04Recently I had a conversation with a friend of mine about how it irks me the way people debate over theological issues. The debate doesn’t bother me. If you can find people who don’t take the debate personal, then you can have a great conversation. Too often people get too fired up when they are discussing things. Just last week I had to call a guy and say, “I’m sorry.” And just to get this out of the way, this post has nothing to do with the person I called. I hate it when people say something like, “Well, I believe this because the Bible says it” or “I believe this way because it is the most Biblical way to view the issue.” The implied message is that if you don’t believe what it is they’re saying that somehow you–the heretic–don’t really love God on the same level that they do. You–the moron–don’t really know how to properly read your Bible.

The Baptists use this argument to prove that their way is right. Most of the time they’re even willing to use this method to denounce other Baptists, which is why you have “free will baptists” and “southern Baptists” and “independent baptists” and “regular baptists” and “American baptists.” Someone once told me that there are 138 different baptist flavors. All 138 of them are holding a line, they are opening their Bible and slamming their finger down on a verse and saying, “See, it says it right here! I am right!”

My friend seemed to want to have sympathy for me. He was also sympathetic to the view I was decrying. That is one of the things I appreciate about our conversations. We disagree and most of the time he doesn’t walk away questioning my character because we disagree. He said something to the effect of well, that’s the normal argument for that position. I told him I knew that but I get tired of the Bible being used as the final shock and awe weapon to win the battle. I just don’t believe that when God wrote this love letter He intended for us to use it as a battering ram to win arguments. Anybody can claim that what they believe is backed by the Bible. Anybody can say their way is the most Biblical way. They are the one’s defending the truth. Heck, there is an even a Blog where some one has decided to call themselves the “Keepers of Christ’s Truth.” They tell us, Right now, Truth is under attack, and much is at stake.

So I just want to get this strait: The same God who created the entire universe, who has kept the Bible preserved through countless attacks. The same God who reconciled all men to Himself through the sacrificial death, burial and resurrection of His Son needs some guy with a BLOG to defend the Truth? That’s retarded. That goes beyond any sane, reasonable train of thought. It bugs me to no end. What does this have to do with my opening?

Recently after reading a certain author I googled his name. I found this quote by a “critic” on one of the pages.

“Michael, I’m what’s called a Biblical Universalist [sic] “I didn’t just decide universalism was a nice concept (emotionalism as it is frequently described. I found it to be the truth of the Bible. My study started with trying to prove that Annihilation (the doctrine that God puts out of existence all those who reject Him) was true and Eternal Torment was false – I was more than a little surprised to discover they were both false.

Please don’t miss what he said because you disagree with what he said. He said that he believes what he believes because it is found in the Bible. He’s convinced he’s right and he has Bible verses to back him up. You’re wrong he’s right. It’s that simple. He’s just using the Bible. Now, most of the regular readers here are already thinking of verses and comebacks to prove that he’s wrong. There are some hate mongers who, if this guy’s first name was Doug and his last name rhymed with Racket or if he shared Robert Redford’s first name and the Liberty Bell’s last name, would be putting together hate posts where they would cross link to each other like West Virginia cousins in love and decry him a heretic. Why? He just believes what he believes based on the Bible?

So what? Can we not believe anything? Is everything up for grab? No, I don’t believe so, but I do have a fairly simple litmus test that I will put you through before I choose to listen to your words. That litmus test is simple really. I want to know do you have any of the following in your life?

Love

Joy

Peace

Patience

Kindness

Goodness

Faithfulness

Self Control.

Why aren’t these things listed as the litmus test of our faith. If what you are trying to tell me is of the Spirit it should have these qualities to it. If it doesn’t then it is suspect. I DO NOT CARE ABOUT YOUR DOCTRINE if you do not have these in your life. Your doctrine is as relevant to my life as the NBA.

Feel free to fight for the faith, feel free to write hit pieces about Godly men. I hope it makes you feel better. Feel free to anonymously protest me speaking at your camp and hide behind your authority. Feel free to threaten people below you. Feel free to continue not looking like Christ. It’s Ok, you don’t have to earn God’s love. He forgives you for the mistakes you made in that first marriage. You won’t cause God to love you more by being hateful. He doesn’t need you defending His truth. He did just fine before you and I were ever even a hormone inside our parents, He’ll keep doing fine long after our bodies are nothing more than dust in the bottom of a wood box encased in a cement box with six feet of dirt on our heads. Take all that energy and try to live these things out. Love the gay person who wants the legal right to get married. I dare you. Be kind to the Lesbian who wants to adopt. Be patient with all the liberals. I know, “I’m just spewing social gospel now.” But I’m telling you, you’re not going to impact me all that much without these things in your life. You won’t impact anyone. God won’t be impressed.

I guarantee you I can find someone who disagrees with most of your faith and does so because they believe they have the Bible to stand on. They’ll be willing to say that you just aren’t reading it right, or you’re interpretation is skewed. Sometimes, it cracks me up two opposing sides will be using the same verse. At the end of the day the only thing that really matters is what kind of fruit your doctrine and theology produces and everyone’s Bible says this list is fruit born of the Spirit. So I say Grace and Peace to all the Haters. Haters are on both sides of issues. I say to you, Love. Love your neighbors, love your enemies, love those more conservative than you. Love those more liberal than you. Love Barrack, and Hillary. Love McCain. Love Ken Silva and Ingrid Schluetter. Love God and Love the World. Please just don’t expect me to come running to your view because you have the Bible on your side. Please don’t expect me to give you credence because you believe your way is the most Biblical. Especially, if you’re focusing more on someone looking like you than you are on your trying to look more like this list.

Grace and Peace

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223 Comments(+Add)

1   Phil Miller    http://veritasfellowship.blogspot.com
March 17th, 2008 at 9:49 am

Joe,
I believe God gave us paragraph breaks for a reason…

2   Joe Martino    http://joemartino.name
March 17th, 2008 at 9:53 am

Phil,
I posted this elsewhere and they were there. It’s not here for some reason. I’ll try to fix it, but I’m not a Wordpress fan for this reason.

3   Evan Hurst    
March 17th, 2008 at 9:55 am

wow.

nice.

4   Nathan Rice    http://www.nathanrice.org/
March 17th, 2008 at 10:05 am

I’ve seen this before. It goes something like this:

You believe X. I believe Y.
You misinterpret scripture, and claim the Bible is on your side.
You then tell me that I evidently don’t believe in the Bible (and/or write posts like this about me).

It’s one thing when crooked lawyers pull this kind of trick, but Christians should be above this.

5   Phil Miller    http://veritasfellowship.blogspot.com
March 17th, 2008 at 10:11 am

Wow, Joe, what was that…less than 15 minutes before you got linked to by Ken? That might be a record of some sort.

I always have to remind myself that a line is crossed when I’d rather be right than serve the person I’m arguing with. It’s very easy to cross it. It’s much easier to take the instant gratification of being right than to put the hard work in of dealing with people who get on your nerves.

6   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 17th, 2008 at 10:16 am

“That litmus test is simple really. I want to know do you have any of the following in your life?”

So you have a disernment ministry. I’m not sure John the Baptist as well as many preachers in church history would pass that test as subjectivly processed.

BTW – if I have all those things, does that make my doctrine right?

I will grant you this, Joe, the gay and lesbian thing, you are correct. The sins of lost people should be irrelevant to all of us, they are just symptons that Christ came to forgive. In essence, its just politics and not redemption when we consider lost people’s sins. What do we have to do by judging those that are without (lost).

7   Brian    
March 17th, 2008 at 10:23 am

Henry
Are you saying you don’t believe the fruit of the Spirit is important?

8   Evan Hurst    
March 17th, 2008 at 10:25 am

haha, i don’t have the history with “this Ken character,” as our moms might say, but what a whiner.

you should change ODM to OWM.

9   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 17th, 2008 at 10:39 am

Are you saying you don’t believe the fruit of the Spirit is important?

No, of course not. But those fruits are observed with subjectivity and partiality. Addionally those fruits seem to operate more fully within the context of those with whom we agree and they many times become less potent when in the heat of dialogue.

However, I have known unbelievers who show wonderful love and peace and joy and patience and yet their views were still wrong. My point was the Scriptures are the standard for truth not a person’s ability to project Christ.

And sometimes when you make a joke you get called a jerk which is usually verbiage reserved for my wife! :)

10   Dave Marriott    http://seeingclearly.wordpress.com
March 17th, 2008 at 10:55 am

I think I’ve read this somewhere before…

I think the first word was a fabric like um satin or um velvet…yes that was it, velvet.

The second word was some theologian of the 20th century. I think his name was presley.

11   Joe Martino    http://joemartino.name
March 17th, 2008 at 11:06 am

Hey Dave Marriot,
I just watched “Open” last night, the new NOOMA. You should get it. Really, really good.
Grace and Peace to you, Dave.

12   Dave Marriott    http://seeingclearly.wordpress.com
March 17th, 2008 at 11:15 am

I’ve already seen it, Joe.

13   Joe Martino    http://joemartino.name
March 17th, 2008 at 11:17 am

Good for you, Dave. Good for you.

14   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 17th, 2008 at 11:17 am

I would watch it but I’m busy watching grass grow.
:)

15   Joe Martino    http://joemartino.name
March 17th, 2008 at 11:22 am

Oh, that acerbic wit of yours Rick!

16   Keith    http://fivepts.blogspot.com
March 17th, 2008 at 11:52 am

Joe: Could you include the “Reformed Baptists” in there. I’m feeling a little left out. 8^)>

Interesting post. “Please just don’t expect me to come running to your view because you have the Bible on your side. Please don’t expect me to give you credence because you believe your way is the most Biblical.” If we do that, what in the world would we blog about?! 8^)>

Seriously, I have a friend that is an Elder in a Reformation Movement (Tim’s team) church (I served as an Elder at the same church until four years ago). I currently attend a Reformed/Founders Friendly Baptist church. I think he’s as wrong as the day is long when it comes to baptism, security of the believer, etc. He feels the same about me. We get together once a month for lunch just to catch up on what’s going on in our lives, family, etc. We even discuss doctrine from time to time, never agreeing. We enjoy each other’s company and the food. He’s headed toward the same eternity as me–we just disagree as to how each of will get there. Pretty simple.

17   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 17th, 2008 at 12:23 pm

Brother Phelps told me personally that his feelings often get hurt!

18   Dave Marriott    http://seeingclearly.wordpress.com
March 17th, 2008 at 12:30 pm

BTW, Joe.

If you haven’t checked out my blog recently, I didn’t appreciate it.

19   Joe Martino    http://joemartino.name
March 17th, 2008 at 12:33 pm

I”m sorry, I’ll come to your blog more often, I guess. ???

20   Dave Marriott    http://seeingclearly.wordpress.com
March 17th, 2008 at 12:35 pm

lol, whatever…

I just didn’t want you to think that I liked it…

21   Joe Martino    http://joemartino.name
March 17th, 2008 at 12:36 pm

I understand. I thought it was great.

22   Jerry Hillyer    http://www.dangoldfinch.wordpress.com
March 17th, 2008 at 1:18 pm

Keith,

With all due respect to the point you are making, there is only one way to ‘get there’. Any way besides the grace of God will not cut it.

jerry

23   Keith    http://fivepts.blogspot.com
March 17th, 2008 at 1:23 pm

Jerry: Please don’t misread my point. My friend believes was given the opportunity to believe and HE chose. I believe GOD chose him from the beginning and at the appointed time, gave him the ability to believe. That’s what I was talking about.

We both agree it is grace.

24   Jerry Hillyer    http://www.dangoldfinch.wordpress.com
March 17th, 2008 at 1:34 pm

Keith,

If you both believe it is grace, then you don’t disagree at all about ‘how to get there.’ It seems to me that you disagree more on the nature of predestination and election or some such thing as that. But I did say, ‘with all due respect to the point you are making…’ Perhaps someday we could have a conversation, in another thread, about how God is glorified when he makes the choice for me and why, if he does, he doesn’t make the same choice for everyone. (Because If your assertion is true, I’m a little miffed about the fact that I have some family members, whom I love dearly, who haven’t been chosen for the same destiny as I am chosen for.) But I don’t want to interrupt or ruin this otherwise enlightening and stimulating conversation about what is a proper litmus test for faith to discuss it here. Some place else, some other day will be fine.

thanks.

your friend,
jerry

25   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 17th, 2008 at 1:56 pm

Keith – thanks for the clarification. Your friend is correct and I assume he has the fruits of the Spirit as well!

26   Keith    http://fivepts.blogspot.com
March 17th, 2008 at 2:01 pm

Jerry: Not that it makes it any “better,” but I have family members as well that are in the same boat, i.e “same destiny.” God is God.

27   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 17th, 2008 at 2:16 pm

Mark Ratliff once said that there are hyper-Calvinists who do not believe Arminians are saved. I told I knew two people who disproved that –

Me and Paul.

28   Evan Hurst    
March 17th, 2008 at 2:45 pm

(Because If your assertion is true, I’m a little miffed about the fact that I have some family members, whom I love dearly, who haven’t been chosen for the same destiny as I am chosen for.)

let’s not mince words, boys.

as per the theology, you have family members who God chose to create only to send to hell for eternity.

29   Keith    http://fivepts.blogspot.com
March 17th, 2008 at 3:46 pm

Evan stated: “…you have family members who God chose to create only to send to hell for eternity.”

Yep. That’s pretty much how I see it. How’s that for not “mincing.” No offense, but I’m not the one complaining. (I wouldn’t have phrased it like you did, but…)

30   Neil    
March 17th, 2008 at 4:02 pm

Baptists are not the only one’s who use this tactic (of course), I’ve run into the same problem with some hyper-Dispensationalists as well.

Neil

31   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 17th, 2008 at 4:05 pm

“…you have family members who God chose to create only to send to hell for eternity.”

Jesus weeps over His own created will for Jerusalem. Talk about double minded.

