TGIF

You may also like...

300 Responses

  1. Paige says:

    Indeed. It does seem to be all about the definitions and timing, doesn’t it?
    Sure is a contrast to much of the preaching and teaching I’ve heard (and ‘taught’) .
    Thankfully, God is such a wonderful and patient Teacher, that in time, He helps us at least approach learning these lessons for real.

  2. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Who is the “we”, do you have a frog in your pocket? … it’s not me.

  3. Michael says:

    MLD,

    When I think of a meek, merciful, peacemaker you’re the first name that comes to mind.
    I’m sure by the end of the day we’ll find that this applied to no one but me…

  4. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Michael – that’s fine, but your article is a judgment on all Christians. You took us all out with the keyboard of righteousness.

    Jesus just gave the blessings to the church and moved on.Sheep beating doesn’t seem your style.

  5. Michael says:

    MLD,

    The end of the post says “make your own application”.
    If it doesn’t apply to you, simply ignore it.
    It surely applies to me and to way too many of us.

  6. Alex says:

    The Beattitudes are used by the Powerful to subdue and maintain power over the weak.

    That’s just the troof of the matter.

    Many pastors use it all the time to keep people from challenging them or calling them to the carpet for their wrongdoing.

    Many pastors do not actually believe in the Beattitudes…they simply view it as a tool to keep the “sheep” in line.

    That’s the teaching I’ve sat under for years in Calvary Chapel…that is their true doctrine and true theology.

  7. Alex says:

    Unfortunately, the Beattitudes also present quite a contradiction to much of the other bible narratives in the OT and even some of the NT.

    Those who believe in a perpetual eternal torture of hell for God’s “enemies” do not really believe in the Beattitudes as applicable to God himself.

    The OT narrative is very antithetical to the Beattitudes as well. “Smite thine enemy! Kill them all!” etc.

  8. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Perhaps you should go back and read Ephesians again as to who you are in Christ … because none of us will ever be those described in the Beatitudes in this life (is that where you are going with this?) .– but the blessings are still ours in this life.

    I will stay off this article

  9. Alex says:

    You really have a choice to make as an individual soul/spirit…who is the real “God” and real “Jesus”?

    The Jesus of the Beattitudes or the Jesus of the Old Testament and Revelation who slaughters his enemies and then tortures them in an eternal torment forever with no end?

    If you truly believe that humans are held to a stricter standard than a holy and perfect and good and loving “God”….then you have a major problem and example a major disconnect in your thinking/reason/conscience.

    In fact, you ascribe God-like powers and standards to mere humans while allowing your particular version of “God” to be the opposite of the Beattitudes as well as other similar narratives in parts of the bible.

  10. Captain Kevin says:

    Alex, you’re attempting to compartmentalize God. No can do. Is He this Jesus or that Jesus? He said, “I AM.”

  11. Captain Kevin says:

    MLD, the “we” is me. Ephesians is my favorite book, and I understand what you’re saying, but does Paul somehow trump Jesus?

  12. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Captain – Jesus made an assertion of who Christians are … not who they are to attempt to be. Otherwise there are 2 sets of Christians – the blessed and the non blessed.

    I want to be meek – but the article seems to indicate that I need to boldly work at and assert my meekness etc.

    But hey, in the spirit of the article – that’s my application. 😉

  13. Jim says:

    Sad that we can’t boycott strife for one (maybe three?) days. I’m on strike until Monday.

    Hold your applause.

  14. Em says:

    perhaps it is necessary to edit our Lord’s words 😯 i.e., blessed are you when you are … meek, in mourning, a peacemaker etc.
    …… ? …..

    dunno, tho, do i ?

  15. Em says:

    #14 … point taken, but, perhaps, we are doing one thing… we’re proving the reason He was crucified
    the hard part to understand is the love of God that would go that far…

    the difference between all the others down thru time that have been unjustly put to death and our Lord is that Jesus didn’t have to submit to man’s evil, self righteous condemnation –
    heard that in a sermon somewhere 🙂
    “how shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation?” Hebrews2:2-3

  16. London says:

    Nicely done Michael.

  17. Alex says:

    Captain, do you really believe this is the real Jesus?

    “Now go and completely destroy the entire Amalekite nation–men, women, children, babies, cattle, sheep, goats, camels, and donkeys.”–Old Testament command given, supposedly, by “God/Jesus”

    If so, OK, that’s your Jesus.

  18. Alex says:

    Captain, did your Jesus give this command?

    “As for your male and female slaves whom you may have: you may buy male and female slaves from among the nations that are around you. You may also buy from among the strangers who sojourn with you and their clans that are with you, who have been born in your land, and they may be your property. You may bequeath them to your sons after you to inherit as a possession forever. You may make slaves of them, but over your brothers the people of Israel you shall not rule, one over another ruthlessly.”–Old Testament command given, supposedly by “God/Jesus”

  19. Alex says:

    …if that’s your Jesus, that’s fine…troubling, but fine, you are entitled to worship whatever version of “god” you choose to…but that certainly isn’t “Good” or “Love” in any universal context applied to humans and humanity.

  20. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    As one who feels no need to defend Jesus, I will raise my hand and say “yep, that’s my Jesus.” But that is the Jesus of the Bible. Your Jesus is made up in your head and is no more real than a unicorn..

    But now I will let the good Captain answer. 🙂

  21. ( |o )====::: says:

    there is the Jesus of The4Gospels

    there is the Jesus of Paul’s writings, a variant of Jesus of The4Gospels

    there is the Jesus of The Revelation by St John, a variant of Jesus of The4Gospels

    then there is the Jesus of the “bible”, again, a variant of Jesus of The4Gospels

    Alex is discerning between The One in TheGospels and the others which we who hold bibles create by “application, seeing theophanies, and saying, in effect,

    if A=B
    if B=C
    if C=D
    then A=D, B=D, C=D.

