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141 Responses

  1. Gary says:

    Rewrite me, Lord
    My adj. are hollow.
    Make me Your n.
    and all my v. will follow.

    This page doesn’t print italics. Bummer

  2. Kid Dynomite says:

    Posted this on the Questioning the Faith page. I’ll try it here….

    Does God hate anyone? John 3:16 says God so loved the world…..yet there are verses stating that God hates the wicked person. Any insights?

  3. Gary says:

    David said he hated with a perfect hatred those who hate God. I wonder if he was speaking from God’s point of view. If God does hate it’s not like our sinful hate. I believe what the bible says that Got hates sin and God hates some other things. I think there is a list of 7 things God hates. (Snarky personal remark deleted.) God’s hatred is as hard for me to comprehend as His love. Our ways are not His ways and His ways are beyond finding out.
    What I mean is that I can’t get my mind around what hate without sin looks like.

  4. Gary says:

    I should’ve noted that the snarky personal remark was deleted by me, Gary. Not by the moderator. Can you add those 2 or 3 words.

  5. Steve Wright says:

    KD – A common Hebraism was in the comparison of two things, to describe one as hated and one as loved – when actually the idea is preference of one over the other.

    This is seen when Jesus said to follow Him we have to hate (and it is the word for hate) our parents, children and so forth. Obviously, it is ridiculous to think Jesus wants us to hate in the absolute sense, but if there is a conflict, a choice needing to be made, where we listen to the Lord or listen to even the closest of family members, the Lord must have priority.

    I think this also applies to the Jacob I have loved, Esau I have hated – given that God did in fact bless Esau greatly.

    The clearest passage to see this is in Jacob’s feelings towards Rachel and Leah. In the same passage we are told Leah was loved less than Rachel, and also that Leah was hated.

    That may not totally answer your question, but it does take a lot of verses off the table when we understand this linguistic issue.

  6. Nonnie says:

    “What I mean is that I can’t get my mind around what hate without sin looks like.”

    My thoughts too.

  7. Believe says:

    Steve Wright just illustrates how the “simple meaning” is not really followed when it comes to paradox and contradiction. The truth is the bible says God “hates” and He “loves” and there is a paradox presented that makes folks have to tap-dance on a variety of issues.

    I think God “loves” and I think the God of the Hebrews is a “different Jesus” than the God of the Gospels.

  8. Steve Wright says:

    Believe, the Bible uses figures of speech, euphemisms in the languages and times it was written. If the Bible was being written today, in English, we might very well read something like “kick the bucket” and the teachers centuries later would be responsible for knowing that was an expression that meant “to die”

    That is why literal interpretation is always qualified with historical, grammatical too.

  9. Michael says:

    KD,

    I have to run here in a minute, but I would say this.
    The revelation we have of God is Jesus Christ who through the cross has offered reconciliation to all…so it becomes a moot point.

  10. Nonnie says:

    Michael’s 9. Thank you!

  11. Michael says:

    I’m off for awhile, Trey is testing for a new belt this morning and I’ll be snapping pictures with my moderating tool. 🙂

  12. Kid Dynomite says:

    Gary, do you have a bible reference for where David said that? “A perfect hatred” is a strange concept to me.

    I can understand God hating sin but have trouble with God hating a person because of their sin. I can understand a person hating another person because of their sin, but not God hating the person.

    God does mention hating a lot of body parts in Proverbs 6:16 as well as the whole person.

    Steve, now that you mention it, I remember hearing that the word “hate” in reference to hating parents, etc. means to “love less”. But in reference to Jacob and Esau, does this mean that God loves certain people more than others?

    Where do you find this information? Certain books/commentaries? Can you recommend something pertaining to “common Herbraism”?

  13. London says:

    KD,
    No, God IS love.
    His very essence is the anti-hate.

  14. KD,

    my 2 cents, for what it’s worth… about 2 cents, is that God loves ALL People and hates ALL Sin.

    when a Person has chosen to give themselves over to Sin and rebel against God’s loving care and direction for ALL of our lives, they ‘take on’ the Taint or Stain of God’s Hatred for that Sin and Rebellion, even though God’s love for Them as People never changes.

    Which leaves the door open for Redemption and the removal of that which Tainted/Stained them with God’s Hatred… namely that Sin and Rebellion… and restores them to the Relationship of Love with God that was always there, waiting for their return.

    Hope that helps.
    -MIC

  15. erunner says:

    Music is up for the week. You might love it, you might hate it. Drop by to decide! 🙂
    http://morethancoping.wordpress.com/2013/05/31/praise-worship-may-31st-2013/

  16. Believe does not know how to critically read a passage. Writers use term that the readers are familiar with … God does the same.

    What do you make of this passage (headline) if you were reading the sports page

    “Giants Beat Cubs”

    Now, YOU may read it as a bunch of giant people came out and beat a bunch of baby bears;
    or you could read it as sensible people would and realize that the San Francisco Giants beat the Chicago Cubs in a baseball game

    Now, I am sure that you do not make this mistake reading the sports page – Why do you have such trouble with the Bible? Because you have not taken the time to know the language and background.of the Bible as you have with the world of sports..

    Steve Wright has.

  17. Now Boston murders Yankees… that could be literal.

  18. Gary says:

    The reference is in the KJV:
    Psalm 139:22 I hate them with perfect hatred. I count them mine enemies. Contrast that to 1 John 4:18. There is no fear in love but perfect love casts out fear because fear has torment. He that fears is not made perfect in love.
    I’ve been told that the word ‘perfect’ means mature but that lacks clarity. Maybe someone here can give a better translation.

  19. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    Hate -to detest with utter hatred, to separate

  20. Steve Wright says:

    . But in reference to Jacob and Esau, does this mean that God loves certain people more than others?
    ———————————————————
    Again, the idea is preference. Of the two brothers, God chose Jacob over Esau to continue the covenant promise to Abraham.

    I don’t think my love for my wife or children is or can be any less than my love for the Lord.

  21. Andrew says:

    “I think God “loves” and I think the God of the Hebrews is a “different Jesus” than the God of the Gospels”

    God of the Hebrews? Are you referring to Yahweh as recorded in the Old testament?
    Jesus (as recorded in the gospels) warned more about Hell than anyone I know. So not sure what you are saying. Jesus is Yahweh.

  22. Well, here is what we do know – Jesus is Yahweh – I don’t care if you call it OT or NT.

    However, that is not the God of the Jews. The Jews do not believe that Jesus is God and they vehemently deny that God is in Trinity. Therefore, the Jews worship a false God on the same scale as totem pole worshipers… they have made up their god.

  23. Michael says:

    Just came across this in my studies and thought it good.