32   Evan Hurst    
March 17th, 2008 at 4:28 pm

Yep. That’s pretty much how I see it. How’s that for not “mincing.” No offense, but I’m not the one complaining. (I wouldn’t have phrased it like you did, but…)

if you wouldn’t have phrased it like i did, then that’s mincing. everybody likes to say things like “God’s plan” blah blah blah, but many won’t come right out and say it.

but you agreed, so that’s good.

33   Evan Hurst    
March 17th, 2008 at 4:34 pm

what’s weird is that those with that belief can then talk about the love and compassion and grace of God with a straight face without seeing the cognitive dissonance.

and God gave us brains for a reason. they’re not just taking up space. so to recognize cognitive dissonance in a theology is, in itself, a gift from God.

34   Keith    http://fivepts.blogspot.com
March 17th, 2008 at 4:56 pm

Evan stated: “…God gave us brains for a reason. they’re not just taking up space.” I think I’ve just been insulted. Isn’t the first time–sure won’t be the last.

Evan, I didn’t say that it (my theology) didn’t cause me a little discomfort. I also didn’t come to it overnight.

35   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 17th, 2008 at 4:59 pm

God gave us brains for a reason.

Keith – that is a broad based assumption that is sometimes compromised by observable human conduct and speech, and blogs have contibuted significantly to the opposite view!

36   Jerry E. Beuterbaugh    http://asthecrackerheadcrumbles.blogspot.com/
March 17th, 2008 at 5:00 pm

My dear Mr. Martino: You listed the fruits of our Heavenly Father’s Holy Spirit as being love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and self-control as you should; but then you said: “Why aren’t these things listed as the litmus test of our faith. If what you are trying to tell me is of the Spirit it should have these qualities to it. If it doesn’t then it is suspect. I DO NOT CARE ABOUT YOUR DOCTRINE if you do not have these in your life. Your doctrine is as relevant to my life as the NBA.” Now what was that about self-control being a litmus test of faith or am I missing your point???

37   Evan Hurst    
March 17th, 2008 at 5:06 pm

I think I’ve just been insulted

no, that was just anticipating the “we might be uncomfortable with it, but God is God and His ways are not our ways blah blah blah” rebuttal.

i’m merely pointing out the insane cognitive dissonance in that theology – look, i was on staff at a 5-point Calvinist church, and i bought it for a while (or at least tried to. my conscience just kept pulling me back! my conscience which God gave me…)

remember my question from the other thread?

that theology reduces God to an insane sadistic child in a science lab without adult supervision, or an insane sadistic child who starts out by killing puppies, and then graduates to people one day when his “jealous anger” takes over.

38   Evan Hurst    
March 17th, 2008 at 5:07 pm

and blogs have contibuted significantly to the opposite view!

no, Rick, the problem is that within religion, we are rarely taught the art of critical thinking.

instead they hold your head under water, literally and figuratively, and they tell you not to ask “those” kinds of questions.

fortunately, my mother raised me better than that (much to her chagrin).

39   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 17th, 2008 at 5:13 pm

Evan – I know, just a little humor from one whose dormant grey matter is voluminous! :)

40   S.J. Walker    http://alionhasroared.com
March 17th, 2008 at 5:59 pm

Evan,

Regardless of all else that might explain this:

haha, i don’t have the history with “this Ken character,” as our moms might say, but what a whiner.

you should change ODM to OWM.

You should probably take a lesson from the post, mmmm?

Your arrogance astounds me sometimes. On second thought, so does mine. I’m not innocent either. So don’t think I havn’t seen or been convicted by the beam in my eye.

Don’t be so glad that your mental abilities in “critical thinking” are of more value than God given Scripture.

Disclaimer:

I know without a shadow of doubt that this comment will be picked and pulled apart for all kinds of “straw men”, “false dichotomies” or “hyper-Calvinist/Baptist”(because apparently they are synonymous) arguments and justifications for the behavior and attitude here. No doubt, since I have called into question the Christian attitude of Evan here, and really to many others here, I’m also sure it will be touted that “well S.J., tell this to Ken and Ingrid”, or something like that. The “w” word (whine) might pop back up again at my words. Oh well.

I am sick of the attitude of enlightened anti-religion; the attitude that if God is sovereign He is also a sadistic monster; the attitude that Calvinists are by and large ignorant, proud, unthinking pawns trying to make everyone into robots or some idiocy like that.

I am sick of it here, and I am sick of it my own life. Say what you guys want about slice and apprising and so on, but I have seen more hypocrisy here than many other places. It’s like watching 5 or 6 clones of me talking and bantering back and forth. I’m sick of it.

I’m not angry with you gentlemen. I’m just sick and tired of the attitude displayed here so often. It breaks my heart.

Now, let the tearing begin.

41   Joe Martino    http://joemartino.name
March 17th, 2008 at 6:09 pm

I am sick of the attitude of enlightened anti-religion; the attitude that if God is sovereign He is also a sadistic monster; the attitude that Calvinists are by and large ignorant, proud, unthinking pawns trying to make everyone into robots or some idiocy like that.

You just sound angry. I hope you find the Grace and Peace of Jesus as often when we are “sick of it” we can miss that.

42   S.J. Walker    http://alionhasroared.com
March 17th, 2008 at 6:11 pm

In good humor I also say:

Phil said:

I believe God gave us paragraph breaks for a reason…

I would say to Evan:

God gave us capital letters for a reason too.

43   Evan Hurst    
March 17th, 2008 at 6:14 pm

No doubt, since I have called into question the Christian attitude of Evan here, and really to many others here, I’m also sure it will be touted that “well S.J., tell this to Ken and Ingrid”, or something like that.

you’re right, we can all learn humility. what i’m pointing out, though, isn’t an accusation of someone else’s critical thinking ability; rather, it’s a suggestion that some, and i’m not calling people out personally or even limiting it to this venue, in the Christian world simply DO NOT think critically about these things, and when they come up against certain things, they just fall back on “mystery of God.” in certain cases, such as here, there’s no mystery: it’s a really gross belief system that relies on undeserved grace (in theory) but serves to separate people into an upper and a lower class (in practice).

i’ll stick with my “what a whiner” comment. i don’t have a website where i post every fifteen minutes about all the things that are not to my liking in this world. they do. they’re exclusionary people with no sense of the real world. so yeah. whine on, little whiners. they’re not alone. others have chosen the path of “sit behind my computer and complain about things that actually have nothing to do with me.” Peter LaBarbera. Matt Barber of CWA. yes, they hide behind their Bibles, but really? they’re whining. apparently they can’t function as friendly fellow-humans in this journey.

the attitude that Calvinists are by and large ignorant, proud, unthinking pawns trying to make everyone into robots or some idiocy like that.

i didn’t say Calvinists are unthinking pawns. i actually goaded one a few replies up into confirming the doctrine, without all the fluffy language. i do call into question, though, those who HAVE actually *thought* about it, and wonder at their abilities to accept such a heinous hateful doctrine, regardless of which verses they can point to and say “here!”

i also didn’t say that a sovereign God is necessarily a monster. i said that a God who uses His sovereignty in order to create and destroy souls at will, for His own glory, because he’s jealous of other Gods that supposedly aren’t there, but yet he’s jealous all the same…

that God? total monster.

44   Evan Hurst    
March 17th, 2008 at 6:16 pm

God gave us capital letters for a reason too.

Trust Me, I Use Them When It Matters.

:)

eschewing the shift key adds at least 10 wpm to my already impressive 120.

45   Neil    
March 17th, 2008 at 6:17 pm

I’m continually amazed how most any post can be reduces to a discussion on Calvinism…

Neil

46   Evan Hurst    
March 17th, 2008 at 6:19 pm

okay, for equal opportunity, Arminianism also supposes a sovereign God who “knows the beginning from the end,” yet lets free will do His will. result: same.

so i’d say it’s 53% as heinous.

47   S.J. Walker    http://alionhasroared.com
March 17th, 2008 at 6:21 pm

Joe,

Angry? No. Not really my friend. Grieved, passionate, weary of being lampooned? Yeah, that’s a little closer. And I am not trying to euphemize. Being sick of something doesn’t make one unjustly angry Joe.

Believe me Joe. If I was angry in the way you imply, things would be terribly ugly. Just like anyone else. If that is all you got out of my comment, you should take a minute and look at yourself honestly. Is there any point to what I’m saying? I think so. Though you and I STRONGLY disagree on many matters, and much of the post today went against what I believe, I still was reminded that all I do must be in the fruits of the Spirit you mentioned to you credit. Just think about my first comment again Joe. And don’t be too quick to send out prayers for my uncharitability and anger. It may be something much kinder and better. You would probably agree that right passion will sound angry to the inattentive ear. So listen again Joe.

Thanks

48   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 17th, 2008 at 6:22 pm

Now what was that about self-control being a litmus test of faith or am I missing your point???

Jerry B,

What does self-control have to do with your quote of Joe? There was no lack of said ’self-control’ demonstrated in the quote (which basically said “without the fruit of the spirit, any doctrine is irrelevant” – which is true and well-controlled…

49   Joe Martino    http://joemartino.name
March 17th, 2008 at 6:30 pm

And don’t be too quick to send out prayers for my uncharitability and anger.
Thank you for proving my point, S.J. I wasn’t saying your point was in any way uncharitable. Although I will say your second point misses a verse in I Corinthians about love not being easily offended. I sincerely meant that I when people are “just sick of it” they can miss the grace and peace in their life that Jesus has for them.
Grace and Peace to you, S.J.
also, if you love me please read I Corinthians

50   Joe Martino    http://joemartino.name
March 17th, 2008 at 6:31 pm

OH and I never said anything about unjust. Maybe upset would have been a better word than angry although I believe they are synonymous.

51   S.J. Walker    http://alionhasroared.com
March 17th, 2008 at 6:42 pm

Evan,

In reply to your rebuttal. I too get weary of people–on either side–pointing to one verse or even two and saying “here!”. But remember this too: we say we believe the Word. If we don’t we’re not, by definition, Christian. So with that out of the way, it would stand to reason there are a few verses and sentences that sum up a certain point rather well, and when examined along side everything else do not contradict. If so, we are as bound to these individual verses as we are the whole text as supreme.

Suggestion, when someone throws a scripture reference in your face again–justly or not–don’t say a single word about it. Go home, get your Bible and maybe a word study and dig yourself a grave so to speak. I’m not saying you haven’t done this before, I’m saying if you have, do it again. Do it every time. And leave old Calvin out of it. Leave Arminius out of it. I believe what believe and and have never read much of either. My “heinous hateful doctrine” came from the Word, and not just one or two verses or passages. For truly, those can and are taken out of context often to prove points that may or may not be accurate. My beliefs came from reading 1,2 Peter, Psalm 119, Psalm 50-51, Jeremiah, Amos, and 59 others in whole or part.

I ran to the Gospels, and He found me there. I ran to the letters and He found me there. I ran to the prophets and I was found again. Exhausted, out-thought, outwitted, and out-willed, I died–or rather, I realized my death. The my “heinous hateful” God took me down off the cross and ensured me that I was His and nothing, not even my own arrogant and unseeing will could keep me from Him.

I hope these words haunt you. That have me these past few years. I am telling the truth of what happened to me.

Don’t ever speak of my God that way again. You don’t know what you’re doing. Neither did I.

52   Joe Martino    http://joemartino.name
March 17th, 2008 at 7:04 pm

Yeah,
Jerry B. I think you may have missed the point of my post, but I’m not sure what you’re asking. Would you mind clarifying?

53   S.J. Walker    http://alionhasroared.com
March 17th, 2008 at 7:05 pm

Hey Joe,

I will read it again, you have my word. But remember this too. If I said what I did at this single instance, I would be easily offended and rightly rebuked. And though in all cases I should forgive (70 x 7 comes to mind), I will clarify something. This is not the first time. Nor is it the 491st. I humbly and heartily forgive any personal hurt inflicted by anyone, here or not. That wasn’t my main point. I did not perhaps communicate well I’ll grant.

I’m sick of what I believe being trashed as hateful and heinous. I’m sick of the Word becoming almost a deplorable thing when used as citation. Forget that some misuse. Many don’t, but are still painted as fightin’ fundies or something like that.

I’m not just talking about what has been said here an now. No, I cite the specifics of the moment to exemplify the whole pattern. Things said here are not just found on this particular thread. I am talking about the whole thing. So it isn’t really helping you to say “I didn’t actually say this or that”. No, maybe you didn’t. That’s not my point. I’m talking about the attitude and am using a citation here and there for example.

This is the same respect that I would hope to receive. If one would look at the whole of my posts, and interactions and so forth one would definitely find instances of sin and lacking. But I would hope that the whole would be taken into account in determining my position.

As a whole, I am tired of what I see so often here, though interspersed with good stuff now and then, I don’t see any difference often between what this site claims to answer.

That is my problem. And if so, we’re way beyond personal affront and easy offense.

I speak as humbly as I possibly can Joe. I am not trying to appear better or “right”. But let’s just assume for argument’s sake that I am and that the attitudes I am tired of are indeed what I percieve and as such are truly sin. Now assuming that, it would be logical and RIGHT to become weary and “sick of it” in people who claim to be family would it not? That is where I am at. And all I ask is that the possibility that the general attitude around here should change be entertained even momentarily.

Thanks for your gracious responses Joe, I do appreciate it.

54   amy    
March 17th, 2008 at 7:16 pm

Evan,
So what exactly about the big Baptist church bothers you?
What is their hypocrisy?

Why do you have so much hatred towards Christians?

And why do you generally speak of Christianity as if it’s the only religion that has hypocrites? Surely you could turn aside from every religion – including that of atheists and agnostics – because of some of their representatives.

And certainly you could tear up the “logic” of other religions as well as those who have “no religion.”

Why the antagonism towards Chritianity?

55   merry    
March 17th, 2008 at 7:20 pm

I’m praying for you, S.J. I know how you feel. I get very weary and frustrated, too. I think all of us Christians could work on our attitudes. For me personally, I need to work on love, patience, kindness and self control.

BTW, great article Joe M. Thanks for the reminder.

56   merry    
March 17th, 2008 at 7:26 pm

Amy, I’m not going to speak for Evan, but I just had a thought about something you said.