  22. Alex says:

    MLD said, “As one who feels no need to defend Jesus, I will raise my hand and say “yep, that’s my Jesus.” ”

    Well, then your Jesus needs counseling and some meds and a time-out…don’t slaughter children and babies and don’t make people your slaves and personal property to be left as an inheritance. Not good.

  23. Alex says:

    G, yup.

  24. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Alex – you join a large crowd. The Mormons, the JW, the Christian Scientist, the Bahia, the Jews, the Muslims, The Hindu, the Buddhists – you name ’em, they too don’t believe in the Jesus of the Bible.

  25. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    G,
    I don’t see a variant. The Jesus of the Gospels promises to throw all unbeliever in a fiery hell – how is that different than what we see in revelation.

    Read some of the parables – they too speak of total destruction of the unbelievers – how is that different than the flood account.

    There is only one version of Jesus – the Jesus of the WHOLE Bible. Live with it.

  26. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Oh, and I almost forgot – there is the Jesus in both testaments (OT & NT) that offers a way out to all people.

    Again, my hand goes up “Yep, that is my Jesus.”

  27. Alex says:

    MLD, who is your “Jesus of the bible”? Isn’t it your Lutheran version of Jesus?

  28. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    How can he be my Lutheran version? He is the same Jesus as when I was CC and SBC. He is the same Jesus we confess in the historical creeds. You may need to Google as I am sure the creeds are foreign to you.

  29. Em says:

    yeah, what MLD says… Jesus said that His kingdom is not of this world… He didn’t say that He’d adjusted to the world as we think it should be… just sayin – again

  30. as typical, point missed.
    There is a primary place we know of :: Jesus:: and that is the Gospels.

    Everything else, the history, the laws, the poetry is from different documents, different writers with different intents of writing.

    Add to that, we followers of Jesus then take the Jewish bible and see Jesus there when the writers didn’t intend Him.

    We take a few hundred years to decide that there is a thing called a christian bible and then we decide it’s a singular thing.

    And that’s how we end up with this Jewish God being Jesus as the One Who commanded what Alex pointed out,

    ““As for your male and female slaves whom you may have: you may buy male and female slaves from among the nations that are around you. You may also buy from among the strangers who sojourn with you and their clans that are with you, who have been born in your land, and they may be your property. You may bequeath them to your sons after you to inherit as a possession forever. You may make slaves of them, but over your brothers the people of Israel you shall not rule, one over another ruthlessly.”

    How that works is a mystery, so don’t point it out or question it?

    Got it.

  31. Josh the Baptist says:

    A. The four gospels are also documents by different writers with different intentions.
    b. Jesus himself …in the gospels…quoted the old testament and claimed that it was talking about him.

  32. G,
    “Add to that, we followers of Jesus then take the Jewish bible and see Jesus there when the writers didn’t intend Him.”

    You have now taken biblical decontructionism to new heights (or would it be lows?) The writer is God and he knew exactly what he intended.

    We see in the OT the 2nd person of the trinity who was revealed in the NT to be Jesus – but God, who is trinity – the father, the son and the holy spirit – are the same today, as they were when Jesus walked the earth and when all those events you rail at took place in the OT.

    To deny such places you in some arian type religion.

  33. G — You and modern day Jews are in the same boat.
    No belief in trinity
    No belief in Jesus in their bible
    Jesus, since he was not God, fulfilled no OT prophecies
    Jesus is the God of the NT but not the OT

  34. Babylon's Dread says:

    Grave Day

    I shall rest

  35. Back to the SOB Jesus vs the Richard Simmons Jesus-

    Wasn’t it the Jesus of the Gospels who not only said that he was going to throw my non believing friends and neighbors into a fiery hell but then as if that was not harsh enough that he was then going to throw that fiery hell into the Lake of Fire?

    Wasn’t it the Jesus of the Gospels who compared my friends and neighbors to Satan and his demons and said that they deserved the same fate?

    Wasn’t it the Jesus of the Gospels who said that it you didn’t forgive your neighbor that he was going to hand you over to the jailer for eternity – what??? just for not saying “Sorry” or “I forgive you”

  36. Josh the Baptist says:

    All that being said, I think Michaels original premise is correct, though comletely unrelated to this thread.

  37. Michael says:

    Josh, London…thank you.

  38. Em says:

    is it necessary today to accept the O.T. as the revealer of God in order to accept Jesus as He is chronicled and revealed in the 4 Gospels… is it a requirement to trust the whole Book to trust Jesus as Savior? will it be enough to have confessed to being a sinner in need of redemption/reconciliation to The Creator – then finding that man on that cross 2,000 years ago as one’s hope of eternal forgiveness, without sorting out all the details? not sure how much we can doubt before we go over the edge into self justification…
    it is a question i ask myself and just comment here rhetorically… as i ponder the depth of the riches that are ours in Christ Jesus…

  39. em, it’s not as much what you confess or accept – because most people come to the faith not knowing much. Where the problem lies is what you deny.

    So, a person comes to the faith knowing nothing of the trinity – that was my experience – but later when presented with the trinity what is your status if you deny it – can you still hope to call yourself Christian (a trinity denying Christian?). I think that is an example of the parable of the sower and what happens to the seed once it begins to sprout.. the devil snatches it away.
    So, when you deny the OT or deny Jesus was the subject of the OT or to say that “the God players” have changed on the scene of the NT, you have gone down a road that at the very least is quite troubling.