    “Forgive—and forget. Of course, if the discipline has only gone skin deep, and the offender returns quickly to the same practices, something more may need to be done. The balance of wisdom and love will always need to be fine-tuned as the story develops. But none of this, in any case, is simply a matter of ‘getting things right’ in church life for the sake of order and tidiness. It has to do with a larger and darker issue. It is about the church’s stand against the accuser, the satan. We know, Paul says, the cunning plans he is working out. We mustn’t let ourselves be outwitted by him.
    Behind every issue of behaviour and discipline within the church there stands the larger issue, of what the living God is doing in this community, and in particular through this community in the world. If the community is simply concerned to have a placid life, and tones down the clear and definite notes of gospel belief and behaviour for the sake of that, its effectiveness, its witness and mission to the world, will be greatly reduced. The satan will be delighted. Equally, if a community becomes so keen on discipline and order that it deals harshly with offenders and allows them no chance to repent, to make amends, and to be welcomed back as full members, the satan will be just as pleased. Somehow the church must steer the course between these two, with a touch on the tiller first this way and then that. If it doesn’t, it will simply go round in circles. And worse.
    Ultimately—this is a major theme of this letter—the church must remember that, whatever it does, it does under the gaze of the Messiah himself (verse 10). Paul’s own life is lived in that gaze, as he says several times (see especially 4:6); and it is lived ‘for your sake’. There comes a point when the church either has to trust Paul that he really means this, or to collapse into endless suspicions and recriminations. Such questions of trust remain at the heart of all the pastoral work, at whatever level, that today’s church so badly needs.”

    Wright, T. (2004). Paul for Everyone: 2 Corinthians (21–22). London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge.

  24. Michael says:

    MLD,

    I wouldn’t go that far.
    Their God is the God who was revealed to the ancient people in the OT.
    It was not the full revelation of who God is, but it is true as far as it goes.

  25. I was speaking of the modern day Jew – all the others are dead.

    Modern day Judaism – of all denominations have no connection with the children of Israel we read about in scripture.

  26. Steve Wright says:

    Jesus had to deal with Jewish rabbis changing the Law according to their teachings. Jews today are no different. Sure they’ve had to change a lot more, namely explain away the need for animal sacrifices and temple worship, but this is not some “modern day” issue.

    A conservative rabbi told me once, “Understand, Judaism is not a Biblical religion, it is a Rabbinical religion” – and that is exactly the problem Jesus confronted in His day too.

    Of course, some Jews (by blood ethnicity) reject the rabbis to follow the Messiah today, my wife (and MLD) being two examples – just like some Jews rejected the rabbis to follow the Messiah in the 1st Century.

    I too think it is a bridge too far to insist “no connection” to the true and living God. However, to be very clear, in no way is there some 2nd path to salvation for Jews or any other canards us dispensationalists are often labelled with.

  27. Believe says:

    You guys have a big dilemma with the “different Jesus” construct.

    It is evidenced in the “God of the Hebrews” discussion whether you realize it or not.

  28. Off to the movies and without unity. My wife is taking the 10 yr old granddaughter to see Epic and I am taking the 6 yr old grandson to see Ironman3.

    Don’t ever tell me girls and boys are the same. 😉

  29. Steve Wright says:

    Jesus Himself, as well as the apostles, taught clearly from the (Old Testament) Scriptures all the things concerning Him. In addition, He fulfilled the many prophetic verses of a coming Messiah to which the Jewish people looked forward. A large portion of the New Testament is simply the apostles’ teaching of the Old Testament, complete with many many verse quotes.

    For 2000 years, Christians have not had any dilemma concerning the Old Testament revelation of God, and the New Testament. No serious Christian author has ever put forth some sort of problem or contradiction between the two testaments of God’s written revelation. Not one. Hundreds and hundreds of Christians, however, have written plenty of commentaries about the unity of both Testaments as to the nature, plan and revelation of God.

    I will grant that our unbelieving world does like to draw distinctions between a “God of the Old Testament” and a “God of the New Testament” – but we should expect no less from the unbelieving world.

  30. Steve Wright says:

    I would add that Hebrews is a fascinating book in this regard. Although there is certainly portions of Romans and others that are helpful too.

    But Hebrews is so thorough in explaining how, within the Old Testament itself, was the teaching that a new covenant, a new priesthood and so forth HAD to come.

    Sadly, too many people just want to focus on the couple of so-called warning passages in places like chapter 6 and 10 – and otherwise really neglect this great New Testament book.

  31. Believe says:

    Then, how do the Hebrews have the ‘correct’ Jesus and the Mormons don’t?

  32. Lutheran says:

    A really excellent book on how Jesus “handled” the OT is the book “Christ and the Bible,” by John Wenham, an Anglican theologian. Came out in a 3rd. ed. in 2009.

    Suffice it to say the Jesus had a very high view of the OT. Very high.

    http://www.amazon.com/Christ-Bible-John-Wenham/dp/1606088882/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1370117557&sr=8-1&keywords=christ+and+the+bible

  33. Believe says:

    So, Steve, are you stating with all certainty that the Hebrews/Jews have the “correct” Jesus?

  34. Believe says:

    Steve said, “No serious Christian author has ever put forth some sort of problem or contradiction between the two testaments of God’s written revelation.”

    That isn’t true.

    If you want to let lies be stated as fact on your blog, then so be it.

  35. Believe says:

    Steve, John Piper agrees with your Position about God:

    “Why was it right for God to slaughter women and children in the Old Testament? How can that ever be right?

    It’s right for God to slaughter women and children anytime he pleases. God gives life and he takes life. Everybody who dies, dies because God wills that they die.

    God is taking life every day. He will take 50,000 lives today. Life is in God’s hand. God decides when your last heartbeat will be, and whether it ends through cancer or a bullet wound. God governs.

    So God is God! He rules and governs everything. And everything he does is just and right and good. God owes us nothing.

    If I were to drop dead right now, or a suicide bomber downstairs were to blow this building up and I were blown into smithereens, God would have done me no wrong. He does no wrong to anybody when he takes their life, whether at 2 weeks or at age 92.

    God is not beholden to us at all. He doesn’t owe us anything.

    Now add to that the fact we’re all sinners and deserve to die and go to hell yesterday, and the reality that we’re even breathing today is sheer common grace from God.

    I could make the question harder. As it was stated, it doesn’t feel hard to me, because God was stated as the actor.

    My basic answer is that the Old and New Testaments present God as the one who has total rights over my life and over my death.

    “The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord” (Job 1:21). How he takes away is his call. He never wrongs anybody.”–Desiring God, John Piper

  36. Believe says:

    Piper articulates my observation of OT Jesus and Revelation Jesus being mean and harsh and not the Gahndi Jesus of the New Testament Gospels here:

    “Why was God so harsh on people in the Old Testament and more forgiving in the New Testament?

    My first reaction to that question is to say, “He wasn’t,” or “He is.” He wasn’t as harsh as you think, and he is more harsh than you think. But that may not be the most helpful thing to say.

    It may be that we should just acknowledge that this question is probably coming out of reading lots of stories of battles—horrible battles—and lots of stories of harshness. There is a lot of death and killing and the earth swallowing up families in the Old Testament; and you don’t read much of that in the New Testament, except for in Revelation.

    So you read about Jesus having an incredible open-heartedness towards tax collectors and sinners.

    So, yes, OK, it’s there. There is something to this question. And the answer is probably signaled in Luke 4, where Jesus comes into the synagogue and he says, “This is being fulfilled in your hearing.” He read Isaiah, and the day of the Lord is at hand. And what he reads, he reads and he stops at a certain point in Isaiah, just before he gets to the day of judgment and of wrath.