One could, very easily, tear up the logic of other religions, and point out their hypocrisies. But when one believes that Christianity is the only true way, it’s a whole lot easier to be critical of its believers. I believe hypocrisy is one of the biggest threats to Christianity. Sadly, many of us or all of us end up being hypocrites without even meaning to.

57   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 17th, 2008 at 7:45 pm

Linguistic exchange is an exercise in communication but does little to promote truth since all language comes with incomplete definitions as well as nuances and indeed different definitions. Opposite positions can be defended by two well intentioned communicators and persuade different sections of listeners who are processing the information differently.

There are many variables at play, emotions, education, presuppositions, openess, prejudice, upbringing, friends, personal admiration, and even the opinions of those we love. So unless we judge everything theological by the written revelation we have nothing more than a communicative kaleidoscope driven by the particulars I mentioned previously. Rare is the instance when someone is demonstrably changed through discussions of position already well established in our minds.

Only when the Scriptures are approached with an open and humble spirit can there be any genuine expectation of arriving at the mind of Christ. The books of men can be a stumbling block from every perspective and they usually serve to further cement familiar opinions because most are chosen expressions that we expect to deepen our views, not change them.

Summarily, discourse can only be spiritually edifying when something is said that drives us to the Scriptures not to disprove it but be taught by God’s Spirit. This is of course the most difficult of personal disciplines since we all come inherrant with a self/personal view of the uprightness of our motives. In essence we measure ourselves by ourselves.

So the Scriptures must be the standard by which we arrive at all spiritual truth even while buffered by our individual interpretations. Go to many churches and you will see people being convinced by the oratorical prowess of the preacher, or the strength of his personality, or even the earthly logic used as a pitcher to pour out Scriptural interpretation. And in reality the spiritual laziness that lives openly in the pews reveals a great hinderance as well.

We may avoid the phrase “The Bible says” but we must never avoid the principle contained in those words. It is our only hope…Obi-Wan.

58   S.J. Walker    http://alionhasroared.com
March 17th, 2008 at 7:52 pm

Amen Rick.

And I have one question for Joe regarding the post:

You said:

I DO NOT CARE ABOUT YOUR DOCTRINE if you do not have these in your life. Your doctrine is as relevant to my life as the NBA.

Following that, and I understand where you’re coming from, can bad theology produce good fruit?

Steep 20 minutes then remove lid(or baseball cap) to reduce pressure.

59   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 17th, 2008 at 7:55 pm

Following that, and I understand where you’re coming from, can bad theology produce good fruit?

Of course, in man’s eyes. The “angel of light” principle still applies. That is why a person’s fruit can be a enhancement to truth, but never the standard.

60   amy    
March 17th, 2008 at 7:58 pm

But when one believes that Christianity is the only true way, it’s a whole lot easier to be critical of its believers.

I agree with that, especially if one believes that being a Christian means being led by the Holy Spirit and having the mind and attitude of Christ.

Evan, however, apparently doesn’t believe that Christianity is the only true way – and I’m wondering why he doesn’t seem to be antagonistic to other religions and people of other religions in the same way that he is Christianity.

Sometimes I get the idea that it’s the exclusive claims of Christianity that he doesn’t like. But if he thinks that Christianity is the only religion that presents itself as “the only way” or “the true way” or “the best way” then I wonder how much about other religions he actually knows . . .

Even the idea of “whatever religion works for you is fine” can be seen as arrogant and exclusive in its own way, if it is held to as THE way to believe.

61   S.J. Walker    http://alionhasroared.com
March 17th, 2008 at 8:02 pm

Rick, my point exactly.

Also, any one can produce specimens that replicate the fruit mentioned herein. But like in says in John 15, it must be fruit that LASTS. It must be the pattern.

62   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 17th, 2008 at 8:04 pm

If Jesus Christ is the only way to salvation, should He be presented as such?

63   Joe Martino    http://joemartino.name
March 17th, 2008 at 8:12 pm

Bad Theology can not produce true fruit. If what you are trying to teach me is true it will have fruit of the Spirit in it. Light is not found in the list of the fruit.

64   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 17th, 2008 at 8:12 pm

SJ – The frustration comes in when we believe we can change anybody. We cannot. As a matter of fact, when we attempt to change someone else it usually changes us – for the worst.

65   S.J. Walker    http://alionhasroared.com
March 17th, 2008 at 8:14 pm

Rick, absolutely, and no offense, but what does that say about free will? :)

66   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 17th, 2008 at 8:15 pm

It means God gives you the free will to be a Calvinist. What grace!! :)

67   S.J. Walker    http://alionhasroared.com
March 17th, 2008 at 8:21 pm

Rick,

Yeah. Pretty much. Cool isn’t it.

68   Brutus    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wendell_Berry
March 17th, 2008 at 9:03 pm

i am of the opinion all of us are heretics to one degree or another. we have taken 2000 years of church history and theology and have built a huge house. we continue to move away from the simplicity of the jesus christ and the gospel.

we have developed complex systematic theologies by which we war with our fellow christians. we all have a party spirit. we all follow after the teachings of men. in other words we are all screwed up. we think we are not. we think we are right. i guess one day we’ll find out.

all of us are tainted and influenced by what we have been taught and experience. i despise calvinism because of my experience with calvinist apologists/pastors and churches. so when it comes to calvinism my ears are closed. i don’t want to hear it, same goes for prosperity theology, king james onlyism, etc.

in the above mentioned parties, and others, there is a spirit of dissension and argument. their theologies divide and hurt. they exclude rather than include. any theology that prides itself on keeping people out should be rejected.

count me as one worn out follower of jesus. god is not the problem. his fussing, arguing children are.

69   opus    
March 17th, 2008 at 9:21 pm

Thanks Brutus,
could not have said it better.
Opus

70   Keith    http://fivepts.blogspot.com
March 17th, 2008 at 9:23 pm

Wow, Evan. I step away for a few hours and “…i’m merely pointing out the insane cognitive dissonance…”

I googled the last two words of that sentence and I guess on top of being a convinced believer in the doctrines of grace, I’m also stupid. If you’re going to be angry or talk ugly to me, at least do it so I can understand. Everyone here doesn’t read a thesaurus for the fun of it! Gee whiz!

Anyway, it sounds like you’re mad at me because I don’t believe like you. I used to be in an Arminian (Reformation Movement) church and you don’t see me “yelling” at you. Sorry I bothered you by trying to join the conversation.

71   Brendt    http://csaproductions.com/blog/
March 17th, 2008 at 10:37 pm

I am sick of … the attitude that Calvinists are by and large ignorant, proud, unthinking pawns trying to make everyone into robots

As a Calvinist, I’d agree with you, if it weren’t for one minor factor — namely that it’s a somewhat accurate attitude.

72   kenn    
March 17th, 2008 at 11:21 pm

I’m inclined to agree with much of what Evan has said, and I don’t see any antagonism in his statements. Or maybe its just because I find myself agreeing with him. Amy, why do you say he hates Christians. I don’t see that in anything he’s posted. I think you can exercise critical thinking and still be a Christian. And if you don’t believe that, then you’re simply validating the statement. Not everyone is satisfied with “Go to the Word” or “Jesus said” as an answer to every question. I know I’m not. Being a Christian is not, and shouldn’t be synonymous with being lobotomized.

…and God gave us brains for a reason. they’re not just taking up space. so to recognize cognitive dissonance in a theology is, in itself, a gift from God.

Couldn’t agree more, Evan.

73   Brutus    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wendell_Berry
March 17th, 2008 at 11:25 pm

think of how easy it is for us to be arrogant about the rightness of our personally held truth. unless we hold to some form of universalism, we all believe some are excluded. maybe just a few. maybe a lot. but some degree of exclusion is required. that is just the nature of theological systems. (and the bible seems to teach it)

our arrogance shows itself when we come to believe that our truth is the final, only truth. god said it, i believe it, that settles it for me. i am right, damn the heretics and the catholics too.

we give ourselves way too much credit. some people think they are able to think independently of any influence. i call this the myth of neutrality. because we believe this, it is easy to become arrogant and believe our truth is “the” truth.

i am not sure what god wanted or meant when he gave us the bible. surely we have corrupted his intent. we have turned following jesus into a sport, complete with rules and teams. we have turned the bible into a how-to manual and an answer book for all of life’s questions.

if this is all so…………why are most, if not all of us, if the truth be told, messed up? we are not really the spiritual picture we give to others. we are excellent at building a facade. or maybe the problem is just me.

74   Jerry E. Beuterbaugh    http://asthecrackerheadcrumbles.blogspot.com/
March 17th, 2008 at 11:38 pm

The point that I was trying to make, Chris L. and Mr. Martino, is that when someone resorts unto saying things such as “I DO NOT CARE ABOUT YOUR DOCTRINE”: they are abandoning the high ground. For the same point can be made in much gentler terms. Hence: the fruit of self-control.

75   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 17th, 2008 at 11:53 pm

The point that I was trying to make, Chris L. and Mr. Martino, is that when someone resorts unto saying things such as “I DO NOT CARE ABOUT YOUR DOCTRINE”: they are abandoning the high ground.

Ah – perhaps like saying things like:

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.

Or

By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.

Yes – such a lack of self control… wouldn’t want to be like that…

76   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
March 18th, 2008 at 1:10 am

Jerry,

The point that I was trying to make, Chris L. and Mr. Martino, is that when someone resorts unto saying things such as “I DO NOT CARE ABOUT YOUR DOCTRINE”: they are abandoning the high ground. For the same point can be made in much gentler terms. Hence: the fruit of self-control.

It may also be the call to join someone on the “high ground” as your doctrine means nothing without God working and producing His Fruit.

I have conversed with many that are fixated on their OWN fruit and miss we have none. It is all God
s fruit and we just bear it.

So, before one claims the “high ground” some first must attain it. In that it is God who lifts us up.

iggy

77   Evan Hurst    
March 18th, 2008 at 1:29 am

Don’t ever speak of my God that way again. You don’t know what you’re doing. Neither did I.

okay back now. St Patrick’s Day. duh. :)

um. that’s intense.

but i would suggest that i can throw the “don’t talk about MY god that way” thing riiiiiight back atcha.

so don’t pull that.

78   Evan Hurst    
March 18th, 2008 at 1:31 am

I’m sick of what I believe being trashed as hateful and heinous.

then don’t believe hateful and heinous things.

i’d say the same thing to the suicide bombers who believe they’re about to be greeted with 72 virgins…

yeah.

i call them equal.

79   Evan Hurst    
March 18th, 2008 at 1:36 am

Evan,
So what exactly about the big Baptist church bothers you?
What is their hypocrisy

oh, it’s just that they’re phenomenally hateful toward everyone in the city that’s not white and fundamentalist christian.

got it?

Why do you have so much hatred towards Christians?

ARE you kidding? if i hated Christians so much, i wouldn’t be here dialoguing with you. yes, there are certain brands of Christians that i have written off completely. they are not worth the breath they take.

however, i hold out hope that there are a few Christians left who actually follow Christ.

that’s what i try to do. i don’t call myself a Christian, because the word has been tainted so. i call myself an Agnostic (because i’m not arrogant) who is a follower of Christ.

Why the antagonism towards Chritianity?

because, in the West, you all think you have the right to rule everything. maybe if i came from a nation which didn’t assume (falsely) that it was founded on Christianity, it would be different.

80   Evan Hurst    
March 18th, 2008 at 1:40 am

Evan, however, apparently doesn’t believe that Christianity is the only true way – and I’m wondering why he doesn’t seem to be antagonistic to other religions and people of other religions in the same way that he is Christianity.

nuhnuhnuhnuhno.

as i just said, but i’ll say it again…over here on this side of the pond, Christians think they actually have the birthright for this nation.

they’re ignorant when they think that, as a perfunctory look at history will reveal, but yet they take it as fact.

so.

when we are CONSTANTLY bombarded with the idiocies of people who claim the mantle of Christianity in this country, yeah, it’s bound to get old after a while.

look.

i was raised in the Christian church.

wanna hear something?

if i could change one thing about my entire life, it would be that i would have NOT been raised in the Christian church.

suck on that for awhile, and consider what might have led to that perspective.

seriously.

all the trials i’ve dealt with in my life, if i could change ONE THING. my parents wouldn’t have been Christians.

deal with it.

81   Evan Hurst    
March 18th, 2008 at 1:41 am

Anyway, it sounds like you’re mad at me because I don’t believe like you.

mad? no, i don’t get mad at nameless faceless entities on the internet.

82   Evan Hurst    
March 18th, 2008 at 2:12 am

But when one believes that Christianity is the only true way, it’s a whole lot easier to be critical of its believers.

Merry, maybe you hit on it. In this part of the world (again), Christians are the ones who swear up and down, repeatedly, that THEY are the only ones with any understanding of “truth.”

and look. say it all you want, but the rest of us aren’t buying it.

you may have a book you can turn to that says (again with the original subject of this thread) “look! it says it right here!”

but i happen to believe that it’s a book.

it’s an interesting book.

it’s a learned book.

it’s a book written by humans.

it’s a book written by humans in an attempt to explain our existence, in some parts.

it’s a book written by humans in an attempt to control other humans, in other parts.

in large part.

it’s not one book.

it’s lots of books, written by different humans.

many (i, included) don’t buy the idea that God somehow engineered the compilation of these writings.

why?

well, because they constantly contradict each other. i mean, the Gospels? they can’t even agree on simple details, much less whether Jesus was God.

however, i don’t believe that Christianity has nothing to offer…

in fact, i believe Christianity offers Christ. other religions acknowledge Christ.

but i don’t believe he meant to establish “Christianity” as we understand it today.

so…maybe that’s what it is…maybe that’s what’s so obnoxious about so many “Christians.” this viewpoint that suggests that they, and they only, have the key to the “way, the truth, and the life.”

i’m more inclined to believe that God is so much bigger than any of us could possibly imagine, and that God cannot be confined in ANY box, any book, any doctrine, any supposed exclusive way to salvation.

i’m more inclined to believe that any human being who sincerely seeks God will be met by God. that any human being who truly endeavors to find communion with God, will find communion with God. that the greatest sin we can actually commit on this plane is to ignore the existence of something greater than us.

otherwise?