  40. Babylon's Dread says:

    Em,

    Without the narrative of the OT Jesus is incomprehensible. Further, without that narrative we have no idea what he is up to. The deconstructionism that gets done here is people who live out of contemporary narrative with very jaded sarcasm and personal axes to grind.

    Without the covenantal story there would be no reason to follow or crucify Jesus. Without Adam we do not know what the problem is. Without Abraham we do not know what the promise is. Without David we do not understand the political cauldron that Jesus stepped into and without Moses we have no clue as to his context.

    So much of your question implies a narrative. What relevance is a savior without an understanding of the fall, the law or the promise? The whole thing is just nonsense without the history revealed in the books of Moses and the prophets.

    Jesus preached a kingdom, what relevance can that have without the story. The gospels see Jesus as the Davidic restoration. We need the whole text.

    These silly isolations of texts from Torah intended to offend us are the critiques of ethnocentric pundits pretending wisdom.

    One need not view the 66 books as all carrying equal value and application but without them Jesus is utterly nonsense and frankly he would never have been the center of the political conflict between the people, the jewish authorities and the Romans without the context set for us by those reports.

    Just remember that all of those groups understood Jesus to have been a king with a looming kingdom. Jesus himself constantly preached a kingdom with himself as the putative monarch.

  41. Bob says:

    EM

    “is it necessary today to accept the O.T. as the revealer of God in order to accept Jesus as He is chronicled and revealed in the 4 Gospels… i”

    Yes.

    If Jesus did not live precisely according to the text of the OT then He’s not Messiah and we are all dead in our sins. Now is it necessary to know the text of the OT in order to accept Jesus as Messiah?

    NO.

    As a rabbit trail, I was talking with a 24 year old woman who has “tried” religion and confesses to the need of a “messiah” for the whole world.

    Her idea of Jesus is he is just one ancient example of that concept dreamed up by the people of the day. She believes in our modern world we still need a messiah, a Jesus so to to speak, but it has to be in the modern context and understanding of the world. To her the Jesus of the NT, while good intentioned, just doesn’t meet the needs of today.

    Back to the original question. This young women rejects the both the authenticity and the context of the OT and therefore will never except the Jesus as spelled out in the NT. Her Jesus is a concept or theory of redemption, restoration and not a living breathing raised from the dead man.

    Confess and believe what? God raised Him from the dead and He is Lord! Not the same as this young woman’s concept and so many like her today in this USA.

  42. Em says:

    thank you, MLD and BD (had to look up putative) …
    for my part, i also, came to Christ without any understanding of implications of His virgin birth, let alone the mystery of the triunity… but

    we live in a time where folk have been raised on the mantra, “question authority” – which is, IMV, a good thing, but it seems to have produced a nation that “denies” authority (lawless?) – so how does one change what they’ve learned as the most important principle of life? baby steps, perhaps… praying for understanding – for me, the beauty of the O.T. combined with the N.T. is that they are incredibly rich and deep – so deep that i’ll never get to the bottom

    some of the critiquing that gets commented here reminds me of one of my children who liked my oatmeal cookies, but had to pick out all the raisins… until she matured 🙂

  43. Em says:

    “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

    don’t want to be counted among the “others” here

    sometimes i love where Michael’s posts branch into a rabbit trail full of ponders

  44. Steve Wright says:

    To Dread’s excellent #41 I would add that the Old Testament is also needful to provide the scores of detailed prophecy concerning the Promised Savior, used by God to authenticate the totality of his written word as being God-breathed.

    God’s plan of even the few centuries of silence, where His written revelation was paused, adds to the genius of said plan.

    God does not want anyone to wonder or guess as to whether

    a) Jesus is the Promised Savior of mankind and the Living Revelation of God

    and b) the Scriptures are God’s written revelation to mankind

    Old Testament prophecy is crucial for both.

  45. Em says:

    Bob, thanks… brings to mind the thief hanging next to Jesus demanding that Jesus prove His messiahship by saving all of them from the punishment of those crosses

  46. Steve Wright says:

    Without Adam we do not know what the problem is. Without Abraham we do not know what the promise is. Without David we do not understand the political cauldron that Jesus stepped into and without Moses we have no clue as to his context.
    ————————————————————-
    Dread..seriously this is gold. I may use this verbatim tomorrow. I’ll credit you. 🙂

  47. Em says:

    Steve, hmmm…
    those Jews knew the O.T. and the gospels record Jesus’ interaction with them, the ones who expected a Messiah… His teaching drew them in and His resurrection and, perhaps, Pentecost, proved to them that He was that promised Savior… got me pondering what that must have been like – why some rejoiced and others were disgusted with and disgruntled by the trouble-maker from the sticks…

  48. Alex says:

    The major disconnect and cognitive dissonance of the Fundamentalists is this:

    God is Spirit, not the text on pages that has been written, rewritten, transcribed, retranscribed, edited, reedited, versioned, reversioned, “Canonized” a few different ways depending on your Sect etc etc.

    The text is not God, God is not the text. God’s Spirit is “alive”…and humans are unreliable vessels…therefore the text is unreliable in many cases.

    It’s like trying to make God an idol fashioned by human hands…you can do it…but it doesn’t mean the stone carved image that was hewn out of human hands that you ascribe attributes to in your particular image…is truly “God”.

    There are some things we can know innately about Good and Evil…and something real that transcends human nature and humanity and doctrine and theology (depending on what sect you ascribe to).

    Text as God will never be God no matter how much you worship that idol that was crafted by the hands of man.