    So with Jesus has come into the world salvation. “I did not come to judge the world but to save the world” (John 3:17). So the window that we have of Jesus in the world is a day of salvation, a day of offering forgiveness, a day of dying for sinners, and a day of holding out his hands and beckoning.

    And all that in the Old Testament was preparation to show how wrathful and how just and how true and how glorious God is, and how terrible sin is. And now you’re getting Jesus, who is mercy incarnate, grace incarnate, forgiveness incarnate, open-heartedness incarnate, saying, “This is what is available for you.”

    So I think there is an intention that the Old Testament look bleak, sin look horrible, God look just, and that there be much less mercy, proportionate to what you see in the three years of the ministry of Jesus. And that’s intentional. This is what God’s heart is to the world right now. Come!

    And then the New Testament closes with another Old Testament. The Book of Revelation is horrific! So we’re in a window right now.

    So if people are watching this right now, they should feel, “I’m in a window of mercy, and I should embrace it so that I can escape the wrath when it comes again.”–Desiring God, John Piper

  37. David Sloane says:

    Steve #5
    Thanks for your explanation…I never quite understood why Jesus said that, or if I did I had for gotten it a long time ago.

  38. Believe says:

    Piper’s observations are what you have to really believe if you are a Christian Fundamentalist of any flavor, if you hold the bible to be authoritative and perfect.

    This sums it up: “It’s right for God to slaughter women and children anytime he pleases.”–John Piper.

  39. Michael says:

    Steve is commenting on the BOOK of Hebrews…

  40. Believe says:

    Steve, when the bible says God “hates” homosexuality, is it the same sort of “not hate” hate you are professing above?

  41. Michael says:

    “Steve said, “No serious Christian author has ever put forth some sort of problem or contradiction between the two testaments of God’s written revelation.”

    That isn’t true.”

    Could you provide us with the names of those Christian scholars who have posited this?

  42. Believe says:

    Nope, not if you’re going to pick and choose which of my comments to post. You can find them yourself. They’re out there.

  43. Steve Wright says:

    Steve, John Piper agrees with your Position about God:
    ————————————————–
    Of course, I did not utter a “position about God” here – other than what has been proclaimed by the Church for 2000 years – that there is no dilemma between the Testaments. Hardly controversial

    I didn’t get into any of the Piper stuff then brought into the discussion by you. But you’ve read my recent comments of criticism against Piper as to the tornadoes, and you know these tragedies are very personal to me as to Oklahoma – so you just want to tweak my nose once more.

    You can choose and claim all sorts of things that I either do not believe, or would state in a very different manner – as is your custom in dealing with other people. Make it up as you go.

    This is typical fare. And a great example of how you drive people away from the blog.

    People tire of being grossly and unfairly misrepresented in their beliefs by you, and most don’t have the energy or desire to try and interact and set the record straight for the thousands of people that might visit and read, because you will just continue to do more of the same.

    I’m at that point myself. It is probably better not to post at all, especially as a pastor, then to try and engage in some conversation with the brothers and sisters and have you go on record as saying “Pastor X believes this…” – because you clearly are incapable of, or have no concern about not constantly providing a false witness.

    (Mods…that will be my last post for today…if you let it through)

  44. Believe says:

    “You can choose and claim all sorts of things that I either do not believe, or would state in a very different manner – as is your custom in dealing with other people. Make it up as you go.”

    That’s what you’re doing.

  45. Michael says:

    I’ve not seen any in my years of study.
    You are the one making the assertion, the burden of proof is on you.
    Once again, the perspective of this blog is one of someone who believes in the whole word of God.
    This would be an excellent post when you are on your own blog, for you to present your views to your community for comment.
    We’re really tired of it.
    I am picking and choosing so that this thread doesn’t go down the typical road…although I seem to have lost it anyway.

  46. Believe says:

    Steve Wright said, ” A common Hebraism was in the comparison of two things, to describe one as hated and one as loved – when actually the idea is preference of one over the other.”

    OK, so when God “hates” Homosexuality but loves Heterosexuality is it just God’s preferred manner of sex?

  47. Michael says:

    I have approved your comments, but again, we’re really tired of this tune.

  48. Kid Dynomite says:

    Steve,

    Your comments have been helpful to me. Disappointed to see you bow out.

  49. Kid Dynomite says:

    Michael,

    You make an interesting point in your #9. My questions generate from my interactions with a friend who (in my mind) is slamming believers and the “church in rebellion” by demanding we stop sinning and repent.

    His primary target is the divorced who have remarried. He quotes various scriptures on the topic and states that the only way to repent of this is to return to the first “covenant” marriage.

    He is touting his crusade as his ministry of reconciliation.

    I think Babylon’s Dread hit the nail on the head when he said (in another thread) that he (my friend) has gone from the Law of Moses to the Law of Jesus and Paul.

  50. London says:

    You can not speak of ocean to a wellfrog,
    The creature of a narrower sphere.
    You cannot speak of ice to a summer insect, the creature of a season.
    Chuang Tzu

    Reading my buddy Dave’s book this weekend and love that quote.

  51. Michael says:

    KD,

    “Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power.”
    (Hebrews 1:1–3 ESV)

    There are a lot of very deep theological debates that we could engage in about whether God “hates”, but I think this verse ends the debate.

    In God’s progressive revelation of Himself to us, the last word belongs to Jesus.

    He calls all to repentance and faith in Him and promises the forgiveness of all sins for those who do.

    The real ministry of reconciliation is that which Christ has done between God and man and which He exhorts us to share with all.

  52. Andrew says:

    “……the Gahndi Jesus of the New Testament Gospels….”

    Hardly a comparison. Did Gahndi ever warn about hell?

  53. Kid Dynomite says:

    Michael,

    I’m tracking with you.

    You said, “He calls all to repentance and faith in Him and promises the forgiveness of all sins for those who do.”

    The problem I see in my friend is that he has become the judge of who has truly repented and who has not. In his eyes, a remarried divorcee has not repented unless they go back to the first spouse and are in danger of hell fire if they do not. Also, pastors/teachers who don’t preach this he considers false teachers.

  54. Believe says:

    Three Groups under what you’ve stated is your accepted umbrella, unless you think G is not saved and maybe even Dread and some others:

    1. Revocationism/Replacement theology

    2. Universalism/Inclusionists like Carlton Pearson, Rob Bell, and Don Earl Paulk.

    3. Emerging Church movement: Guys like McLaren, even Eugene Peterson’s “Message” is called by many to be Marcionistic, Rutz’s “The Open Church” etc.

    Unless your Umbrella has gotten a light tighter and you’re willing to cast a big chunk of some folks on here into hell…there are many who embrace a form of Marcionism and see the OT God as different than the NT Jesus.

  55. Believe says:

    Lots of Quakers see a difference between the God of the OT and Jesus of the Gospels as well.

  56. Michael says:

    KD,

    There will always be those whose main message is one of condemnation…and those sadly have no clue how far away they personally are from the kingdom of God.
    My sense of my own sin keeps me preaching the grace of God…

  57. Andrew says:

    I cannot understand the grace of God without the back drop of the justice of God. But I am definitely with you about this re-marriage condemnation. Once a certificate of divorce is given, don’t give me this BS that two people are still married. This is absolutely terrible.