God’s entire universe is devolved into a petty and jealous, yet giant, “fuck you” to the humanity He created.

(hey, Ingrid? i used a potty word. smoke on it for the next month.)

83   Ian    http://www.lostintheheartofsomewhere.blogspot.com
March 18th, 2008 at 3:01 am

Evan

With respect. You are losing the ability to dialogue well here. I appreciate that this is touching something pretty raw inside – but please don’t dominate like this – it doesn’t help you or anyone else.

With grace

Ian

84   Brendt    http://csaproductions.com/blog/
March 18th, 2008 at 5:10 am

Don’t ever speak of my God that way again. You don’t know what you’re doing.

Can’t imagine a better illustration of the main point of this post.

85   Joe Martino    http://joemartino.name
March 18th, 2008 at 6:33 am

Or Mr. Beuterbaugh you could quote the whole sentence. That’d be a great place to start. Chris L, did a fine job answering the rest of your stuff. That word unless is pretty important in that sentence.

86   Evan Hurst    
March 18th, 2008 at 9:52 am

sorry.

got testy.

87   S.J. Walker    http://alionhasroared.com
March 18th, 2008 at 10:07 am

Evan,

When you say this:

but i happen to believe that it’s a book.

it’s an interesting book.

it’s a learned book.

it’s a book written by humans.

it’s a book written by humans in an attempt to explain our existence, in some parts.

it’s a book written by humans in an attempt to control other humans, in other parts.

in large part.

it’s not one book.

it’s lots of books, written by different humans.

many (i, included) don’t buy the idea that God somehow engineered the compilation of these writings.

You cop out of any responsibility. It’s a simple fact Evan. I’m not trying to be hard for the sake of being hard. But whether you interpret parts of the Bible differently, to a point, is one thing. But to say that you don’t believe it to be the very words of God is in fact the opposite of Christian. Now you’re gonna hate me for saying that, but I’m telling you the truth.

If you can’t have the faith that God oversaw and insured the perfection of the Word of Himself, you can’t possibly believe any other foundational, non-negotiable terms of Christianity.

If one does not believe the Word of God to be THE word of God, then he can at will, disregard anything he wishes. Like charity which you have honestly let go of here with your entire argumentative paradigm of vague generalities, and your wandering rants against church, Christianity, Baptists and other groups and entities you seem to know very little about.

People misuse Scripture all over the place as Joe pointed out. Yes, it is unwise to thoughtlessly cite a verse here or there that supports one’s argument. It’s just plain wrong. However, there are some that are not mis-understandable.

1 Thessalonians 4:8
Romans 15:3-5

But I waste my time. It was just a man that wrote that.

You are in my prayers Evan.

88   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 18th, 2008 at 10:11 am

Only the Holy Spirit, the Author of Scripture, can open a man’s heart and show him the truth about God’s Word. No amount of human discourse can accomplish that.

89   S.J. Walker    http://alionhasroared.com
March 18th, 2008 at 10:39 am

Good point Rick. Drop by the Lion’s Den any time and I’ll try and straighten you out on the rest of your theology. :)

90   S.J. Walker    http://alionhasroared.com
March 18th, 2008 at 12:23 pm

I, for one, would rather be a naive Christian clinging to a cross on a hill outside the city, than an educated and intellectual governor sitting in his palace asking “what is Truth?’.

Just sayin’.

91   Phil Miller    http://veritasfellowship.blogspot.com
March 18th, 2008 at 12:28 pm

S.J.,
Talk about a false dichotomy…

Fortunately, there are other choices than naivete and extreme skepticism.

Oh, and by the way, I laughed when I saw your blog’s name – the Lion’s Den is the name of the bar next door to where our campus church meets.

92   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 18th, 2008 at 12:31 pm

Phil – next time you are in the Lion’s Den look closely at the bartender’s name tag that says “SJ” and put the pieces together! :)

93   S.J. Walker    http://alionhasroared.com
March 18th, 2008 at 12:32 pm

Thank you for that Phil. Edifying for everyone I’m sure.

94   Brutus    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wendell_Berry
March 18th, 2008 at 12:33 pm

someone said: If you can’t have the faith that God oversaw and insured the perfection of the Word of Himself, you can’t possibly believe any other foundational, non-negotiable terms of Christianity.

really? one can reject inerrancy and still accept the bible as the word of god. you are forcing a modern evangelical construct on the bible.

the bible is faithful in all it is intended to convey. it is not a science book. it is not a math book. it is not all the truth there is.

it is a book about god, man, and redemption

the bible has errors in it. so what. it is still god’s word. no translation is without error. no manuscript is without error. since we don’t have the original manuscripts all we have are texts with errors.

unless one believes that god supernaturally has preserved his perfect words throughout history (and if so where are they please tell me) then one must admit the bible is a flawed book and evidently that is the way god wanted it.

i do not know evan’s spiritual state. neither do any of you. to suggest that because he doesn’t subscribe to your view of the bible makes his a non-believer is laughable.

salvation is not by believing in inerrancy. salvation is through the person and work of jesus. period. the church did not have an official printed text for centuries. until the printing press most christians never even owned a bible. to this day the various sects of the christian church debate which books are canonical.

95   Phil Miller    http://veritasfellowship.blogspot.com
March 18th, 2008 at 12:39 pm

Brutus,
Your point is actually a good one. I think putting a belief in inerrancy before a belief in Christ is actually something that people seem to do. Greg Boyd actually is talking about this on his blog lately. Here’s an excerpt from the latest article:

My belief that Jesus is the Son of God isn’t rooted in my belief that the Bible is God’s infallible Word. Rather, my belief that the Bible is God’s infallible Word is rooted (mostly) in my belief that Jesus is the Son of God. I don’t believe in Jesus because the Bible says so. I believe in the Bible (mostly) because Jesus says so.

96   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 18th, 2008 at 12:41 pm

I believe the inerrancy of Scripture is very important, however, one can be a devoted follower of Christ and not believe it. Some believe that mixed in with clear and immutable truths are some minor inaccuracies that do nolt affect the overall and specific revelation of the written Word.

Of course there are others who do not believe in inerrancy who deconstuct all cardinal doctrines and contour the interpretation of Scripture to fit into every individual and private view. That is the danger with moving away from inerrancy which is of course by faith. It remains, though, that we have brothers and sisters who do not believe it as well as believers all over the world who have never considered the argument in that context.

97   Phil Miller    http://veritasfellowship.blogspot.com
March 18th, 2008 at 12:42 pm

Thank you for that Phil. Edifying for everyone I’m sure.

S.J.,
I wasn’t trying to imply anything. I just found it funny. If I told someone to drop by the Lion’s Den it would have a totally different meaning from what you said. That’s all.

98   S.J. Walker    http://alionhasroared.com
March 18th, 2008 at 12:49 pm

The point I was making, is that believing in Jesus–truly–is inseparable from believing inerrancy. They go together until the end. Can someone become saved and still believe that the Bible has mistakes? I’ll buy that. But he cannot stay there.

And saying one believes there are some minor discrepancies in translation is one thing. Saying one believes it is man-made and not protected by God throughout history before and after it was canonized is a completely different thing. One cannot stay there and hold to such faithless arguments and still be Christian.

No, I don’t have the ability or the right to say Evan is flat out un-Christian–but what he said was. That is the point.

99   S.J. Walker    http://alionhasroared.com
March 18th, 2008 at 12:52 pm

Rick

Phil – next time you are in the Lion’s Den look closely at the bartender’s name tag that says “SJ” and put the pieces together!

Maybe I’m having a blonde moment (a common occurrence I’ll grant), but I don’t get that one. Sorry. Just emial me if you want to.

100   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 18th, 2008 at 12:55 pm

SJ – I was having you as the bartender in Phil’s bar reference. Just a little fun, I would guess you wouldn’t be a bar tender, right? Of course I was also having fun with Phil. Do you frequent that bar, Phil?

Remember, moderation brother!

101   S.J. Walker    http://alionhasroared.com
March 18th, 2008 at 12:58 pm

Rick,

Okay, let’s add joking to the thing I’ll try and help you out with should you drop by…th– my blog.

102   Brutus    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wendell_Berry
March 18th, 2008 at 1:00 pm

i will state flatly, with full, complete knowledge that i reject your notion of inerrancy and that, in fact, i am a follower of jesus christ, and that i, in fact believe the bible to be god’s word.

pray tell me, which translation is inerrant? which manuscripts are inerrant? please point me to “the”inerrant word?

the bible is still not canonized. catholics believe one thing, protestants another. the “original” kjv included the apocryphal books. many of the “church” fathers rejected certain books as being canonical. how can we call them christian if they rejected any part of the bible? how about luther and his views on james and revelation? how about paul telling us in his writings that some of his writing is his personal opinion?

shall i go on? of course, none of the above is a problem for me. i don’t make the bible into a super-duper, all knowing, problem solving, better than a ouija board book. the bible was never meant to be what many christians expect it to be.

to head you off at the pass………….i have never doubted a day in my life that what i read in the bible is true to the degree that it imparts to man that which god wanted it to.

103   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 18th, 2008 at 1:02 pm

The question I must ask myself, do I have the faith of Daniel and am I ready to venture into the Lion’s Den?

104   Phil Miller    http://veritasfellowship.blogspot.com
March 18th, 2008 at 1:04 pm

Rick,
I’ve never been in it, but I do talk to the owner occasionally. He’s a nice guy. I don’t drink at all, so I don’t really have a reason to go in. It would be a very hard place to have a conversation in because it a very loud college bar most of the time.

105   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 18th, 2008 at 1:12 pm

“i have never doubted a day in my life that what i read in the bible is true to the degree that it imparts to man that which god wanted it to.”

Very well put, Brutus. Some problems in that, but all in all a very good tesimony.

106   S.J. Walker    http://alionhasroared.com
March 18th, 2008 at 2:13 pm

Brutus,

As far as Luther goes, you might need to do some homework.

The Christian Bible is in fact canonized. It doesn’t take long to see why they are not in the Bible as we know it. Though similar iin instances, they generally disagree on many issues, or add untrustworthy views of God and Christ.

It almost seems is of as well you are insinuating I am of the camp of King James only. I could very well be wrong about that, but is not, that is definitely not the case. I am fond of it, but do rely on more literal translations such as NAS or the like. The difference in versions such NAS, NKJV, Holman, ESV, and a few others are so slight–and complimentary–that they do not detract from the truth therein.

There are other versions and paraphrases that do great damage such the Message, the Living Bible. Which are for the most just fine but for a few places where they completely miss the boat.

As far as Paul, I quote another and say:”The answer to the I Cor. 7:12 is that it is a defense of inspiration not a contradiction. What Paul is saying is that, the Lord had not revealed all of this in detail in the Old Testament but He was now, through Paul. Read the CONTEXT!!! verse 25 for instance. To use I Corinthians 7:12 as a denial of the inspiration of Paul’s letters is [...] old and easily refuted.”

Nothing can be both true, as you claim, and errant, as you claim. They are mutually exclusive.

Like Rick says, no one is going to get convinced of anything, most likely, by an internet comment thread. That being said, I will leave you with one question: What sort of God makes anything for His people to follow to teach them about Himself that is merely “okay”?

I’m not looking for another set of paragraphs void of capital punctuation; just think about it. That’s all I’m asking you to do. I had to think about all the things you mentioned for my part in times not so long ago. And my faith in Christ, His completed work, and His perfect word is only by Grace. I can’t claim any sort of rightness. He is right, I am simply rescued.

107   S.J. Walker    http://alionhasroared.com
March 18th, 2008 at 2:14 pm

Sorry for all the typos. Stupid dyslexic fingers.

108   Brutus    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wendell_Berry
March 18th, 2008 at 2:48 pm

i type this way due to a physical limitation. if you don’t like it, don’t read it. or I COULD TYPE IN ALL ALL CAPS.

i am well aware of the debate over luther. you buy one argument and i buy another. putting james and revelation aside luther did not believe in inerrancy as you state it. neither did any of the church fathers.

you think i am stupid and ignorant of the issues and arguments about inspiration, inereancy, infallibility, etc? since you don’t know me you judge without knowledge. i am well schooled in the subject at hand.

i affirm the bible is true and errant.

you have yet to show me where the inerrant word is? which translation? which manuscripts? these are easily answered questions so please answer them. if you don’t answer them i will assume you are arguing for a book that doesn’t exist.

the fact that the bible is what it is is proof that god intended for it to be that way. if he intended otherwise it would be so. what god sees is that we worship the text rather than the god of the text.

i realize you can’t wrap your mind around this but i have never doubted that the bible is true. never. not one time. i just don’t force a modern evangelical construct on the bible.

the modern age is one dominated by science. we have bought into that and we force scientific methodology on the bible. we must prove its exactness. every supposed fact must be perfectly proved. of course this is the thinking that gives us th fantasy of th creation museum. we must be viewed as credible. we fear being thought of as ignorant. for all our blather we want acceptance so we work hard to prove the bible is true.

all the while…………..god meant the bible to be a faith book.

you fear i am accusing you of king james onlyism. your methodology is the same, it is just focused on another point of truth. (a different manuscript, translation, etc)

let me state once again, every translation and manuscript has error. if a errorless translation or manuscript exists please tell me where it is?

109   Phil Miller    http://veritasfellowship.blogspot.com
March 18th, 2008 at 2:57 pm

if a errorless translation or manuscript exists please tell me where it is?

I have one at my house. It’s in the downstairs bathroom…

Seriously, I think you make some good points. I think that battle about innerrancy are answering questions that people are no longer asking to a large extent..

110   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 18th, 2008 at 3:00 pm

if a errorless translation or manuscript exists please tell me where it is?

Every post on my blog.