  49. Alex says:

    If God truly “is”…he would be much different than his human creation…much better than “us”.

    We see a glimpse of that Goodness and Love in the Jesus Narrative…even if it is an imperfect narrative that doesn’t get it 100% correct in the transcription and story-telling over many generations.

    The Old Testament and parts of the New Testament are very human…retribution, wrath, destroy the enemy, vengeance, justice, “hate”, etc. Very very human and natural to humans.

    The imperfect Jesus Narrative describes, in parts, something very much non-human…something “Good” and something pure and something “Love”…we see this in the Beattitudes and in the example of turn the other cheek, forgive 70 times 7, love your enemy…all of which are the opposite of what the rest of the bible teaches and examples.

    The intellectually dishonest among us seek to spin these realities away…which is why fundamentalist evangelicalism is losing its credibility and continues to decline…if you cannot demonstrate intellectual honesty when dealing with issues we can observe in the texts and in the church’s behaviors (which is telling of a true belief)…then we cannot trust those people and leaders and institutions to be honest brokers…and they can’t be trusted at truth-tellers.

  50. Babylon's Dread says:

    Alex,

    To what or whom is that fundamentalist post directed?

  51. Alex says:

    A guy like my buddy Dave has said he think I have a bit of a “messiah complex”…and I think he misunderstands…I think I know who the true messiah is (in spirit) and what the true messiah would be like.

    I do not at all believe I am much like the true messiah, I am very human…as human as the fundamentalist pastors and sects…to the point that I often look at what my natural reaction would be…and then go, “Well, the true God and Jesus would not be like that, therefore God cannot be what the Fundamentalists claim he is…b/c that’s how I would react and that’s what I would do…”

  52. Well Alex, you have self described as a gnostic. We can’t all know the same thing about God as to how he has revealed himself in the text. No, according to gnostic Alex, there is something else involved … a special knowledge that is missing in most of us, but has been revealed to the few.

    Now, as I said, you may have a Jesus but he is not the Jesus of the Bible … even as you assert in your statement above “I think I know who the true messiah is (in spirit) ”

    Jesus is not a spirit – he is fully human, just as when he walked the earth. My Jesus to this day has a belly button … yours does not.

  53. Alex says:

    MLD, you are more gnostic than I am…you describe the sacraments as Jesus literal flesh and blood without our human senses being able to perceive it like when Jesus supposedly turned water into wine.

    That is the very definition of a gnosis…and it is a MAJOR part of your professed belief system.

  54. Alex says:

    You are just too intellectually dishonest to admit your version and belief in the sacraments is a gnosis…or you are to unintelligent to know the difference.

  55. Michael says:

    These arguments are pointless and annoying.
    No one is going to be debated into another position.

    Time to move on…nothing positive ever comes from this.

  56. Alex – I don’t know where you get your information other than your body part you sit on.

    I have absolutely NO belief in the sacraments. How do you come up with this stuff?

    My belief is in the promise Jesus gives through the sacrament. Take it up with Jesus – oh wait, you can’t… he’s Casper the Ghost to you. 😉

  57. Alex says:

    “Time to move on…nothing positive ever comes from this.”

    Agreed, other than cementing my current belief system even more as it clarifies and highlights the cognitive dissonance of other positions.

  58. Em says:

    said i was done for the day, but i can’t resist… cuz i had a vision 😆

    when a nameless someone(s) arrive in heaven, they’ll be handed a towel and a basin of water… i know some fundy feet that i’ll gladly get down and wash

  59. Linda Pappas says:

    Alex,

    On your post:

    “God is Spirit, not the text on pages that has been written, rewritten, transcribed, retranscribed, edited, reedited, versioned, reversioned, “Canonized” a few different ways depending on your Sect etc etc.

    The text is not God, God is not the text. God’s Spirit is “alive”…and humans are unreliable vessels…therefore the text is unreliable in many cases.

    It’s like trying to make God an idol fashioned by human hands…you can do it…but it doesn’t mean the stone carved image that was hewn out of human hands that you ascribe attributes to in your particular image…is truly “God”.

    There are some things we can know innately about Good and Evil…and something real that transcends human nature and humanity and doctrine and theology (depending on what sect you ascribe to).

    Text as God will never be God no matter how much you worship that idol that was crafted by the hands of man.”

    These are my thoughts:

    1. You write that the text is not God is not the test, therefore it is unreliable.

    So, when you write a post, does that mean that what you are writing does not represent you?

    2. You also wrote that “There are some things we can know innately about Good and Evil…and something real that transcends human nature and humanity and doctrine and theology . . . .

    Since you acknowledge that there is something that is within us that innately know about Good and Evil and “something real” that transcends human nature and humanity–isn’t it possible, even plausible to believe that if this is so, why then is this something real not also able to speak to the minds and thoughts, and even directly of those who wrote the various books of the Bible?

    Now I do agree with you about the various theologies that have been authored and adopted or handed down. I also agree with the problem of the many translations that have changed hand throughout the established organized Christian sects.

    But to say that because a person stands upon the Bible is idol worship or the scriptures cannot possibly be God breathed, thus representing Himself to be known to humans, along with that is noted in Romans 1 and Hebrews Chapter One, is a gross error on your part. I understand that those attributes of God that we know by Scripture don’t measure up with the Jesus that you see in the New Testament. Yet, do you understand why it is that you, other than all the arguments you have presented thus far, what really is lying beneath the surface that makes it difficult to grab ahold and to understand that God has not changed from the Old to the New, but has only moved ahead in His plan.

    He still maintains all the many aspects of His character and attributes.