  58. Michael says:

    Believe,

    You were asked for the writings of serious (meaning scholarly) Christian writers who see a contradiction between the OT and NT.
    I don’t know of any and you have yet to produce a volume I can examine.

    In regard to those here…I hold a minority viewpoint on many theological issues with most.
    Where I may believe someone who sincerely loves God is sincerely in error, my job is to build them up in that love and gently encourage them to further study on some matters. This is a journey, not a snapshot…faith and knowledge are rarely static.

    To take this a step further…
    The reason John Pipers tweets were so odious was because he allowed doctrine to become primary when comfort and consolation were what was called for.
    There are people here who have been brutalized by the Bible and those who carry it…and they hold on to faith tenuously.
    They don’t need me to preach doctrine, they need me to encourage them to keep walking toward home.

  59. Believe says:

    Bart Erhman, David Price, Hobbes, Spinoza, Simon, Astruc, Borg, Crossan, Schleiermacher, Channing, Brown, Kung, etc etc etc.

    Have you ever read any of their works? How can you claim they are wrong if you have never studied these scholars?

  60. Believe says:

    Sorry, Robert Price above, LOL. I have a client named David Price and I remembered the wrong Price.

  61. Andrew says:

    I listened to the “Did the Bible misquote Jesus debate” with James White vs. Bart Erhman. I believe Bart is completely wrong.

  62. Michael says:

    I’ve read Ehrman, Borg, and Crossan and none have swayed me, nor do I consider them to be Christians.
    Ehrman is an avowed agnostic and the other two deny the resurrection.
    If you’re going to tell me you’ve read Schleirmacher then I’ll have to tell you that Packer has taken him on and won decisively.
    You’d know that if you’d read Packer…

  63. Believe says:

    I disagree with Packer. I think he’s trapped in dogmatism and pre-supposition and is the poor man’s J.C. Ryle.

  64. Michael says:

    That was hilarious.

    Here’s the deal, Believe.
    If you want to find reasons to scoff and doubt, you will find them.
    If you want to find reasons for faith, you’ll find them.
    For those reading who want to find reasons for faith there are many here who will be glad to assist you.
    For those of you who want to mock the faith…see ya.

  65. Believe says:

    I didn’t say I wanted to marry Bart Ehrman, just that he is a serious Scholar, serious as a heart-attack and to out-of-hand dismiss the Liberal Scholar Camp as Steve Wright does above, only exposes closed-minded ignorance and is insulting to many others on here who have a broader view.

  66. Gary says:

    Michael #59,
    I appreciate your focus. I quit reading most of Believe’s posts. Sometimes I’ll read the first line. A lot of his posts promote shame. I don’t need that.

  67. Michael says:

    I just dismissed them more than Steve did.
    If that is offensive to some they are on the wrong blog.

  68. Andrew says:

    Believe,
    Here is my take. Of writing and reading books there is no end. There is limited amount of time on this earth. I won’t waste a lot of my time reading stuff counter to the faith when I can read things that will build up my faith. It is as simple as that.

  69. Michael says:

    Andrew,

    That is wisdom, in my opinion.

  70. Believe says:

    Have you read Schleiermacher’s “The Christian Faith”?

  71. Michael says:

    Nope.
    Haven’t read “Gone With The Wind” either…

  72. David Sloane says:

    Philippians
    4:7-9 KJV

    7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

    8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

    9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.

  73. Believe says:

    Here’s a big chunk of it. I’ll have to send you a complete copy.

    Much like you’ve stated with reading Calvin and Packer and your list of gurus, reading this work is probably necessary to have an informed opinion about some of the angles I’m considering:

    http://books.google.com/books?id=8JiQhmLykAYC&printsec=frontcover&dq=the+christian+faith+Schleiermacher&hl=en&sa=X&ei=EHSqUamkM6SkiQKIw4D4Dw&ved=0CDAQ6AEwAA

  74. Michael says:

    Believe,

    I’m not interested.
    I’ve resolved my issues with Scripture and in the few years I have left I’m only interested in finishing my race strong and well.
    I am simply not interested in 19th German liberal criticism…and the response to it was primarily from Barth… who I would rather stick my tongue in a blender than to try to read with understanding.

  75. Believe says:

    OK, then why have a blog that says it discusses issues and is open to diversity of opinions in one breath (and tells folks to read your books) and in the other breath says “nope, made up my mind and not reading your books, just make sure you read the stuff I tell you to”?

  76. Believe says:

    Andrew said, “I won’t waste a lot of my time reading stuff counter to the faith when I can read things that will build up my faith. It is as simple as that.”

    My “faith” is not built up by reading Dogmatic conservative fundamentalists who are intellectually dishonest. It makes me question the “faith” due to the dishonesty in their anti-reasoned approach, while claiming reason in the next breath to defend their particular angle.

  77. Gary says:

    Here is a book worth reading. The Wit and Wisdom of Spiro T Agnew. Don’t miss a word of it. Nobody else did.

  78. Michael says:

    Believe,

    If people are looking for excellent conservative scholarship that defends the Scriptures, I am more than happy to point them to sources where they can find it.
    If they are interested in 19th century German liberal textual criticism, I’ll point them to you.

    I have made no secret of the fact that I am a theologically conservative Christian and I have no use for skepticism that is looking to tear down the faith of like minded believers.

  79. Michael says:

    If you want to debate these issues on a blog, Dan Wallace has one and he can represent my position infinitely better than I can.
    http://danielbwallace.com

  80. mrtundraman says:

    “I’ve read Ehrman, Borg, and Crossan and none have swayed me, nor do I consider them to be Christians. Ehrman is an avowed agnostic and the other two deny the resurrection.”

    I agree. To deny the resurrection is to deny the faith. I don’t care who it is that does the denying…

  81. “I think God “loves” and I think the God of the Hebrews is a “different Jesus” than the God of the Gospels.”

    Wow, I think I posted an article where NT Wright addresses this issue on the “Questioning the Faith” thread.
    http://thinktheology.co.uk/blog/article/tom_wright_skewers_the_new_marcionism

    Sorry if someone, already mentioned this, haven’t had time to read through yet.

  82. Michael says:

    Derek,

    That was really good…thank you for finding it for us.

  83. Michael says:

    There’s your guy, Believe.
    Peter Enns.
    I’d forgotten all about him.

  84. I tried to have the conversation about Alex’s unbelief over on his blog, but even though he told me I am no longer banned – my comments never show up.

    Believe, why do you think this conversation is not welcomed on your blog?

  85. I will say though, that I am just as aggravated with “christians” who still call themselves Jews (Messianic Jews) as I am with Christ deniers who still want to call themselves Christians.

  86. I was just reading Steve W. comments above about the Book of Hebrews. I am currently teaching through the book, Chapter 3 tomorrow (it took 6 weeks to get through the first 2 chapters.

    Great book – the writer (who I think is Barnabas) makes a great point of what the OT pointed towards – it is definitely pointing out the Gospel in the OT.

    To disagree with Steve W., because I know his view, the warning passages are to Christians. 😉 – in 2 and 3 along with 6 & 7.

  87. Passing by says:

    Excellent link provided by Derek. I resonated with Wright completely.

    I was thinking about Malachi 3 in relation to this discussion, especially verses 6 & 15.