111   Brutus    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wendell_Berry
March 18th, 2008 at 3:03 pm

young mr walker,

your church statement of faith says We believe the Scriptures, both Old and New Testaments to be the inspired Word of God, without error in the original writings, the complete revelation of His will for the salvation of men, and the Divine and final authority for all Christian faith and life.

without error in the original writings? where are those original writings? i would like to see them?

i was married 6 years and had 3 kids when you came into the world. i have 30 years on you and all this means is that i have had a bit longer to think about these things. my views come from many years of being in the christian church.

in all these years………..i have never doubted the truthfulness of the bible. i have doubted my interpretation of it and i have most certainly doubted the church that says it believes the bible.

i am a liberal. i attend a mainline church. i once was an evangelical.

now you can judge me better.

112   S.J. Walker    http://alionhasroared.com
March 18th, 2008 at 3:05 pm

i realize you can’t wrap your mind around this

What was the original post about Brutus?

I’m gonna give you the floor Brutus. I apologize for the capital letter thing. I was out of line. But you seem to be getting more angry with me by the minute. I’m tempted to retort with words I would regret. So I’ll back off.

113   S.J. Walker    http://alionhasroared.com
March 18th, 2008 at 3:20 pm

I was typing my last comment during yours. All I can say is I hope and pray that after 30 years I do not have such a condescending and unfruitful attitude. I fail so often. I hate my sin so much. But if this is Christian, I am ashamed to call myself one.

You have my most sincere apologies for any unjust judgments. And you have my prayers.

God, help us.

114   Brutus    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wendell_Berry
March 18th, 2008 at 3:25 pm

i have not typed in anger. not once. i am not angry with you. i am challenging your assumptions and i am challenging the assumptions you made about evan.

i am trying to expose you to a christianity very different from your own. one where jesus followers think differently than you.

you will not offend me with anything you might write. i would like you to answer the questions i have posted? if you can not answer them, or won’t i will assume you are arguing for an inerrant book that does not exist.

as with most threads here………..the conversations take many twists and turns. as to the original post, this discussion simply proves the original writers point. it has been reduced to a theological/doctrinal argument.

personally. i don’t give a ______ about what your doctrine is. it doesn’t matter to me. if you say you are a follower of jesus that is good enough for me. i think your view on inerrancy is rooted in error and can not be sustained but i would never question your relationship with jesus. but, that is what you did to evan, and it is that response that has elicited my comments here.

115   Ryan Walker    
March 18th, 2008 at 3:36 pm

All I can say is I hope and pray that after 30 years I do not have such a condescending and unfruitful attitude.

I’d start making some changes then…

116   Jerry E. Beuterbaugh    http://asthecrackerheadcrumbles.blogspot.com/
March 18th, 2008 at 3:51 pm

Dear Mr. Martino: I’m sorry if I misquoted you; but I can’t find where you said “unless” in either the sentences that I did quote or the ones that probably should’ve been included for the sake of completeness.

[So what? Can we not believe anything? Is everything up for grab? No, I don’t believe so, but I do have a fairly simple litmus test that I will put you through before I choose to listen to your words. That litmus test is simple really. I want to know do you have any of the following in your life?]

Could you please point it out unto me?

117   amy    
March 18th, 2008 at 3:55 pm

i’m more inclined to believe that God is so much bigger than any of us could possibly imagine, and that God cannot be confined in ANY box, any book, any doctrine, any supposed exclusive way to salvation.

Is this simply a way of saying that everyone should be able to have God on their own terms? Which, in essence, would make each of us a god who creates their own god.

Which is already happening. What a mess.

God’s entire universe is devolved into a petty and jealous, yet giant, “____ you” to the humanity He created.

You’re saying this about the “exclusive God” whose exclusive way cost Him His Son’s life. Why would a petty and jealous who treats humanity like rubbish go to such extremes to humiliate himself and cause Himself so much suffering? There’s no logic in that.

i was raised in the Christian church.

wanna hear something?

if i could change one thing about my entire life, it would be that i would have NOT been raised in the Christian church.

____ on that for awhile, and consider what might have led to that perspective.

seriously.

all the trials i’ve dealt with in my life, if i could change ONE THING. my parents wouldn’t have been Christians.

Evan,
What are your parents like? What is it about their Christianity that you despise?

As for what “being raised in the Christian church” means – good things happen in churches, and awful things happen. I know some of the awful things, first hand and very close second hand.

But none of anything that happen in churches changes who God is.

Why the antagonism towards Chritianity?

because, in the West, you all think you have the right to rule everything. maybe if i came from a nation which didn’t assume (falsely) that it was founded on Christianity, it would be different.

Christians are ruling everything?

What particular “ruling” are you wanting to see changed?

Have you ever lived or even traveled overseas? I recommend it – you might come back appreciating some of the values that America is based on.

For one thing, at least you have the right to speak up about your views (on many subjects) without being put in jail or executed.

118   Chris    http://agendalesslove.wordpress.com
March 18th, 2008 at 4:02 pm

S.J.

Isn’t there a horse you could be ‘breakin’?

119   Chris    http://agendalesslove.wordpress.com
March 18th, 2008 at 4:10 pm

What particular “ruling” are you wanting to see changed?

“In God we trust”

“I pledge allegiance…One nation under God”

“…God bless America…”

Then conquer we must, when our cause. it is just,
And this be our motto: “In God is our trust
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave! ” 5th verse of the Star Spangled banner.

Just to name a few reasons why a foreigner might assume we’ve cornered the market on God and we “rule”.

Just a thought

120   Joe Martino    http://joemartino.name
March 18th, 2008 at 4:11 pm

Mr B.
Sorry about that instead of unless look for “if”. I misquoted myself. Haha. Still not sure of your point.

121   Joe Martino    http://joemartino.name
March 18th, 2008 at 4:14 pm

Mr. B.
Can you tell me how you read what I wrote? How would you summarize it?

122   Brutus    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wendell_Berry
March 18th, 2008 at 4:33 pm

joe,

i read your post to mean……….don’t tell me what you believe. show me how you live.

123   S.J. Walker    http://alionhasroared.com
March 18th, 2008 at 4:37 pm

I know we’re not supposed to cite Scripture anymore, but I was just reading something Brutus might be interested in.


1st Timothy 4:11-16

“1Command and teach these things. 12Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity. 13Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching. 14Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through a prophetic message when the body of elders laid their hands on you.

15Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. 16Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.”

I’ll be the first to admit, that even here today, I have not completely lived up to the second half of verse 12.

As I stated before, I did not say Evan is flat out not Christian. What he said, and much of what you have said Brutus, is not. That is all I said. I also stated that I can’t judge the finality of anyones heart including yours.

Those words were put into my mouth.

As for the original texts. You ask a question that is rather obvious. There are multiple texts written in the first 100 years after Christ that can be compared to each other and no effectual difference will be found. Like many of the English versions today, there are wording differences, but so slight and so unchanging in meaning, that to say they outright disagree would be erroneous. In the old Testament, we have multiple Aramaic and Hebrew texts that can be likewise compared to each other, and the simultaneous documents of history.

I can’t stand the idea that KJV is the only inspired version or some such nonsense. I never said or implied that there is “one translation”. I did and do say there is ONE Word of God, clearly sen and comparable throughout history with variations so slight and insignificant that I am thrown to my knees in awe of the God that wrote it.

Now I’ll go back to my, for now, imaginary horse Chris. Thanks for the advice.

124   Brutus    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wendell_Berry
March 18th, 2008 at 4:53 pm

without error (your inerrancy doctrine) requires no error. no difference. no change. every jot, every tittle must be correct. there is not one manuscript i am aware of that agrees perfectly with another manuscript. errors, glosses, etc are in every manuscripts. btw, very few manuscripts exist from the first century. very, very, very few.

that being said, yes we can compare all the manuscripts at our disposal and conclude this is god’s word, but that does not require your doctrine of inerrancy to do so.

there are no originals. all we have are copies of copies. so, while the original manuscripts can be considered without error (and i would agree they are) we don’t know what they were for sure because they don’t exist any longer.

the phone book has errors in it. it is still a phone book and i can reliably use it to find a person’s phone number. i view the bible the same way. it gives me what i need, errors and all.

what evan and i have said offends your version of christianity. that’s all. to say it is not christian betrays a lack of historical, canonical, and ecclesiastic knowledge. i prefer barth to macarthur. i prefer historical christianity to evangelical christianity.

125   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 18th, 2008 at 5:19 pm

“i read your post to mean……….don’t tell me what you believe. show me how you live.”

If that is the criteria, I would be a Mormon.

126   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 18th, 2008 at 5:23 pm

Hey chris – stay off my topic! I will teach you how to torch the nationalism issue!!! :)

127   Evan Hurst    
March 18th, 2008 at 5:58 pm

beh.

predictable.

thanks for providing a voice of reason, Brutus.

128   Evan Hurst    
March 18th, 2008 at 6:07 pm

You are in my prayers Evan.

haha, the Christian smackdown. (TM)

129   Brutus    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wendell_Berry
March 18th, 2008 at 6:55 pm

ah but will they “really” pray? the easiest cop out in the world is to say ‘i’ll pray for you.” (not saying sj walker is doing that) praying is nice, doing is better.

years ago, the church i attended was ‘praying” over the need a family had for a washing machine. two weeks of that was enough for me. called the appliance store and had it delivered. end of need, both for a washer and s prayer meeting.

my view……..pray when you can do nothing else, but if it is in your hand to do, stop praying and get busy doing. pretty arminian, works oriented i know, but james seemed to like it.

130   amy    
March 18th, 2008 at 7:03 pm

S.J.,
I appreciate your attitude of humility.

And agree with your thoughts regarding inerrancy, manuscripts, etc.

And I hope that I would be open-minded enough to see your humility even if I didn’t agree with your thoughts.

131   amy    
March 18th, 2008 at 7:13 pm

You are in my prayers Evan.

haha, the Christian smackdown. â„¢

I don’t know who said it, or what their prayer life is like – but maybe you could consider that when some people offer to pray for others they are offering themselves up for some intercession that could mean great personal sacrifice and suffering.

132   S.J. Walker    http://alionhasroared.com
March 18th, 2008 at 7:14 pm

It was sure good to see such a Christian attitude displayed today was it not? (Sarcasm) While you and I disagree on many things with Rick and Joe, I do appreciate that at least for the most part; you tend to display fruit worthy of salvation. The condescending and arrogant displays by men like Brutus and Evan as well have been disheartening today.

The reason I write is only to thank and encourage you to stand and hold fast the pattern of sound doctrine and to admonish Brutus and Evan for their attitudes. I stand by what I said today, and I stand by the infallible word of God.

And those I know that do the same are mocked and given a “beh, predictable” for a response, or worse. And though my sinful reaction to such words is anger and frustration and embarrassment, praise God in Heaven it does not stay that way. And this foolish, uneducated little preacher is given an inexplicable desire to pick up my stupid little tracks and my Bible and march back into the square and get back to work.

So then, you men ought to be ashamed. You have displayed a vast array of arrogances and side stepped each to define such in a manner that befits your own misguided theology. You hear Calvin and anger wells up within you. You hear “inerrant” and anger boils up from your soul. You call anyone who believes such things hateful, and heinous.

I have here today, on oft occasion, related my faults. They are undeniable. I have yet to see one speck of humility and love in the fruit of the Spirit from either of you. I honestly tell someone I will pray for them, honestly, and it’s called a smack down. Some would do so in that manner I’ll grant, but you assume without cause. You judge me without knowing me while in the same thread I have been accused of the same.

This is exactly what I am sick and tired of gentlemen. Sometimes grown men need scolded like the children they imitate. I am young, very young. But I am God’s and have been since before the dawn of time, by His Grace. While I was still dead, in all the disgusting and vile sin of my body and mind, He still looked at me and saw through to what He would make of me.

I went from a proud, strong, hardened battle-giver standing defiantly on my castle of pride to a dumb, insignificant peon of the court of God. I am nothing. I was nothing.

His Word, I do not worship as you accuse. I worship and glory in Him Who wrote it and He will be vindicated–and so will my faith. I am bound then to His Word just as I am bound to gravity for He created both. In this then, I am no longer nothing except by the standards of intellectualism and the world from which it is bread. I am poor and pathetic and betrayed by my imperfection and lack of knowledge. But be careful sirs how you gloat. I have done so to my shame and terror. It is no small thing to mock and condescend. It is the high point of hypocrisy. I know this, because I am guilty of it my friends.

I am speaking in a laughable manner am I not? Who really believes this stuff? What pitiful adherence to a doctrine! Nevertheless, I cannot be moved. You will laugh and retort with any manner of reciprocally predictable rebuttals and denials of these claims. But you know your behavior today. It is in writing, as is mine, and so for any true wrongs, I again offer my truest apologies for damaging the witness of my Christ by my thoughtlessness. But I will not allow you to escape the knowledge that I am indeed praying for you both and that is not a smack down or condescension. It is a passionately communicated plea to repent of very bad posture.

Here we stand, God help us.

133   S.J. Walker    http://alionhasroared.com
March 18th, 2008 at 7:24 pm

Amy,

God bless you sis. I likewise hope the same.

134   Brutus    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wendell_Berry
March 18th, 2008 at 7:44 pm

sj,

here is the deal, you ascribe motive to people when you don’t know their motive. you accuse me of being condescending and arrogant. you accuse me of being a child.

where have a judged you, sj?

where have i questioned your faith, your salvation?

but, for a moment, let’s suppose you are right. let’s suppose i am guilty on every count. let’s suppose i am a mean. nasty, arrogant, sob of an old man.

you still haven’t answered my questions. so, one more time please answer the questions i have asked of you. if you don’t i will assume you are arguing a position you can not sustain and that you are arguing a position about the bible that can not be proved.

sj, please define how you are going to pray for me? what will your words be? pity the poor blind man? open his eyes to your truth? show brutus the truth of sovereign grace? save him, lord?

save your breath. i don’t need your prayers. at least not in matters concerning my spiritual welfare. me and jesus are alright.

evan and i disagree on many things, yet we could sit down and talk about anything i suspect. you and i disagree about many things too but we could not have the same discussion. why? because you think you are on the enlightened spiritual high road. you have got the truth. instead of seeing me as your equal you see me one to be pitied or condemned. it is such an attitude that caused me to abandon evangelicalism.

sj if you would like to converse more indepth off line please email me at nodoctrine@gmx.com.