    God is Holy and in the Holiness, there dwells no evil, yet in His creation there is a mix of good, bad, and evil. How He works it altogether and for what purpose can only be understood by the Holy Spirit within us. If we maintain a skewed perspective, then what the Holy Spirit may be trying to show a person may not be possible as long as they refused to see and to hear what God has made known.

    Poor example, but I know you can related:

    As much as I love my husband and as much as I would want him to repent so that he doesn’t burn in hell, but also, so that many other things might happened, unless he is willing to believe that what he has done and is doing is not of God and will end badly for him, he will continue in his way viewing these things as if God didn’t really mean what he said.

    Another example:

    How many of us have written a letter to a child, a friend, or a loved one because we are concerned about the direction they are headed. Or, how many of us have tried to have that talk with them? Yet, they are quite good providing the pat answers they have formed within their minds that justify what they are doing and how harmless it is, and besides, blanket, blank, blank. Now they have managed to write your concerns off or through their reasoning have managed to pretty much make null and void of what you spoke to them. Yet, if you were to suddenly die, and no longer were there to speak to their conscience, who do you think they wish they could have around even when they felt that you being unfair, mean, and unloving.

    Last example:

    Alex, you have children and they see many different parts of you, but no part stands alone. Yet, some of those parts, you would not want them to know and some of those parts, they would prefer not to be a part of you. The reality is though, you are a sum of all these parts—right. Now some of those parts will change, if not extinguished as a result of seeing the consequences of the choices you have made due to certain beliefs, values, and worth you have placed upon people, places, and things.

    Even more so with God. With Him, though He loves your children, you, me and everyone more than the life of His son. So much so, that He used Him to make a way to spend eternity together with them if they would do as He has shared with us by the many different way He has revealed Himself through He so thoughtfully laid out in Scripture (old and new). And unlike us, He doesn’t change—He doesn’t need to change, because when we truly see Him as He is, we also see ourselves more clearly and come to the truth of realizing it is our hearts and our minds that needs to be changed instead.

  60. Hey Alex,
    You and I are not alone in being captivated by Jesus and what He was up to…

    http://tenthousandplaces.org/2015/04/01/bake-for-them-two/

    Have a very overflowing holiday

  61. Bob says:

    Alex

    Good morning, the first morning of the new week. Today many are attending and celebrating various things, from new life to colored eggs. But I noticed something in all your writings about messiah, you never state belief in a living, breathing, and bodily alive Jesus.

    So I ask this, ignoring all you cognitive stuff, did the historical Jesus rise from the dead and does He now live somewhere in what people call heaven? Please don’t go into the mystical, spiritual, or logical stuff simple let the readers know where you stand, does he live bodily today.

    Thank you.

  62. Bob,
    He won’t answer – he didn’t reply my identical statement at #53.
    “Jesus is not a spirit – he is fully human, just as when he walked the earth. My Jesus to this day has a belly button … yours does not.”

    My Jesus, the same Jesus revealed in the whole Bible is risen today.

  63. Erunner says:

    I was visited by 2 sweet JW women on Good Friday who were inviting the neighbors to their Good Friday service. As we talked I asked a few questions. The first being is Jesus God the Son, second person of the Trinity. It seemed like it took her 20 minutes to admit the Jesus I was describing had nothing to do with the Jesus she was trained to present in a very vague way. If sweetness and effort counted towards truth these women have it in spades. Sadly they have believed a lie even though they were inviting people to celebrate Jesus at their church that night. I prayed that God would reach through the darkness that is blinding them so they might see and respond to the light. We are a fortunate people that we belong to the true and living God.

  64. ? says:

    Erunner
    Amen. I will be praying with you. That the seeds you planted will fall on good soil.

  65. ? says:

    Alex

    My suggestion is to stay away from debates of man and spend time alone with
    God.
    You have debated here with man for years.
    How about spending time seeking the living God for answers?
    Praying God alone will give you the answers to your questions in a way no creation of his could.
    Today we celebrate the resurrection .
    Thanking Jesus for the new life we have in Him.

  66. Bob says:

    MLD:

    We may differ in many areas, but I believe we agree on this one thing about Jesus.

    My question to Alex and frankly anyone who calls themselves a “Christian” is not to belittle, but rather to define terms. It seems to me the term “Christian” is becoming more a concept and idea than a belief.

    I mentioned this young lady in a previous post and like Alex she had a lot of values, ideas and is very intelligent, but she would not place a stake in the ground about her faith. This woman did not like labels like “Christian” because they define standards of behavior which are unattainable. In the end of the discussion she basically admitted that to her such labels restrict behavior rather than enhance life. My final comment/question was this, “You mean calling yourself a Christian means you can’t have sex and shack up with anyone you want?”

    Her answer was yes.

    Sadly I believe many see Christianity in much the same way. Where or why does the church’s teaching fail to inspire a love for God and a walk in the ways of His creation?

    I have written it here before, I am a “Christian” because I accept the account this man Jesus was born, lived and died according to the scriptures. Most important, He rose alive, by the power of God, and is now Lord over all creation.

    Yes there’s more, but I believe that is “the” defining line and door one must walk through to be called a “Christian.”

    These comments are for ?

    Please answer these for your readers:

    How does one “live with God?”

    How does one celebrate a resurrection they don’t believe happened?

  67. Defining a Christian is easy and this method should be the only tool used by the Gallup organization when asking questions about Christians and Christianity.

    1.) “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”
    2.)“But who do you say that I am?”

    Christianity has nothing to do with who you bed.

  68. Bob says:

    MLD:

    Wow we agree!