  88. Isn’t it odd that a controversy like this that was first addressed around 200 AD, still wants to pop up all the time. Maybe I will put Tertullian’s “Against Marcion” on my Kindle and dig into it.

  89. MLD
    “Great book – the writer (who I think is Barnabas)”

    I’d be interested in hearing why you think Barnabas wrote the Book of Hebrews. Any historical evidence that points you in that direction or is it just ‘internal’ clues?
    -mic

  90. brian says:

    As many here can attest I held a strong view that I “felt” God hated me, personally from the foundations of the universe even before the dawn of humanity and it was my fault. But I have come to understand through some very agonizing self examination. In someways it was my projection on to God, my hatred of things done to me by some very select few that I broad brushed across an entire movement. There is a security in pragmatism, I think that is why so many of us hide there, I know I did / do. If it works stay with it, if it keeps the pain away keep using it. The problem is it only works for so long, then the cost outweighs the “benefit”.

    KD asked a very personal question, does God hate? In my past experience with some people in my real world and online interactions, God hates passionately and always. That was my take, but I was wrong, I did the same thing I accuse “them” of. MLD asked a simple question that created an avalanche in my life, “Who were them?” That opened a flood gate in my personal life. I was digging through old pictures, I am one of the last of my family line in some ways so I delved through huge amount of pictures and memories. It is scary and it also defines us. The “them” I was so angry at was me in so many ways, the guilt I carried for so many mistakes or perceived mistakes. We all carry a huge train load of regret with us down the train of life. In someways it clouds our view and it defines us. It is also what keeps us chained in the past. I dont buy the forgive and forget, but I also understand the forgive and be forgiven. We seek justice but do not want justice, we want hope but fight against hope because it may mean we have to let go.

    I make no bones about my world view, I am a universalist, an open theism supporter but still cant understand how that could be, I am hyper egalitarian because it was women who have been far more “Jesus” to me then many men. I hold to the validity of the ToE but understand the theological ramifications so I find myself reading answers in genesis and other such sites to prove me wrong. But what I am KD or anyone else interested, it is not if God hates but what do we mean by hate, we cannot define God’s attributes by our understanding. We cant, well actually we can but it is far to complex and simple, it means we just need to trust. I hate that because trust is scary, I loose control and my reality, I become weak. But weakness is what leads to power, because weakness leads to humility that leads to hope, the kind of hope that overcomes. I think this is how we got out of the caves and fear of the night, because in the night light is the most illuminating. Offered for what it may be worth, hope it helps KD.

  91. David Sloane says:

    Hi Brian @ #92,

    You said:

    ” I dont buy the forgive and forget, but I also understand the forgive and be forgiven. We seek justice but do not want justice, we want hope but fight against hope because it may mean we have to let go. ”

    Letting go!

    Deep. A work in progress. Letting go is faith in action, an action that for some of us is painful and scary. Control is familiar and bad things might not happen when control is employed consistently. And yet to truly walk in the Spirit of the Lord one must relinquish full control over to an unseen entity, the Almighty Master Creator, God.

    When I was in my teens, living the hippie life style and financially broke, like everyone else around me, God took me through a boot camp of sorts to learn to exercise faith and trust in Him. At first it was very unsettling, but over a period of time I began to understand that I was indeed “safe” and that bad things were not such a big issue to focus upon. A major break through.

    Let me tell you where it started for me. I had this old International 1951 Flathead six 3 quarter ton pickup with only three speeds. The starting motor was shot and the master cylinder was leaky. I lived in Laguna Beach CA at the time. Laguna has a lot of hills so when I had to stop I would pump the brakes to get them to work. If I got stopped at a traffic light on a downhill incline the brakes needed to be pumped continously just to keep from creeping forward.

    At first I was terrified that, “what if the brakes suddenly stopped working.” And to add to my consternation I had to push the truck and pop the clutch to get that old truck started because it had no starting motor. It was a heavy truck so I couldn’t just push it by myself. Everywhere I went I had to stress about getting my truck started. Would there be someone to help me push it to get started where I was going?

    Over a period of time I came into a position of trusting that my leaky master cylinder would hold up as I pumped away on the brakes. And everywhere that I went there was always someone there who was willing to give me a hand to push my truck and get it started.

    I began to not even worry about it. In fact I would drive to a fellowship on Saturday nights in Long Beach CA from Laguna beach. After the fellowship all of us would hang out and enjoy the “after~glo” for hours.

    One time in the middle of winter I went to the fellowship and afterward went to the local 24 hour donut shop. I pulled into the parking lot around 2:00 AM and shut off my engine with no one around to help me get it started again. I went inside and got a hot coffee (the truck had no heater and it was freezing outside) and a dounut.

    I then got back in my truck and waited in faith. You see, I had learned that God would provide through the many times that I had been in the same position before and things worked out. Even though it was the middle of winter and 2:00 AM sure enough I noticed this young man my own age leaning against the building that I had not spotted before.

    I got out and shared the gospel with him and then asked for help getting my truck started. A few minutes later I was on my way home to Laguna.

    This happened everywhere I went. I actually started to not even think about being able to stop that truck or start that truck. My faith got built up in that arena to where it was no longer an “issue” for me. My faith in god’s provision had grown.

    Interesting enough I was on my way back from a fellowship in San Diego CA and stopped at a Denny’s restaurant around 2:00 AM. And I ran across that guy from the dounut shop in Long Beach. He told me that after I had spoken with him he went immediately to his girl friends house. When he got there he found that they had been on their knees praying for him to receive salvation at the same time that I was speaking with him. Apparently my words that I spoke to him in the parking lot that night hit him deep inside, which to me seemed to have no effect upon him at all when I spoke them to him. His girl friend and her mother lead him to Christ. He was now a Christian.

    As my faith training extended to other areas of my life. I realized that I had gained peace and was starting to enjoy life from a whole new fantastic perspective. Just knowing that God was there for me. Watching over me and providing as He saw fit was very comforting for me.

    It all started when I let go and had to trust in an unseen presence greater than myself. Not an easy task. But through incremental baby steps God brought me into a position of letting go and just trusting in Him.

    I learned over all that God is love. Brian when ever I see you in here I am aware of God’s love for you. I can’t explain how I know, but I know. I have this affinity, kinship, awareness that is in me towards you brother.

    I never had a father growing up. So I have a tendency to feel that God is far away out there in the universe somewhere, and doesn’t care about me, and that others are more important to Him then myself.

    I have no problem praying for others and exercising faith on behalf of others. But when it comes to myself that is another story. I guess subconsciously since my own father abandoned me that God the father is like him. I don’t know, but it has been the life struggle for me.

    So you see, trusting in someone who is somewhere way out there and who doesn’t care about me was a major stronghold in my life.

    And yet God was able, through a terrifying faith boot camp of circumstances, to show me that he was actually very close to me and that He actually did care about me.

    I can only hope and pray that you will one day realize that God loves you deeply as I have found out in my own life.