135   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 18th, 2008 at 7:54 pm

“because you think you are on the enlightened spiritual high road.”

My road doesn’t seem to reflect that. Humility seems to be a road without need of repair due to voluminous traffic. The “greatest” servant of Christ is an “unprofitable servant” at best.

136   Evan Hurst    
March 18th, 2008 at 7:56 pm

I don’t know who said it, or what their prayer life is like – but maybe you could consider that when some people offer to pray for others they are offering themselves up for some intercession that could mean great personal sacrifice and suffering.

what? oh yeah, BIG sacrifice they’re making when they offer to pray for someone who didn’t ask for it.

whatever.

and to admonish Brutus and Evan for their attitudes

thanks for the admonishing, S. J.

i wasn’t aware anyone had died and given you that platform of authority.

Sometimes grown men need scolded like the children they imitate.

now i need to be scolded.

rock on.

i’ll pray for you, S. J., to my Shark Demon.

again, i agree with most of what Brutus said.

when one’s doctrine causes them to believe that they and only others like them actually have things “figured out,” it causes the conversation to devolve.

yes, i got angry when i came back and posted last night.

and yes, i will question others’ belief systems if i think those belief systems inherently denigrate people.

but you’ll never hear me “pity” someone for believing different from the way i do, and you’ll never hear me “admonishing” someone for perceived spiritual immaturity.

oh, and Amy, i think it’s kinda crazy that you are so bold as to assert that i’m talking about churches/institutions i know little about. as i said in other words above, my head was held under that water for 19 years or so. i know that of which i speak.

i actually used to GO to that Baptist church, albeit for a brief time.

137   Brutus    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wendell_Berry
March 18th, 2008 at 8:00 pm

rick,

correct. i am, at best, unprofitable. i am one of those scarcely saved christians. i have no allusions that i will ever be considered a saint or be considered a shining example of what a christian is. doesn’t mean i don’t try but so far………the progress is slow.

humility. easy to define. hard to live. jesus set a pretty high standard. (following in his steps)

138   Evan Hurst    
March 18th, 2008 at 8:12 pm

Have you ever lived or even traveled overseas? I recommend it – you might come back appreciating some of the values that America is based on.

what, like, in awful places like Luxembourg or something?

i love it when people float the line about “only in America.” like there are no other decent countries.

For one thing, at least you have the right to speak up about your views (on many subjects) without being put in jail or executed.

yes, because all other countries are like that. far as i can tell, the more liberal countries are being more aggressive against hate speech, including that of Christians…

and yes, in many societies, freedom of speech is nonexistent.

but i love, also, how you subversively question my patriotism.

it’s cute and makes me giggle.

139   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
March 18th, 2008 at 8:27 pm

I seem to approach things much different that most here as I read.

1. i had an encounter with Jesus…
2. This Person showed me Who He was.
3. Jesus used to the Bible to reveal this.
4. Jesus is taught about in the bible.
5. Jesus quoted one of the worst versions of the bible without issue.

It was the septuagint.

6. I believe Jesus and the Bible becuase of my relationship with Jesus the Person… He stated it so i believe it. I believe Jesus is with out error and would not lead me wrong. I believe that without Jesus the bible means nothing and has no authority. With Jesus it means everything and has great authority.

Is it wrong on occasion? Sure… bats are not birds… (Lev 11) is just one example… but to those in Moses time, a bat was a flying creature… thus it was “birdlike” so I really do not care…

Be blessed,
iggy

140   S.J. Walker    http://www.alionhasroared.com
March 18th, 2008 at 10:43 pm

Behold the Fruit of the Spirit.

141   Brutus    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wendell_Berry
March 18th, 2008 at 11:11 pm

sj

since you have deemed some of us likely candidates for the lake of fire, why would you expect us to demonstrate the fruit of the spirit? after all we are dead in our sin,so there is not much we can do about it.

i know you will object and say you never said such a thing, but be honest, do you really think people like me can believe what i do about the bible, and do it wilfully, (even after seminary training) and still be a christian?

and we haven’t even talked about the “other” doctrines that some evangelicals use to cull from the herd those they consider diseased.

i will tell you this, i take evidencing the fruit of the spirit very seriously. i try and live my two commands……….love god and love my neighbor. seems to be a neat summary of what life is to be all about.

142   Evan Hurst    
March 18th, 2008 at 11:20 pm

i will tell you this, i take evidencing the fruit of the spirit very seriously. i try and live my two commands……….love god and love my neighbor. seems to be a neat summary of what life is to be all about.

me 2.

hey, Brutus, speaking of “lake of fire,” want to read something funny?

http://www.mcsweeneys.net/2008/3/18chen.html

143   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
March 19th, 2008 at 12:01 am

SJ,

Behold the Fruit of the Spirit.

So you deny that Jesus is who gives the bible the authority? Do you also deny His words concerning that the Life is in the Son and not in the Bible?

John 5: 39. You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, 40. yet you refuse to come to me to have life.

Or are you still searching for eternal life if what cannot give it?

Just asking, I mean i see that as the “fruit” of many of those who judge and condemn people like me… which seems opposite of what Scripture teaches… let alone what Jesus states. I see and hear many who seem to worship the written word and miss that Jesus is the Living Word…

Are you in that camp?

iggy

144   Evan Hurst    
March 19th, 2008 at 12:06 am

many who seem to worship the written word and miss that Jesus is the Living Word…

isn’t that “idol worship”?

145   S.J. Walker    http://www.alionhasroared.com
March 19th, 2008 at 12:13 am

i wasn’t aware anyone had died and given you that platform of authority.

I can’t let that one go.

Likewise, exhort the young men to be sober-minded, 7 in all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility,[a] 8 sound speech that cannot be condemned, that one who is an opponent may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of you.[b]
9 Exhort bondservants to be obedient to their own masters, to be well pleasing in all things, not answering back, 10 not pilfering, but showing all good fidelity, that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things. 11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, 12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.
15 Speak these things, exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no one despise you.”

Titus 2:6-15

Now, there are PLENTY of texts that talk about hypocrisy and not abusing authority and so forth. So yes, I have a great responsibility to be “sober minded” here. Abuse of Scripture can also be abuse of neglect as well as misusing quotes to fit one’s argument. That being said…

146   Evan Hurst    
March 19th, 2008 at 1:16 am

lookit!

in the Bible!

right here!

seriously, this thread keeps dancing its way back to its original subject so gracefully.

147   Evan Hurst    
March 19th, 2008 at 1:23 am

many who seem to worship the written word and miss that Jesus is the Living Word…

oh wait…i just opened my Bible.

you’re right. it says “The Letter of St. Paul to S. J. Walker.”

color. me. corrected.

148   Evan Hurst    
March 19th, 2008 at 1:24 am

um, yeah, i don’t know why i quoted that passage above. i think i must have gone ADHD for a second…

149   Evan Hurst    
March 19th, 2008 at 1:24 am

oh, but it kind of makes sense.

haha.

150   S.J. Walker    http://alionhasroared.com
March 19th, 2008 at 9:50 am

iggy,

You asked:

So you deny that Jesus is who gives the bible the authority? Do you also deny His words concerning that the Life is in the Son and not in the Bible?…Are you in that camp?

Not sure where that came from. I never even hinted at that.

His Word, I do not worship as you accuse. I worship and glory in Him Who wrote it and He will be vindicated–and so will my faith.

And Evan, by this logic:

oh wait…i just opened my Bible.

you’re right. it says “The Letter of St. Paul to S. J. Walker.”

You have a good point. In fact, NONE of the Biblical text directly mention my name, so therefore, I need not pay attention to any of them. Especially when someone tells me that “the Bible says…”, I can simply respond to them that it wasn’t addressed to me and therefore has no authority over me.

Oh wait, I have also heard that the “Word of God is living and active and sharper than any two edged sword (not a toy right Brendt?). I also have heard that “Jesus Christ (Who is the Living Word and gives authority to the written Word) is the same yesterday, today and forever.” But who am I kidding? It wasn’t even addressed to me.

151   Brutus    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wendell_Berry
March 19th, 2008 at 10:00 am

sj,

take a look at that hebrews passage again. are you sure it is talking about the word of god or is it talking about jesus, the word of god? please note carefully in verse 13 the pronoun he.

the bible has no authority on its own. it is jesus that gives the teachings of the bible authority. apart from jesus it is just a book.

many evangelicals can rightly be charged with worshiping the text more than the jesus of the text.

and that takes us back to the original intent of this post. i don’t give a __________what your doctrine is. show me jesus by how you live. how you evidence him in your life.

james makes it clear, we are justified before men by our works. the only jesus people “see” is in us.

makes for a pretty pathetic jesus.

152   Evan Hurst    
March 19th, 2008 at 10:45 am

And, S. J…

there are those of us (me, and others) who don’t give as much credence to Paul’s words as they do those that actually came directly from Jesus.

it’s part of that whole double-spaced diatribe i went on above about the possibility that the book is more of a collection than a canon.

especially when those books are, quite literally, letters written to specific people, churches, entities, etc.

and that, to me, is when it becomes a stretch for some person in 2008 to start “rebuking” others based on a letter Paul wrote.

153   Evan Hurst    
March 19th, 2008 at 10:50 am

and i’m not going off on Paul specifically here…

but when we have four (accepted) gospels, as well as several others that certain white men thought less of for political reasons…but the four accepted ones disagree on details, etc…as well as OT testament prophecy supposedly fulfilled by Jesus, but on closer study the “fulfillment” becomes questionable…and when we have True Christians (TM) who, two thousand years later, still snark amongst themselves about finer points of doctrine, it’s just not very moving when someone decides to justify their righteous indignation against one they perceive as “unsaved heathen i must pray for” by pointing at a verse that basically says “here, when you want to be obnoxious, cite this verse.”

154   S.J. Walker    http://alionhasroared.com
March 19th, 2008 at 11:07 am

Ah yes, Red Letter Christains right? So, you deny the Godly inspiration of anything not specifically said by Jesus in the flesh?
We’re way beyond basic punctuation differences like Brutus mentioned regarding every jot and tiddle. At least to his credit, he said he still believes the Bible to be true. And you deny the complimentary attributes of Paul’s letters to Christ’s own words? You deny the full fulfillment of the Messianic prophecy?

And you still wonder why a man would lie on his office floor weeping to God for your sake?

Who died and gave you that authority Evan?…

155   S.J. Walker    http://alionhasroared.com
March 19th, 2008 at 11:09 am

Brutus,

What part of

“Jesus Christ (Who is the Living Word and gives authority to the written Word) is the same yesterday, today and forever.”

did you not read?

156   S.J. Walker    http://alionhasroared.com
March 19th, 2008 at 11:21 am

Picks up soap box and untrustworthy Bible and leaves square to likely return soon.

157   Brutus    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wendell_Berry
March 19th, 2008 at 11:32 am

my question was concerning the specific exegesis of heb 4:12,13

and you are quite wrong about your definition of what a red letter christian is. please do your homework. i can only hope you will correct your error?

http://www.beliefnet.com/story/185/story_18562_1.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red-Letter_Christian

with this i am done trading posts with the young mr walker. the young mister walker who chafes at his position being rejected because of his youth, all the while rejecting the wisdom of those who have walked a few years on the earth. young mr walker has arrived to that place where all young preachers arrive (as i did myself many years ago) where they think they know it all. i hope it will not take him as long as it took me to realize i was full of bovine manure.

it is far easier to just write people like off as a liberal, a mainliner, a compromiser, a heretic. a bible denier. it is far easier to subtly suggest i am not a christian.

like it or not i am part of the family tree. same bloodline. same father. same savior. same holy spirit. one lord. one faith. one baptism.

thanks for the discussion

158   Evan Hurst    
March 19th, 2008 at 11:43 am

And you still wonder why a man would lie on his office floor weeping to God for your sake?

Who died and gave you that authority Evan?…

you lay on your office floor and cried?

it’s not about MY authority. to suggest that because i don’t believe everything that you do, that i’m somehow usurping some kind of “authority” is kinda…weird! and creepy!

i’m merely saying that there are certain aspects of the “Christian Formula” that i’m not quite sure i buy.

and, really, i’m not alone here. there are millions of Christians, by the fruit which they bear, whose mere existence testifies to the inaccuracy of the idea that one must buy every word hook, line, and sinker, in order to BE a Christian.

159   Evan Hurst    
March 19th, 2008 at 11:46 am

And you deny the complimentary attributes of Paul’s letters to Christ’s own words?

it’s not like Jesus said “oh by the way, there’s this guy, and he’s going to add a bunch of things to my teachings, so listen to him, okay?”

in fact, many of Paul’s contemporary followers of Christ disagreed with him on many points.

so…am I saying Paul has nothing to add? no. but i am saying that i don’t necessarily automatically believe things, just because Paul wrote them.

160   Brutus    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wendell_Berry
March 19th, 2008 at 12:06 pm

evan,

somehow we have come to a place in american evangelicalism that salvation is by doctrinal correctness. i don’t want to bash calvinism (because i respect keith) but it seems those of a reformed/calvinistic bent tend to be the ones the advance this argument. i have never heard an arminian say that unless i believed in free will i am not saved.

salvation is not a set a propositions. the bible saves no one. jesus is salvation.

sadly we have turned salvation into a thing rather than a person.

in him.

161   Evan Hurst    
March 19th, 2008 at 12:08 pm

i guess so.

i just don’t understand the mindset that says “don’t question it.”

maybe it’s a personality thing…but if i perceive a contradiction, i’m going to say “hey, that doesn’t add up.”

162   Phil Miller    http://veritasfellowship.blogspot.com
March 19th, 2008 at 12:10 pm

Brutus,
Didn’t you know there would be a final exam at the Eschaton? You’d better start studying!