    Asking the questions is easy.
    It’s the answering of your two questions which people find difficult.

  69. Alex says:

    ?, I don’t debate fellow humans for my benefit…I do it for yours….

    I have those times with “God”…and that is why I share.

  70. Alex says:

    While MLD states that the core issue is Jesus…his doctrine and theology do not allow him to keep it that simple or to consider that “Jesus” is very much a divine concept and the “logos of God”….which is God’s mind, God’s intellect, God’s reason…which we can get a glimpse of in communion with God as spirit and not as man-filtered text and man-crafted doctrine and theology and sect and denomination etc.

  71. ““logos of God”….which is God’s mind, God’s intellect, God’s reason…”

    That’s correct – I cannot consider or allow for that.

    But if you want to think that Good Friday consisted of “God’s mind, God’s intellect, God’s reason…” hanging on the cross, knock yourself out

  72. Scott says:

    Jesus is not a divine “concept”. He is the one true eternal God, the Alpha and Omega. Where do you come up with this language and symmetry, Alex?

  73. ? says:

    Bob

    Look over my comment.
    I didn’t say to “live” with God I said to seek the living God.

    I also made the comment about the resurrection for those who believe in it.
    It was a general comment for resurrection day.
    I guess because I prefaced the comment with “Alex” you thought it was for him?

    Anyway not to debate-
    I know what Alex does and does not believe and my attempt was to stop the back and forth arguing and to seek God alone for answers. What si the point with arguing what MLD does and does not believe and what “Fundies” believe and don’t believe? Are we one with God or with a religious system?

  74. Em says:

    “I don’t debate fellow humans for my benefit…I do it for yours….” well, Alex has that part right… almost everything he asserts springs from his own mind and is open for debate 🙂

  75. ?
    Our only contact with God and his revealed will and self description is tn the Bible … no where else.So if one party denies the scripture as God’s word, how do you have this conversation?

    Alex denies scripture is true in it’s entirety – he has boldly proclaimed that the Israelites made up the stories about God in conquering nations and has said that much of the NT is a misrepresentation.

    I don’t need to say who is right or wrong – and we both could be wrong, but unless Alex is just farting around with us here and he believes what he says, I can be one (and perhaps I am the only one) to say Alex and I do not have the same God – not even close. We had entirely different Jesus” hanging on the cross.

    This is not an area I mediate to keep the peace.

  76. Bob says:

    ?

    “I said to seek the living God.”

    I got that, and my question is relation to that. Many seek “God” but the difficulty is living with whom they find.

    “I guess because I prefaced the comment with “Alex” you thought it was for him?”
    Yep, that was my assumption.

    Comment for Alex:

    “his doctrine and theology do not allow him to keep it that simple or to consider that “Jesus” is very much a divine concept and the “logos of God”….which is God’s mind, God’s intellect, God’s reason…”

    I get that about MLD and refuse to engage with him because of such rabbit trailing.

    Now I assume you have answered my question about what you believe about Jesus. Your above statement says to me you do not believe He is presently physically alive and Lord over all creation. I also understand how you came up with your “logos” concept. My difficulty is this, all through the text it describes a living, breathing, dinner eating man who was dead and is now alive. Yes the Gospel of John text describes the “logos” and even says in the same chapter Jesus “explains” God. I also assume you understand the idea of pre-creation “logos” is a very ancient in Jewish tradition that preceeds the Gospel of John. The writer’s statement in the 1st chapter is merely repeating what the reader, assuming Jewish knowledge, already understood and using it to describe the advent of the physical person Jesus.

    But discussing this kind of stuff is beyond where I wanted to go. I simply asked you what you believe about Jesus; is He physically alive and Lord, right now? You answered it longer than I needed and a simple “no” would have sufficed.

    Thank you so much for responding. May God grant you good health and a profitable tomorrow.

  77. Alex says:

    MLD said, “Our only contact with God and his revealed will and self description is tn the Bible”

    Very telling of your skewed world view and belief system….and your own professed contradiction as you have stated many times that God has revealed himself in nature and that man is without excuse etc.

  78. Alex says:

    It must be tiring for you to hold such contradictory positions…or it’s not tiring, you just don’t care when you speak out of both sides of your mouth LOL

  79. Xenia says:

    “Our only contact with God and his revealed will and self description is tn the Bible”<<<

    I don't agree with this.

    The Scriptures are certainly the primary way God communicates with us, but not the only way.

  80. To Alex – learn the difference between general revelation and God’s revealed will.and we can talk.

    Nature tells you only 3 things about god
    1.) there is a god
    2.) he is powerful
    3.) he’s pissed

    His revealed will comes only in scripture.

  81. Xenia,
    When someone tells you “God told me X…” how would you ever question that without checking out scripture.”?

  82. Xenia says:

    If God told me to (for example) “Call up Alice because her child is in danger,” where do I go in the Bible to verify this?

    (This actually happened. Alice’s daughter was in danger, we found out.)

  83. The Bible tells us to care for one another – and the Bible tells us that the Holy Spirit will bring things to our remembrance. So you got a HS prompting to do what the scripture has already said.

  84. Xenia says:

    Oh alright, if that’s what you mean.

  85. But Alex is getting special messages from God that is telling him that the bible is wrong and that it is a man filtered hindrance, or whatever he called it.

    Let me check — here it is – “and not as man-filtered text ”

    I wish God had me on speed dial like he has Alex 🙂

  86. Alex says:

    “But Alex is getting special messages from God that is telling him that the bible is wrong and that it is a man filtered hindrance, or whatever he called it.”