    It doesn’t happen over night, it was a long series of painful letting go’s that opened my eyes to the truth that God is love…

    Blessings and favor be yours always.

    http://shekinahfellowship.blogspot.com/2010/04/bait-of-satan-taking-offence-can-trap.html#links

  92. MIC,
    There is no evidence for my view – it is all internal guessing.
    1.) The letter itself is very Pauline in it’s theology, but probably not written by Paul.
    2.) It was probably written by someone who traveled with Paul and knew Paul’s theology intimately.
    3.) Whoever the writer was, he had to have a great handle on the OT.
    4.) The whole letter is to encourage and buildup the faith of this small clan of Hebrew converts to Christianity … even the warning passages are written in a manner to encourage and not to condemn.
    5.) Barnabas was know as the great encourager – to me, this would be his style.

    Luther thought it was Apollos – who do you think it was?

  93. PP Vet says:

    I love Joel Osteen.

    He is in the tradition of Norman Vincent Peale and Robert Schuller.

    Back when I was even more of a self-righteous religious know-it-all than I am now, I was listening disgustedly to Schuller spew that positive thinking garbage on the radio and I said to the Lord, Is he ever going to bring You up?

    The Lord said to me: No, he’s trying to bring you up.

    I changed my attitude.

  94. Bob says:

    “I think God “loves” and I think the God of the Hebrews is a “different Jesus” than the God of the Gospels.”

    Can’t be or else nobody can be saved from themselves.

    Might as well then be what Paul said, “be a pitied group of people”

  95. Gary says:

    Brian,
    The things we judge tell more about us than the object or our judgement. What is our source for truth? We have our own experience and we have mental ascent based on what we read and hear. We have internal and external input. We have emotional and intellectual. I say the intellectual bows to the emotional.

    In my case I was taught to not trust anything that came from inside me. I was worthless. I was here on this earth for fodder for the white sheep of my family; the Golden Child. My whole family seemed to be a prop for the Golden Child. Especially the nearly invisible me. I shunned anyone who took the slightest interest in me. Since they were interested in me they were obviously worthless as well and weren’t to be trusted or even paid attention to. My view of myself was reinforced more and more as I grew up and saw that the Golden Child really was Golden. Wherever I went I was recognized as the little brother of the Golden Child. He was praised by everyone. I loved him and I hated him. I loved him cuz he was so lovable and I hated him for the way he treated me. He was my opposite. He was charming, clever, witty, sociable, good looking, smart- everything I wasn’t. He got all the marbles. He was my hero and my nemesis. My family reinforced this, especially my dad. My religion reinforced this. Pretty much my whole world as interpreted by my worthless mind reinforced this.

    Where could I go for help? Was help even meant for someone like me?

    If my world disdained me then God, if there was a God, disdained me as well. But I was young enough to have hope. I never thought about hope but it was there somewhere as it is in humankind until it gets beaten and battered and smashed for long enough that it gets snuffed out. Without hope I got nothing. I used to get really nasty stomach aches. I thought it was the worst pain in the world. It made me cry out to the only thing I knew outside myself that my speck of hope would allow. In essence I was praying.

    By the time I was ten or so I decided that if there was a God he was completely absent from my religion. The people there were messed up. I quit believing but I still had to go to their church and schools. Meanwhile the Golden Child got better and better. It was crushing me. I better stop now before this gets too long to read.

  96. Andrew says:

    “My “faith” is not built up by reading Dogmatic conservative fundamentalists who are intellectually dishonest. It makes me question the “faith” due to the dishonesty in their anti-reasoned approach, while claiming reason in the next breath to defend their particular angle.”

    I’m not sure what dogmatic conservative fundamentalists you are referring to. BTW, a non believing atheist usually has a bias, is usually dogmatic and is usually fundamental in what they believe. What is the difference? I am not really sure I believe being agnostic is intellectual. I don’t believe agnostic atheists or agnostic Christians are being intellectually honest with anyone.

  97. Believe says:

    Tertullian is hardly an authority I would appeal to for deeming another a “heretic” LOL. He was a Montanist, which was deemed “heresy” as well by the “church”.

    Guess who the “church” was pre-Reformation? Yup, Catholic Church.

    Guess what, the same authority that deemed Marcion a “heretic” also judged Tertullian’s Montanism “heresy” and judged Luther and Calvin as “heretics”.

    Are you guys Catholic? You sure seem to appeal to the Catholic Church’s authority in judging “heretics” often…which includes yourselves LOL.

  98. Believe says:

    MLD said, ‘Believe, why do you think this conversation is not welcomed on your blog?”

    I dunno, you’ll have to ask the moderator there. I don’t run the blog.

  99. Believe says:

    I don’t know that I would deem NT Wright an authority comparable to the Early Church Fathers either, as the Catholic Church probably deems NT Wright a heretic as well…and you seem to put a lot of weight in the “authority” of those pre-Reformation.

  100. Gary says:

    David #93,
    Love it!! You can pray for me anytime.

  101. Believe says:

    Again, it comes down to Absolute/Objective vs. Relative/Subjective Truth and Authority.

    By what authority do you judge Marcion a “heretic”? The “Church’s” authority? If so, that would have to be the Catholic Church’s authority as the churches post-Reformation are in rebellion to the official unified “Church”.

    If you are appealing to Scripture as “authority” then you are simply appealing to your particular interpretation of Scripture and what you count as official Scripture and/or a particular viewpoint from a particular set of Gurus as authoritative and assume they have some special revelation from God.

    You can’t have it both ways. You can’t appeal to the Church Fathers who were Catholic and Unified under that Authority and yet reject the Catholic Church’s authority as Reformed and/or Protestant.

    Therefore, you must be appealing to your own authority, your own particular Group’s interpretations and opinions…which is what is reality as most think the other Groups are “heretics” on a variety of issues that they don’t agree with.

  102. Muff Potter says:

    Believe,
    I appeal to no authority. I keep my own counsel as to what I’ll sign onto or not sign onto. My ideas, theses and beliefs would horrify both liberals and conservatives alike. I cling to Messiah’s very literal person in hopes of a better resurrection into a better universe. How do I know? I don’t know. I have no iron-clad Aristotelian proof-box. It’s what I choose to believe.

  103. Believe,
    A few genuine and honest questions for you…
    Why does any of this really matter to you?
    Who are you trying to convince, others or yourself?
    Why?

    I think these are key to your journey and peace.

    I’m a universalist.
    I’m also a follower of Jesus.
    I’m a heretic, on the fringe of the evangelical church.
    Big freakin deal.

    I still have friends.
    I’m still a worshipper, sometimes a person who leads groups in their music and singing.

    I’m quite fine to no longer debate with the gents here who demand that I agree with their views, because they want to win more than they want to love. How tragic for them.

    I’m saying this as a friend who loves and respects you, you are completely wasting your time trying to convince these guys or trying to win your points with them. Even if you had a universe shattering point that no one could refute these guys would spin onto some other debate tactic.

    If you are in a place where you’re more universalist, then BE THAT, and be it in confidence. By definition, God isn’t going to reject you if you’re mistaken.

    If you are in a place where you agree that it appears that the only way to reconcile Jesus VS the Old Testament god is to hold such a view that others in church history deem heretical, then hold it in confidence and peace, knowing that in times past you would have been burnt at the stake but now all that will happen is the disapproval of men who you couldn’t care less about. None of this will change your day with your wife, kids and your friends and your creative energies will not be wasted casting your pearls to those who don’t appreciate the value of pearls.