163   Evan Hurst    
March 19th, 2008 at 12:11 pm

and i know exactly what you’re saying about “doctrinal correctness” or whatever.

i have customers who ask me where i go to church, and when i mention the church i frequent most often (and by “often” i mean a dozen times a year at most), they get this pursed-lip expression and say something to the effect of “i’m just not sure you hear the REAL GOSPEL there.”

nothing makes me roll my eyes further back in to the recesses of my skull than people who say things like that.

164   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
March 19th, 2008 at 12:30 pm

SJ,

Ah yes, Red Letter Christains right? So, you deny the Godly inspiration of anything not specifically said by Jesus in the flesh?

Nope, I take the bible as a whole. The same gospel Jesus taught is the same Paul and the other disciples taught.

I also have never stated the bible is untrustworthy, only that we need to take it in its historical context at times to understand that sometimes it is wrong by “modern” standards… like bats being birds… when they are not.

To me that is not a problem. But to state that it is inerrant on all things and that the original manuscripts were without error… seems to be beyond what the purpose of the bible is and was.

Jesus stated that the purpose of the Bible was to point to Him… Red letters or not those were still His words concerning the purpose of the scripture.

It has other uses, but as far as it’s purpose… it is clear.

iggy

165   Brutus    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wendell_Berry
March 19th, 2008 at 12:37 pm

phil,

hopefully i have someone to answer for me on that day

166   chris    http://agendalesslove.wordpress.com
March 19th, 2008 at 12:46 pm

maybe it’s a personality thing…but if i perceive a contradiction, i’m going to say “hey, that doesn’t add up.”

Or maybe you’re the person who God ordained to be the counter point that brings us all closer to a more accurate/balanced view of God. Kinda like a Ying Yang of Theology. LOL I guess Doug P. has been rubbing off (yoga).

Picks up soap box and untrustworthy Bible and leaves square to likely return soon.

S.J.,

May I direct your attention to the Glossary

“I am done here”: – I don’t like where this is going

167   Brutus    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wendell_Berry
March 19th, 2008 at 1:46 pm

iggy,

one of the problems i have is when the bible is forced to be something it can not be. ie. making genesis a science textbook. when held to modern scientific standards, the bible fails miserably.

genesis does tell us god is creator. it shows us his sovereignty and his providence. it shows us man and his fall.

6 days, 6 thousand years, 6 million years who knows. and as for me, i don’t care. i have no need to have my faith validated by modern science. if god used evolution it still wouldn’t change a thing for me. without god…….nothing happens.

Heb 11:3 By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.

for me it is a faith proposition. the bible is a faith book.

168   Neil    
March 19th, 2008 at 1:47 pm

What an amazing illustration of the original post this whole thread has been.

Neil

169   Joe Martino    http://joemartino.name
March 19th, 2008 at 2:03 pm

Ok People, let’s keep the condensation to a minimum on both sides. Discuss the issues of the person’s statement not the person, please. We don’t want to have to put anyone else in Time Out.

170   Phil Miller    http://veritasfellowship.blogspot.com
March 19th, 2008 at 2:19 pm

Hey Joe,
This thread reminded me of this gem you posted a while back.

171   Brutus    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wendell_Berry
March 19th, 2008 at 2:32 pm

condescension or condensation :)

it’s raining

172   Evan Hurst    
March 19th, 2008 at 2:39 pm

Or maybe you’re the person who God ordained to be the counter point that brings us all closer to a more accurate/balanced view of God. Kinda like a Ying Yang of Theology. LOL I guess Doug P. has been rubbing off (yoga).

haha, you figured it out.

i was waiting to reveal myself.

oh, btw, while we’re revealing things, if “Adam” posts again, that’s my little brother.

*grin*

173   Joe Martino    http://joemartino.name
March 19th, 2008 at 2:43 pm

LOL, I just caught my spelling error. I knew it looked goofy. That’s what you get for posting in between phone calls.

174   Jimmy    http://www.relevantchristian.com
March 19th, 2008 at 2:45 pm

Joe…get to work!

175   Evan Hurst    
March 19th, 2008 at 3:08 pm

i was totally wondering…

condensation? where?

176   S.J. Walker    http://alionhasroared.com
March 19th, 2008 at 3:13 pm

(I must be shouting this over my shoulder in a dither)

But…

May I direct your attention to the Glossary

“I am done here”: – I don’t like where this is going

Actually chris, for some of us, it’s more like “Okay. That’s it. Pistols at dawn”. :)

Disappears around corner.

177   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
March 19th, 2008 at 3:28 pm

Brutus,

it is far easier to just write people like off as a liberal, a mainliner, a compromiser, a heretic. a bible denier. it is far easier to subtly suggest i am not a christian.

It is much harder to do as the Bible teaches…

2 Corinthians 5:16
So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer.

one of the problems i have is when the bible is forced to be something it can not be. ie. making genesis a science textbook. when held to modern scientific standards, the bible fails miserably.

I am in total agreement… in fact what tweaks me the most is that as I try to become less a literalist, I become more of one… and notice that those who claim to be a literalist and state I “pick and choose” are actually the ones doing just that! LOL!

I am a literalist as I read it for what it states and try not to whitewash it or flex and bend it to fit my agenda or doctrines. It is tough and i most often fail, yet I seem to be able to read and see things many gloss over or worse… pass over completely.

Like we are to give grace to our kids as I know of no one who would take their child outside the city and kill them if they are disobedient… yet we attack homosexuals with the Levitical law and nullify Grace and Mercy given at the cross. They twist John the Baptists words as well as Paul and the author of Hebrews and the Apostle John when they all teach Jesus “takes away the sins” of the world… yet continue to preach that sin needs still be dealt with… They seem to dismiss the Cross of its glory.

I know that is my hobby horse, but when someone attacks me they usually try to say I am soft on sin… but I see sin for what it is and that is the result of the Law revealing it to press us into Christ Jesus to save us.

There is much I just don’t get, but in that the things I do I walk in faith. I do not beg for forgiveness but walk in faith in the forgiveness given to us at the Cross.

Again, as far as young earth old earth, I see that it can be both if one understands the physics of the creation and how matter and time expanded yet I will not fight over such a thing as that as it seems so insignificant compared to having someone come to know Jesus.

Blessings,
iggy

178   Chris    http://agendalesslove.wordpress.com
March 19th, 2008 at 3:50 pm

Based on all the comments can I say that…

All we needed was the Cross.

No books, No seminary, No theology, No denominations, just simply the Cross.

Faith like a child!

179   Brutus    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wendell_Berry
March 19th, 2008 at 4:30 pm

chris,

certainly that is where it all starts. it ends at an empty tomb.

in this discussion none of us would debate/doubt/question the death and resurrection of jesus.

we have had two thousand years to take the simplicity of the gospel and turn into complex, spiritually killing religion.

certainly the bible teaches other things but it seems we spend a lot of time debating the “other” things rather than embracing jesus and embracing all those who claim his name.

my point all along has been, i don’t really care what you believe. are you following after jesus? good enough for me. my position is not without problems but i can live with it and i will let the final judgment straighten it all out.

i fear my books, college, and denominational affiliation has corrupted me in many ways. while i crave learning, i fear i have lost jesus in the midst of my learning. that’s why i stopped reading theological books. my head is filled with theology. i have read a dozen systematics over the years………..and i fear i lost jesus in the details.

even in reading the bible one can be looking for everything but jesus. a proof text. a sermon.

180   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 19th, 2008 at 5:14 pm

Brutus – I identify with the overall flavor of your comment. I was saved on top of Garret Mountain in New Jersey overlooking Manhattan. I new no doctrine and I had no one to guide me and I attended no church. I had heard the gospel on television and I asked Jesus to help me see who He is and He did so and I was saved.

Sometimes, as you point out, the doctrinal melee gets overwhelming and sucks the spiritual life out of us. We lose the one on one intimacy with Christ which must be our strength. I appreciate you vunerable honesty about the dangers of academia. There are important and core truths that we must embrace, however this battle must not be our constant engagement.

Our calling is to pursue Christ. I have found my plate completely full with that.

181   Scotty    http://scottysplace-scotty.blogspot.com/
March 20th, 2008 at 9:56 am

I apologize as the best I can do is “drive by” comment. Just don’t have the time to keep up. So, with that being said, I too appreciate your candor, Brutus.

I too have many detractors for what I believe at times. I’m constantly looking for that simple answer that Ingrid, Ken, and folks like S.J.(and I don’t mean to demean or put down S.J.’s faith I envy his strength and conviction.) seem to have

When does doctrine and or theology get bad enough that the saving grace that we have through Jesus is useless.

They seem to know who’s in and who’s out but, they keep moving that line that has to be crossed. I keep asking and then when I think I have it, the line moves again! Sometimes it’s the building I go into, the clothes I wear OR who sat in that seat before I did……..It’s ALL so confusing!!! (tongue in cheek)

182   Evan Hurst    
March 20th, 2008 at 11:38 am

i know. one time i had just finished doing Christian Yoga, and the person whose seat i took on the subway had just finished doing REGULAR Yoga?

yeah.

so you can imagine how THAT day went.

well, if you can’t imagine, then i’ll tell you. obviously i lost my salvation, but then i got it back because i scowled at a lady who looked like Oprah. i mean, it probably wasn’t her, but what if it was and i didn’t scowl? so i scowled. then i went to H & M and found the cutest pants, and met my friends for a late lunch, and everything was going fine until the waitress asked if i wanted a cocktail and the devil, speaking through my friend Christy, told me that it’s “always 6 o’clock somewhere” so i lost my salvation again. had to spend the rest of the afternoon holding picket signs at the corner of Broadway and 42nd, because, hellooooo, GAYS, but then everything was fine again and i went home, only to find my dog meditating. but that’s her choice, and if she wants to backslide, that’s her choice, but she won’t get the good treats anymore, no, she won’t. my roommate said the dog was sleeping and i was just overreacting…

183   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 20th, 2008 at 11:42 am

Broadway and 42nd? Are you a New Yorker?

184   Brutus    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brutus
March 20th, 2008 at 11:58 am

i was born, raise, grew up, and lived for a long time as a fundamentalist. then i became an evangelical, who are fundamentalists who are nice. (many of them any way)

for most of my life everything was settled. the blood, the boo, the blessed hope. no questions, because questions were doubt, and doubt you know is of the devil.

but the questions wouldn’t go away. so six or so years ago i began a journey, a journey in which i lost my religion but hopefully i found jesus in the process.

most of my family are fundamentalists. on one hand i appreciate their steadfastness but i know it is a steadfastness that refuses to question or think outside of the rut they are in. they are right. everyone else is wrong. heaven is real. hell is hot. and unless you repent you are gonna fry.

i currently attend an episcopalian church. it is a dying church. it is an old church. yet, the liturgy speaks to me. the centrality of christ in every aspect of the service. and above all, the treat me with respect and allow me to be who i am. no interrogation. no doctrinal tests. no proving i am a christian. this church is certainly not perfect. they have their share of undercurrent and politics but it is a place where i can rest from the constant onslaught of christian persecution. (christians attacking christians, in jesus name)

185   Evan Hurst    
March 20th, 2008 at 12:08 pm

Broadway and 42nd? Are you a New Yorker?

nope, but i will be in approximately 365 days.

:)

i wish i could hit fast-forward and be there right now.

186   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 20th, 2008 at 12:17 pm

so six or so years ago i began a journey, a journey in which i lost my religion but hopefully i found jesus in the process.

The ninety and nine sheep.

187   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
March 20th, 2008 at 1:21 pm

Scotty,

When does doctrine and or theology get bad enough that the saving grace that we have through Jesus is useless.

Being one of the judged and condemned, I also ask this question… especially to those who hold the reformed doctrine of eternal security…

When and who snatched me from Jesus’ hands? When did I suddenly have the power to “un-save” myself?

I had a rather dramatic conversion and unexplained circumstances that to this day only turn me toward Jesus. I had something “happen” to me that changed me from the inside out… yet, somehow, “some people” know more than Jesus does of my eternal salvation?

So, that is a great question…

Now those in the Arminian persuasion can at least judge me by some standard they have in their rule book (though I have found more Grace and less judging from Arminians than Calvinists, unless they are into some bad progressive sanctification teaching…

Yet, even an Arminian must still answer, what sin, or what can snatch us from the hands of Jesus… is our will greater than Gods?

Being Blessed by God through Scotty,
iggy

188   Brutus    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brutus
March 20th, 2008 at 1:34 pm

iggy,

i worked with a freewill baptist that believed in grace/out of grace that happened any time you willfully sinned.

i posed this scenario to him. suppose i am a diligent follower of jesus. i am driving to columbus ohio and i am running late, so i drive over the speed limit. i willfully drive over the speed limit. while driving over the speed limit, i have an accident and i am killed. what happens? his reply? you go to hell.

this guy was in grace, out of grace so often i couldn’t keep up with it. if his theology is true……….and it isn’t, we are all without hope.

189   S.J. Walker    http://alionhasroared.com
March 20th, 2008 at 1:40 pm

“…He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

190   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 20th, 2008 at 1:45 pm

You didn’t stop sinning to get saved, and sin cannot remove you from salvation. Hebrews 6 and 10 however offer a prospect for denying the faith. Serious.

191   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 20th, 2008 at 2:20 pm

Sorry to engage so late in the game (I’ve been on vacation for a week, and then buried DEEP since)…

What strikes me is that we have two basic items:

(A) “Perfect” doctrine
(B) Good fruit (per Paul’s list of the FotS)

Is it better to have (A) w/o (B), or (B) w/o (A)? The answer is neither – you need BOTH (A) and (B).

Now, which is most recognizable – (A) or (B)? Unless you’re suffering with severe bouts of pride/hubris, the answer is clearly (B).

“Perfect” Doctrine (A), on the other hand, is rather subjective and up to intense debate (far beyond Calvinist vs. Arminian vs. Neither arguments).