    You believe Martin Luther got special messages from God regarding the “correct” interpretation of the bible and “sola scriptura” etc etc that was in violation of the Romans 13:1 passage about “All authority is given by God…” etc and his rebellion from the Roman Catholic Church Apostolic Authority…

    Plus a zillion other angles your sect claims is unique to you “from God”….

    …and that is my point 😉

  87. Alex says:

    MLD said, “His revealed will comes only in scripture.”

    No, that isn’t really true…and your own Sect demonstrates that by your particular ‘Correct Interpretation’ of what your Gurus and Martin Luther say the text actually says and means…which was largely the cause of Luther’s Rebellion against the established Church Authority of his day…

    Luther: “Well, God told me the bible REALLY says this and this and this! Follow me!”

  88. Alex says:

    …and of course, you and others in your Sect follow Luther who says he heard “special from God!” about what the bible really says…and so on and so forth.

    That is the fact of Religion and Christianity…

  89. Alex says:

    Every time you hear and affirm a particular Doctrine or Theology presented by a Guru or Teacher or Leader of your particular Sect that differs from other “Christian” Sects…you can very well be sure that you are in fact claiming that you “heard special from God!” that none of the other Sects have “heard” in their praying and reading the texts…

    You demonstrate exactly what you say others are doing…which again demonstrates your inconsistency and intellectual dishonesty…or your lack of reasoning ability or ability to keep your story straight…

  90. xenia says:

    I don’t believe God’s revealed will comes only from Scripture but it will agree with, or at least not contradict scripture.

  91. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    You will not find one place where Luther says “God spoke to me outside of the scriptures and said …”

    Luther’s claim is that it came right out of the scriptures. As an example when he read (not when God spoke to him outside of the scriptures) Romans and Habakkuk, and it said “the just shall live by faith” then he proceeded to fight the wrong of the Pope.

    Now Luther was smarter than you – read his stuff, he knew the difference … he, unlike you knew when it was the devil talking and unlike you, he never said that the scriptures were a hoax.

  92. Alex says:

    ““God spoke to me outside of the scriptures and said …””

    According to you a Lutheran…ask one of the other 9,000 to 30,000 different “Christian” sects what they think of some of Luther’s “Thus sayeth the Lord to me!” and they will tell you Luther didn’t hear God correctly on a number of things…

  93. Alex says:

    But, again, for you MLD, the goal isn’t to find “truth”…it is to apologize for and to promote and to defend and to attack for your particular Sect’s angle of “this is what God REALLY said in the bible! This is REALLY God’s revelation!” etc.

    You are the typical Dogmatist and typical Apologist which is why I don’t find you intellectually honest.

  94. Alex says:

    God told me Luther didn’t hear correctly on a lot of stuff…just a revelation for you 😉

  95. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Alex,
    I just play off your comments to see what you believe.
    The only difference between your view of God and Jesus and that of a Jehovah Witness is that the JW believes the Bible to be true.

    As I said, even the JW doesn’t claim the Bible is a hoax as you have,

  96. Alex says:

    No, that is intellectually dishonest as usual. You are becoming a caricature of your own self.

  97. Alex says:

    I am really beginning to believe that your major purpose here is really to troll people. I’ve seen you do it to many others on here besides myself.

    I don’t think that is a productive use of your time or anyone’s time on the blog.

    If you were sincere in wanting to hash out some issues that would be one thing, but your goal seems to be just to troll people and get a reaction out of them which is pretty much what you self-profess from time to time.

  98. Alex says:

    Even when I am in pretty regular disagreement with a group of others on here (while in agreement often with G and Brian and some others)…I don’t find any of the others as trolling..whereas when I spend time interacting with you…I am always left feeling like I was simply being trolled and used for your own personal amusement which is not very nobel or righteous or healthy.

  99. agree completely with you, Alex

  100. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    You can call it trolling all you want to deflect from bad theology – but If I am able, I will not put up with people calling the bible a hoax .. as you have.

    Bad theology is bad theology and must be addressed. The difference is you have scared off those who agree with my that scripture is truth … all of it.

  101. Xenia says:

    I don’t know if he’s scared people off as much as he has bored them to tears.

    But I respect those who make the attempt to defend Christianity.

  102. Alex says:

    “…as much as he has bored them to tears.”

    LOL

    I feel the same way when I read the same dogmatism over and over…and over…and over…and over, and over…and over etc.

    Just the nature of the beast I guess when you have a group of folks who have their minds made up.

    “But I respect those who make the attempt to defend Christianity.”

    I think you should edit that to: *defend Fundamentalist Christianity”…b/c Christianity is a big tent and I think the liberal end (theologically) is growing…while the Fundamentalist wing is losing ground.

  103. Alex says:

    For example, I believe G and Brian are as much “Christian” as anyone else on here who claims such…even though some on here don’t act much like Jesus…at least the good Jesus of the Beattitudes and the Gospels (mostly).

    I think that Christianity will continue to evolve and change as it has over the centuries…and I think the liberal end of the tent will continue to grow and gain more Consensus over time as the tedious discussions continue and as the old-guard dies off and the new guard is more open to Reason and Conscience and not so hung up on the “Text is God” position (that is really an ironic position since it is really “My Guru and Sect’s interpretation of the Text as God!”).

    I think like much has changed in the “definition of Marriage!” being one man and many women (Abraham, David, Jacob, Gideon, Solomon, etc etc etc) including sex slaves…that Morality changes depending on “Cultural Context” that even Fundamentalist apologists claim to explain away God’s supposed command and protection and endorsement of the practices of Slavery and Sex Slavery and Polygamy etc.