    Be confident, none of those guys have any power over you unless you give it to them by seeking their approval. Their approval is completely worthless and doesn’t decrease you or increase you in any way.

  104. Michael says:

    Until around 400 there was no “Catholic” church…there was just the church.

    This method of running the blog isn’t working for me.
    I dont have the time to constantly keep checking some device to see if someone needs a comment approved.
    Believe shows no signs of self moderation, so this is moving me to a place I don’t want to go.
    I can’t imagine for the life of me why he wouldn’t prefer being in his own space…

  105. Believe says:

    Muff, thanks. I think I’m increasingly in that Camp.

    G asked, “Why does any of this really matter to you?
    Who are you trying to convince, others or yourself?
    Why?”

    I have always had a burning passion to figure out life, existence, the meaning of life, “God”, “salvation”, truth, etc. I can’t turn it off, I always think about it. It underpins every discussion, every issue, every controversy and is always in the background.

    I guess I’m trying to convince myself and trying to discover what is true and what isn’t and push-back from others helps chip away at the life-long Sculpture one little chisel stroke at a time. It helps me to articulate and test my thoughts and helps me sort stuff out and determine what is more or less likely “true”.

    I agree that I won’t convince some, which is not my goal, my goal is to ardently find what I believe is most likely true and these discussions help cross some things off the list, often.

  106. Believe says:

    Alright, I’ll go to another space. Just mod me and turn the other folks back on.

  107. Nonnie says:

    I read something many years ago, and I cannot recall who it was, but he or she said that he or she thought the writer of Hebrews may have been Aquila and Priscilla, since the book of Hebrews sounded so much like Paul and that couple travelled and ministered with Paul. They must have learned so much from his teaching. Then it went on to say that was the reason the there was no author cited on the book of Hebrews, since it was a woman as one of the authors. I thought that was very interesting. As a new Christian who devoured the Bible, when I read the NT and then the book of Hebrews, I just “assumed” that Paul wrote it, as it sounded so much like Paul, from his other writings. Therefore, when I discovered that the writer of Hebrews was “unknown,” I thought it was very plausible that Aquila and Priscilla may have written the epistle.. It made a lot of sense that a woman’s name would not want to be “mentioned” if she may have been one of the authors of this epistle.

  108. Michael says:

    Nonnie,

    That’s my favorite theory on Hebrews….

  109. Believe,
    Your 107 is pretty awesome to me because its self aware and a great milestone in your journey. You’re still processing, and that is honest and threatening to the folks here who are extremely self assured. They count on their answers to quickly be adopted by you because to them they have either not thought things through or they have settled for the answer they have. In all honesty, that’s pretty much what each of us do or have done for all the millennia, we settle into some construct where we can appreciate mystery and incongruity.

    I came to a point here where I realized I needed to give Michael his due and some of the aforementioned fellow posters their leave. I don’t have the time or capacity for endless theological debates about who wrote what, how the church came to its thinking about the sacred texts, the veracity of church discipline evolving into killing or torturing heretics, persecuting non-christians, explaining away but not ending slavery, the suppression of women… I could go on but finding a way to dial back the constant questions you mentioned had to take priority over the toll on myself, my family and others. In the end, I believe, God just wants me to deal with what I AM convinced about and leave the imponderables to the ones who are convinced they have sufficient answers for themselves.

  110. Michael says:

    Believe has graciously offered to be moderated for the sake of the group and I have lifted the moderation on the whole blog.
    There is no need for any discussion on this and we go forward.

  111. Nonnie says:

    Great!! Onward and upward!!! To God be the glory!

  112. Scott says:

    I appreciate the Guitar man’s counsel and perspective as offered to Believe.

    I personally don’t have a problem with a person who is genuinely struggling (or not struggling) with what they believe voicing it on a forum like this for feedback.

    There’s a natural tension that occurs with all of us when communicating with others about beliefs and perspectives we don’t necessarily hold to.

    However, when someone trying to make a point in the name an inquiring mind and genuine search for answers demonstrates that they pretty much have their mind made up, you can sense it. That’s what’s happened here with Believe.

    The issue for me is the overwhelming and unrelenting points and counter-points by Believe that ultimately turns into an avalanche, overwhelming the blog.

    I appreciate his willingness to vacate the space for the sake of the whole community.

  113. Scott says:

    Regarding Nonnie’s #109, I’ve often wondered the same thing. Reality is though, the author of Hebrews knew their stuff 😉

  114. Nonnie says:

    Yes, Scott. Paul would have been a very good teacher to Aquila and Priscilla.

  115. Scott says:

    On the discussion of the Marcionism, Derek Thornton’s link to the NT Wright interview had some good nuggets in it. Including what Wright had to say here:

    “NTW: There are many many things that God does, has done or will do which are not waiting for my approval or sanction before he does them. You know that line, “Many people want to serve God, but usually only in an advisory capacity.” Bonhoeffer said that putting the knowledge of good and evil before the knowledge of God is the primary sin in Genesis 3. They go for the knowledge of good and evil rather than what God says. Now that could just be an escape; it could just be throwing up our hands and saying we don’t know anything about God (when the whole point of the gospel is that we do know who God is, because of Jesus). However, if it’s the crucified Jesus, and if the cross means what it means in the light of the whole history of Israel, which is focused onto that, then … these narratives are the way in which all of those horrible, puzzling ambiguities, and all the awful things that happen – like Jesus saying, “what about those eighteen on whom the tower of Siloam fell?” – there’s a sense that the cross gathers up all those puzzling, tragic horrible fragments of life, and says swoosh this is where it’s all going. The one thing you can’t do about all that is theorise about it. To theorise about it is to say, “We’re standing back as good enlightenment people, and we’re going to say whether it was appropriate or not.” The only thing when faced with a narrative like that is get down on your knees.”

  116. London says:

    Hi Scott.

  117. Scott says:

    Hi London. Hope you’re well!

    Now I gotta go shower and get my clothes in the laundry. Ran all night to get home 😉

  118. London says:

    You should have driven. 🙂

  119. Muff Potter says:

    RE: Nonnie @ # 109,
    I think the book you’re referring to is Priscilla’s Letter by Ruth Hoppin. In my opinion she makes a compelling case that Priscilla may have indeed authored the book of Hebrews. It was not well received (for obvious reasons) in some conservative evangelical circles, where it got pilloried with varying degrees of rancor.

  120. Nonnie says:

    Thanks, Muff, for the info. I read the theory over 30 years ago. I’ll look up that book.

  121. erunner says:

    For the last three weeks I have attended the same church Everstudy attends. Today I thought I would attend their Sunday School. It’s held during second service and folks either attend first or third service as well.

    As Everstudy has probably shared this is a church led by a plurality of elders which. Instead of a senior pastor doing the teaching it is shared among the elders. I wasn’t sure what to expect but I am enjoying it immensely. They are planting another location that will open in September and that may end up being a possibility for us to attend.

    A month ago I wasn’t able to make the drive to the church. Now it’s more than doable for which I am grateful.

  122. Nonnie says:

    So glad to hear that , E!

  123. erunner says:

    Thanks Nonnie!!