SO – if your desire is to live with both (A) and (B), then your best bet it to study the Word and to seek out others who are farther down the road than you are, with both (A) AND (B). This rules out those who only have (A) or (B) or neither… Having one without the other is irrelevant – either your faith is irrelevant to your actions (like learning brain surgery from an auto mechanic), or your actions are irrelevant to your faith (like an abortion-clinic bomber).

So, if (B) is much more recognizable than (A), then it’s pretty easy to eliminate those without (B) from serious consideration. As the adage goes, even blind squirrels find a nut now and then, but that doesn’t make blindness advantageous to the squirrel species.

Thus, you are much more likely to learn (A) from someone who has (B) – even though having (B) is not a guarantee of (A).

Logically, if we were to assume that (A):(B):(A+B):(0) = 1:1:1:1, and if (B) is most recognizable – even to those who cannot recognize (A) – then if you eliminate all groups without (B), you now have a 50% chance of being correct. [(A):(B):(A+B):(0) = 0:1:1:0] Now, if you have a reasonable grasp on (A), you have a much greater chance of distinguishing (A+B) from (B) than 50%

On the other hand, if you say (B) is not really that important, especially if it isn’t accompanied by (A), then you have bought into a crapshoot with a much lower chance of success [(A):(B):(A+B):(0) = <1:<1:<1:<1]

Case 1: John Doe (who believes he has (A), while clearly treating (B) as an irrelevant sideshow) clearly doesn’t like this basic Discernment 101 stuff (seeing those without (B) as irrelevant), because it reveals him to be as irrelevant as he is…

Case 2: Jim Roe (who emphasizes (B), while believing that he has (A) close enough to correct to be like Jesus), though, tends to agree with this approach, as it plays to his strengths, though it leaves him open to fallacy on (A).

So, while there is a greater chance of getting (A) wrong and (B) right in Case 2, there is a greater chance of getting both right than Case 1, which has a slim chance of having both correct, since it has already tossed out (B) as irrelevant…

192   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 20th, 2008 at 2:33 pm

If one needed perfect doctrine to be saved I would not have been saved until recently.:)

193   Phil Miller    http://veritasfellowship.blogspot.com
March 20th, 2008 at 2:44 pm

Chris,
Somehow you’ve simultaneously clarified the issue while making it harder to understand. You also reminded me why I hated Stat class in college.

So you’re basically saying in order to become a Christian, one needs to do something similar to figuring out the area beneath a curve… ;-)

194   Evan Hurst    
March 20th, 2008 at 2:45 pm

he’s saying that only math nerds go to heaven.

duh.

195   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
March 20th, 2008 at 2:46 pm

SJ,

“…He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

This is the verse that change my life as I submitted to the grace of God and was flooded by His mercy and love… God showed me this.

If He started the work, He will finish that work… If He does not He is a liar.

that is why when a ODM attacks me and states things like I am not saved offends me so much, as they are calling God a liar that He will not finish nor has not been working on me.

If one judges another man’s servant, they do not know what the Master has planned for them. I had to go through works legalism to learn of God’s Grace… in that I was saved, but God was driving out my self righteousness so that I just depended on Him alone for my salvation. I do not judge someone where they are at. Yet, I will not stand by as one judges another in condemnation any more than Jesus did. He is our example and our standard. If we understand Grace we understand that we walk only in His righteousness, holiness, and obedience as we have none of these ourselves.

iggy

196   shammah ben agee    http://endtheapostasy.blogspot.com
March 21st, 2008 at 7:48 am

A plus B equal hereC. X and Y equal zzzzzzzzzz………
1 Cor 2:12 Please!
There is a reason why God called the the language of men Babel.
As for iggy, the I used to be like one of them but now I am saved, guy; no one ever called God a liar, however I gladly call you one. Anyone ever notice that iggy is guilty of the very thing the original post here criticizes?
I did not think so.
I am making an infomercial selling links to this blog as the miracle cure for insomnia

197   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
March 21st, 2008 at 8:24 am

shammah,

Just some things for you to consider…

1. I think you need to read Romans 3 and apply it to yourself.
2. I find it interesting that you attack me in my very testimony as I give Glory to God for my salvation.
3. To attribute things of God to Satan as you just did was called blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.
4. Your words seem to always bring ‘death’ and rarely if ever life…
5. To you I ask the question James asked in James 3:9-11

With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring?

6. Grace and Peace be yours today on this Good Friday.

Blessings,
iggy

Romans 12:14. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.

198   shammah ben agee    http://endtheapostasy.blogspot.com
March 21st, 2008 at 9:28 am

iggy
my apologies…. I meant 1 Cor 2 verses 1 AND 2.

Now on to your ahem…..response.
First of all I apply the scripture in its entirety to myself and others. Funny you should mention Romans 3. I believe that it is verse 4 which says let God be true and EVERY MAN a liar. Since Paul was saying, literally, every man is a liar, that would include the redeemed,is he calling the Holy Spirit demonic?
Your extrapolation,rhetoric and just plain bull have proven the point. All we have is what you write as your, quote, testimony. No one is under any requirement to believe what you say.
When did I say the Holy Spirit is a demon?
What you are saying is that we can know for sure that you are filled with the Spirit based on your say so. By calling you a liar I am blaspheming the Holy Spirit? Who is full of themselves now?
Have you raised anybody from the dead lately? Cast out demons? This blog rants about context and you rip the scripture right out of the book. Oh and you are persecuted too. lol
My words are death? I give you 2 Cor 2:15 and 16.
The passage you cite in James 3 should be applied to yourselves. The odm blogs existed before this one. The reason for the existence of this blog, is to provide a graceless, sarcastic, and unbiblical response to what you call odm blogs.

199   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
March 21st, 2008 at 9:40 am

Ben,

I was referring to that scripture to show you that you also are a liar… unless you believe God to not be true.

I have prayed and people have been healed… does that count for anything? I have preached and people have come to new life in Christ so yes I have raised the dead… I have even cast out a demon or two in my day… I usually do not boast in these but point that it was not me, but God who did these things.

So, about rants… check you tongue and again, be blessed,
iggy

200   Ryan Walker    
March 21st, 2008 at 9:51 am

The reason for the existence of this blog, is to provide a graceless, sarcastic, and unbiblical response to what you call odm blogs.

Well, at least you are obviously seasoned with grace

201   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 21st, 2008 at 10:29 am

The imperfections and murky motivations of all blogs is pervasive. There are none that have the corner on empirical and spiritual truth.

Except…never mind.

202   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
March 21st, 2008 at 10:31 am

Mine?

LOL!

iggy

203   amy    
March 21st, 2008 at 10:44 am

Ethan,
I wasn’t implying anything about your relationship with the Baptist church. I was simply offering you a chance to talk about the specifics of why you despised them.

In general, when people are really angry towards someone or something I think the best thing to do for their sake is to ask “Why?” That’s all I was doing.

204   shammah ben agee    http://endtheapostasy.blogspot.com
March 21st, 2008 at 11:16 am

You are reaping what you sow.
No grace, sarcasm etc.

Based on the searing logic of iggy, Benny Hinn and all the tbn word of faith wolves, as well as any and all nutjobs claiming to heal, raise the dead, whatever and wherever they may be, and regardless of what they actually teach, cannot be criticized, questioned or disputed, as we might be blaspheming. Even Jesus gave poor old doubting Thomas the benefit of his own doubt. What about all the harsh words and warnings given by the apostles in the letters of the NT? Were they blaspheming also? You never answered that question about Romas 3 verse 4 btw.Typical.
As I said we have no proof of any claims made here. Please notice who is making the claims btw.So what iggy is saying is that he is the bastion of Truth and cannot be contradicted based on his own pompous claims.
The passage on the blasphemy of the spirit is addressing something else all together. Where is the rabbi when we need him?
iggy does nnot actually respond to the comments a he selects the portions he uses as proof text,much the same way he handles scripture.
Of course that is what the serpent did with Eve;use the Word to tell a lie.Oh my, did I just blaspheme again?
Selective exegesis is eisegesis.

205   Brutus    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brutus
March 21st, 2008 at 11:40 am

shammah,

thanks for giving me another name (yours) for my “fos” list

206   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
March 21st, 2008 at 11:52 am

shammah ben agee,

May you be blessed this Resurrection Day.

iggy

207   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
March 21st, 2008 at 11:57 am

Brutus,

shammah ben agee sees what he wants and interprets things as he wills. In stead of actually looking at what a person teaches, he attacks and lies about them.

That is his way, may he find the Way of Reconciliation through Christ Jesus.

Blessings,
iggy

BTW I am no Benny Hinn fan at all… but God can use who He will and I know (as much as I hate to admit this) of people who have had their lives changed at a BH rally… so we cannot deny what God does. I am amased that shammah ben agee seems to think God does not heal of can still raise people from the dead or other miracles… now that is sad.

208   Evan Hurst    
March 21st, 2008 at 12:04 pm

my goodness.

cuh-raziness.

209   Phil Miller    http://veritasfellowship.blogspot.com
March 21st, 2008 at 12:35 pm

shammah,
I guess Paul was misguided when he said this in Philipians then:

It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. The latter do so in love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.

Paul rejoiced in people preaching Christ out of false motives! Now that’s crazy!

The point is this. We would be better off spending our time doing something else instead of being doctrine police. The people do it give themselves the Biblical sounding title of “watchmen”, but in reality they are Pharisees.

210   shammah ben agee    http://endtheapostasy.blogspot.com
March 21st, 2008 at 12:40 pm

Brutus
Thanks for the honor. I dont know or care what fos means, but I am humbled.BTW,were you born with that moniker or did you deliberately choose the name of a backstabber or Popeyes enemy depending on what cultural context we are using?
Evan, thehindubuddhistchristfollowinggoddoesnotneedHisbooktospeakgnosticguy. How are ya?
Once again iggy goes into total withdrawl from the issues.
You have not responded to one question.
Did the apostles who wrote scripture blaspheme?
You defend BH Hmmmmmm…..
God works in spite of men.
Now another falsehood. Where did I say I do not believe in an all powerful,supernatural miracle working God?
You put the words in my mouth which I beleieve is also classified as false witness.
What does one do with 2 Cor 11 verses 1 through 15 or 2 Thessolonians 2 verses 8 through 14?
The great falling away began in earnest about 18 centuries ago.
God sends the delusion. The enemies of God come as angels of light. So we are supposed to take any self proclaimed apostle at their word?
Your written contortions to prove your discernment actually demonstrates you have none.
This is my final comment, at least on this post.
The truly amazing thing is that if one of the dread odm bogs had published the meanderings that iggy has posted here you would have been tearing them apart. The silence is deafening. Woe to you, wannabe scribes and pharisees……

211   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
March 21st, 2008 at 1:16 pm

ben,

if you actually stated the issues I might answer… but you come here attack me then claim I withdraw… hmmm I am still here… so when and where did I withdraw to?

You quote scripture as if it never applies to yourself… LOL!

So, what issue are you dealing with that I may help you with?

If it is the issue that I am a hypocrite or whatever I already addressed that and you attacked me over that… so how may I ever gain reconciliation from you as I have with God?

iggy

212   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 21st, 2008 at 1:22 pm

The great falling away began in earnest about 18 centuries ago.

To be more specific it was 256 A.D. on a Tuesday afternoon at 3:27 PM in the living room of a man named Arterious Maximus. It was the first time Christmas was taught. Downhill from there…

213   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
March 21st, 2008 at 1:34 pm

Hey… I am related to that guy… he didn’t get it all passed through to the Pope until 336AD though. He was a great fan of Saturnalia do when he was forced to become a CHristian by Constantine, Arterious just decided that he liked Christmas trees too much to give them up… they just smelled nice. Later he got into bunnies and basket weaving.

iggy = )

214   Joe Martino    http://joemartino.name
March 21st, 2008 at 1:45 pm

OK people, personal attack comments will result in Time out. AKA moderation. If you want to look at what a person said and deal with that by all means go at it. If you’re just here to call other people names go to Team Pyro’s blog.

215   Evan Hurst    
March 21st, 2008 at 1:47 pm

Evan, thehindubuddhistchristfollowinggoddoesnotneedHisbooktospeakgnosticguy. How are ya?

haha, i’m great, thanks for asking!

how are YOU?!?!

also, haha, i’ve scarcely even studied Hinduism OR Buddhism.

gnostic is pretty accurate, though.

anyway.

216   Brutus    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brutus
March 21st, 2008 at 2:15 pm

fos= fruit of spirit :)

217   Chris    http://agendalesslove.wordpress.com
March 21st, 2008 at 5:26 pm

First of all I apply the scripture in its entirety to myself and others.

And there in lies the problem. You apply your interpretation of scripture to others.

Again we’re back to the point of the post.

218   Brutus    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brutus
March 21st, 2008 at 6:09 pm

once we admit our interpretations can be, and are ,fallible we are well on the way to treating others with respect.

not only can i be wrong, i am wrong, to some degree or another.

i am firmly convinced that god’s eternal kingdom will be filled with heretics who have been impossibly saved by the grace of god.

for me, it is enough when a person says i am a follower of jesus. i leave it to god to determine who is and isn’t. i have enough worries about my “own” following jesus.

219   Evan Hurst    
March 21st, 2008 at 6:31 pm

my instinct says that none of us will ever get it quite right while we’re on this plane.

220   Chris    http://agendalesslove.wordpress.com
March 21st, 2008 at 7:32 pm

my instinct says that none of us will ever get it quite right while we’re on this plane.

My instinct says that there are snakes on this plane!

A little allegorical Genesis word play!

221   Evan Hurst    
March 21st, 2008 at 8:30 pm

“Snakes on a Plane”?

Cool. What’s it about?

222   Chris    http://agendalesslove.wordpress.com
March 21st, 2008 at 10:09 pm

Bad Joke…

The snake in the Garden.

Your reference to “plane” which I think you meant to type “planet”.

The movie “Snakes on a Plane”

Just how my mind works sometime!

223   Evan Hurst    
March 21st, 2008 at 11:01 pm

yeah, i was messing with you.

oh, and “plane” is what i meant.

:)

like, this plane of existence.

and then the “cool! what’s it about?” i stole from The Onion.