of one, even when you’ve got someone like Nathan who works with the author, and has read the entire work you’re criticizing discussing the issue with you ad nauseum.

118   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
August 1st, 2007 at 4:14 pm

Joe,

Thank you for the clarification, and I respect you not getting into issues on Rob specifically, as I was looking at your church’s stance and whether or not, as amy suggested, perhaps the ’stance’ on ‘homosexuality’ had changed.

Amy,

Taking Daryle’s comment in context and – trusting that it is self-representative, which I have no reason to doubt – I would expect that Daryle has been examining the good and the bad (in terms of theology), and – per the statement “at this point as far as Christian attitude, I’m very disappointed with the discerners” – I would interpret that as an observation of orthopraxy on the part of the ODM’s.

Other than the tongue-in-cheek closing, I don’t see any attempted defense or opposition to the emerging church. Personally, as both -doxy and -praxy go, I have as many – if not more – concerns about the ‘reformed’ church as I do about the ‘emerging’ church.

Reading what we’ve written as blanket acceptance of the emerging church and all its permutations would require ignoring a lot of what we’ve written…