  124. MIC, (from your comment to Nonnie on the Prayer thread)

    “I’m sorry, but I would have to gracefully disagree. Jesus told the disciples to ‘preach’ and ‘teach’ and make ‘disciples’… learner/followers of Jesus. ”

    I must gracefully disagree with you and your analysis of what Jesus said. He said to make a disciple, your were to baptize them and teach them. I wonder why you would alter scripture (as you accuse Nonnie’s friend) and leave out baptism as part of the Jesus ordained method of disciple making?

    Can you explain?

  125. PP Vet says:

    Awesome … delayed gratification never worked for me. I like to see my comments immediately. Well done.

    I have never seen the consortium of elders approach actually work for more than a few months if at all.

    I really like the idea since it mitigates the man-centered focus of the single pastor approach. I think it is actually possible. Every pastor will tell you that one of the elders is actually effectively being the pastor, but I am not so sure that has to be true.

    I like it best when the church is truly Holy Spirit-centric.

  126. erunner says:

    PP Vet, From what I can tell the plurality approach has been blessed by God greatly at this church. I’ve only been there three times so I am no expert on the topic.

    What I can share is that it has been more than difficult for us to plug into a church since leaving CC maybe three years ago. Since leaving CC I have become keenly aware that God works in and blesses various denominations with various forms of governance.

    As with any church in the nation there will always be those who will be able to find some sort of flaw they have. I imagine I’ve been guilty of that and may continue to be so as my guard is so often up. Yet at the same time I am happy to be among believers who love God and seek to follow Him the best they can. Lots of them hang out here!

  127. Steve Wright says:

    Good to see you again, Scott. God Bless.

  128. jlo says:

    There is nothing graceful about disagreeing with someone’s praise.

  129. Steve Wright says:

    jlo, if that isn’t a verse somewhere in Proverbs, then it ought to be!

    Maybe I’ll add it and tell people it is found in the Septuagint! 🙂

  130. David sloane says:

    Speaking of praise jLo , I have noticed that whenever things seem out of control, praise restores and balances my environment. I also learned that praise often times ushers in my awareness of The Lord.

    Most churches start with praise in their services before dishing up the Word of God.

    Praise of God is a most important Christian attribute.

    We worship You O Lord, we give you all our praise. You are worthy! Blessed be Your name for You alone are holy and pure.

  131. Erunner, that is fantastic!

  132. incongnito says:

    A form of community, I have to be honest, I have never shared in the real world or online world like I have shared here. I am a terrified soul at times I cant see a literal anything in Gen 1-11, actually even much more of Gen or even the first part of exodus. I admit I may well be wrong, and that I am outside the historic Christian faith. One of the reasons I dont dive back into the Christian religion on the local level is because I do not want to put on them having to get rid of me because of my doctrinal disagreement. I have come to bible studies, actually every single bible study I have ever been involved in. I ask the leader of the bible study if I may ask questions, how long can I talk and I give them a signal if I get out of hand. I live by them, if a leader asks me to stop I do, at that very moment. Others who disagree go on and on and rant on with their particular rhetoric.

    I know this is a put your finger in your mouth and barf, but when I go to a persons home my highest priority is to be respectful, I am in their home, if they ask me to leave I will, even if they hint at it with a look I will leave. I do not ask questions outside the guidelines and I keep myself to a one minute rule, I speak for one minute to every other participants to ten minutes. I have actually had bible study leaders ask me to refine my position and I refuse as I may speak to much. I try really hard to listen and not speak. I wont speak in local faith communities in my experience it would not even occur to me much of that is on me, not them.

    I think believe deals with this dichotomy, the church burned him, I think we agree with that. I was burned by the local church, the difference between me and believe, I think I got what I had coming, he does not. Somewhere in the middle is the truth.

    I watched Waiting for Superman and the Inconvenient Truth “documentaries” In my limited local faith community experience and some online experience I first felt I am a tool of Satan because I am a public school teacher. We all hate God and worship Satan, that is the extreme position and if I need to define the “them” it would be. I remember the first time I took a full colostomy bag across the face, and yes that happened a few times, actually it happened a lot. From my personal experience I did not mind that, it was the price ones pay to ride this ride. I was thankful for the ride. I think both sides have good points, so consensus and give and take are the best approach. I always considered that an honor to paint on these fine people’s canvases. You cant test it or monetize it so it is evil. I agree with that, if it cant turn into cash or revenue God hates it. I get that, well actually I dont but I am sure I missed something. I have come to one conclusion and it is most likely satanic, the education of Children is not a commodity,it is a sacred honor. I agree that is evil, vile and filthy but I cant seem to shake it off. Offered for what it is worth, which is most likely very little.

  133. mike says:

    MLD said…
    “I must gracefully disagree with you and your analysis of what Jesus said. He said to make a disciple, your were to baptize them and teach them. I wonder why you would alter scripture (as you accuse Nonnie’s friend) and leave out baptism as part of the Jesus ordained method of disciple making?

    Can you explain?”

    Nope, I can’t explain because I don’t want to argue with you. Have a great monday and new week.
    -mic

  134. It wasn’t an argument – just a straight up question why you feel free to edit the very words of Christ … actual red lettered words at that.

    I mean you in fine MIC form misquoted Jesus while blasting Nonnie for misquoting Jesus. Talk about a man with an agenda. Run MIC Run!

  135. Gary says:

    incognito,
    I would rather have a conversation with someone who is off the mark but listening than with a smarty pants who knows it all. I believe the bible. I believe the parts I understand and I believe the parts I don’t yet get. I’m working on that. I like give and take but I hate being talked down to. I have just a little faith in extra biblical writings especially those of so called church fathers from Constantine to Luther. I take everything with a grain of salt. I can’t believe someone hit you with a colostomy bag. Did you cuss at them to make them do that?

  136. Gary says:

    That should read “between Constantine up to Luther”. I have a lot of respect for Martin Luther as imperfect as he was.

  137. Nonnie says:

    MLD, re your 127. On the prayer thread, I shared about what was taught at yesterday’s service.

    In the past few months we have heard messages about baptism, “Remembering Jesus” in Holy communion, Jesus calling His disciples to “come to Him.” And then yesterdays’ message (5 min) of “go” and ways of sharing the gospel, regardless of our physical or mental “limitations.”

    Sadly what i think Mic misses out on the reality that not every “disciple” and worshipper of Christ is physically or mentally “able” to preach and teach in the way we are most accustomed to. Because of her physically and mental disability is her life worthless to the kingdom of God because she cannot teach and preach in the way that most of us can see and evaluate?
    Of course not. She is a child of God, created in His image and her life brings glory to God.

    The woman at our JOY Place cannot speak, she cannot, pass out gospel tracts, she simply lives and loves. When the music begins and the the message of the gospel or praises to God are sung, she opens her mouth and a song of praise, (unintelligible to us) flows from her lips to Jesus. She worships and and through her song testifies of a God who has no limits in how He will be lifted up.

    Thank you ALL for how you encouraged us on the prayer thread.

    .

  138. That’s beautiful Nonnie. Thank you for sharing it with us.

  139. Nonnie,
    Thank you for caring for the greatest in Jesus’ kingdom. No debates about theology, no nitpicking and parsing words, just pure expression and love.

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