    The cognitive dissonance is its own undoing and the more educated populaces and Cultures become…the less Fundamentalist they become (in general)…this is very quantifiable and observable in the data.

  104. Alex says:

    The trick will be to get Islam to evolve like Christianity is evolving.

    That will take some work and many more generations because the Fundamentalists in Islam make the Christian Taliban look like Brian McLaren and Rob Bell LOL.

  105. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    At least you admit that there is more than one Jesus – that must come from a liberal part of the tent I am unfamiliar with. But as you often say, this is ‘Merica –

  106. Alex says:

    I think there is one Jesus…just many fallible human lenses to see him and/or the Jesus as divine concept through.

  107. Alex says:

    One Jesus…a gazillion fallible lenses.

    We truly see through a glass darkly…ironically according to the bible itself 🙂

  108. Xenia says:

    He is not a concept, He is a PERSON!

  109. Alex says:

    I think he is a person and a concept.

    Love is a concept. Good is a concept.

  110. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    You said the good Jesus – which would lead one to think you also believe in an evil Jesus or a bad Jesus or at least a less that good Jesus.

    Time for me to get out of your endless loop.

  111. Alex says:

    No, I believe in a the Good Jesus, I simply observe the particular varying different Sects version of their *Jesus that they view through their particular cloudy lens and ascribe to their version of Jesus things like Slavery and Sex Slavery and slaughtering infants and children in Jesus-name etc.

  112. Alex says:

    MLD, do you believe Jesus gave the command to slaughter the Amalekite women, children and babies?

  113. Alex says:

    …this is where you start doing quite a dance LOL

  114. Alex says:

    Can you please answer that question?

  115. Alex says:

    Who was “the Lord” in the Old Testament giving out all those commands and laws?

  116. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I will make it simple
    1.) he was not Jesus in the OT – but he was and will remain the Son.
    2.) yes
    3.) If it was actually the Father who gave the “command” – then Jesus was not opposed, and at the same time fully supportive.
    4.) I find no conflict here

    But you have asked this before if the is my Jesus and every single time, without blush I say yes — so what is your motive in the continual asking of the already answered question. Have I even once equivocated on this? Jesus of the NT is the same as himself in the OT.

    Now, where you dance is you say the OT is a HOAX that was written solely by the Israelites to justify their warfare.

  117. Alex says:

    Tough one I know. I could never really defend/apologize around those inconvenient truths.

    When I made my goal intellectual honesty instead of trying to defend around a particular Dogma or particular Sects Apologetic…I had to accept the fact that there is no good answer to those questions above.

    This changed my thinking about Jesus and Religion in general.

  118. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I do believe that all manifestations of God in the OT were Jesus.
    Jesus spoke from the burning bush etc.

  119. Alex says:

    “he was not Jesus in the OT – but he was and will remain the Son.”

    Very big no-no.

    So you are saying Jesus was not Jesus in the OT…he “changed”? He wasn’t, then he was?

    Can you flesh that statement out for me above? It doesn’t sound “orthodox” to me…

  120. Alex says:

    OK, so you are stating that you believe Jesus did in essence give the command to the Israelites to slaughter the women, children and infants, correct?

  121. Alex says:

    Did Jesus also give the command in the levitical law that allowed for the Israelites to own and possess and to bequeath slaves as personal property to their heirs as it states is OK to do via law in the OT?

  122. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    You are blind – what else can I say
    I said, he is and was the Son all through – he got a body and a name at a point in time.

  123. Em says:

    “For example, I believe G and Brian are as much “Christian” as anyone else on here who claims such…”

    i hope that you are not implying that the rest of us here do not “believe” that these 2 men are 😯

    BTW if, by Christian you mean redeemed souls, there are no degrees – it’s an either or thing – lost or saved

    our walk and understanding are quantitative and, perhaps, qualitative, but redemption is an absolute – you cannot be somewhat saved…
    without going into the concept of eternal security, i guess it always needs to be said – by God’s mercy as long as there is breath, there is the opportunity to reconcile to the Creator

  124. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    “OK, so you are stating that you believe Jesus did in essence give the command to the Israelites to slaughter the women, children and infants, correct?”

    Save yourself the typing of asking the repetitive questions. – yes I believe Jesus is God and did all the God stuff attributed to God in both testaments. You don’t – you are a Christ denier.

  125. Alex says:

    “I said, he is and was the Son all through – he got a body and a name at a point in time.”

    That’s fine, I thought you were trying to say Jesus wasn’t really “the Lord” in the OT..but you clarified that Jesus either gave those commands or was the God-head who gave the commands essentially giving those commands.

    You do believe Jesus commanded those things, yes? Slavery, slaughtering women, children and infants who were unarmed and not a threat, sex slavery (law given that you could physically take a good looking woman from your conquered enemies and make her a sex slave) etc, correct?

  126. Alex says:

    That is the true “Jesus” you personally profess…correct?

    If so, then I think you are wrong…and I think that is a result of your making the bible something it was not intended to be.

  127. Alex says:

    Unfortunately, that is the “Jesus” of fundamentalism that fundamentalists like to hide from their neophytes.

    If the Fundamentalists really preached on the Old Testament and were honest about how their version of “Jesus” really did those things and commanded those things…they would lose a lot of support and followers.

    The Fundamentalists try to hide that “Jesus” and put some sort of spin on it as “well that was the culture of the time” and try to dodge those hard issues…essentially lying about it.

  128. Em,

    ““For example, I believe G and Brian are as much “Christian” as anyone else on here who claims such…”

    i hope that you are not implying that the rest of us here do not “believe” that these 2 men are 😯 ”

    Em, thanks for the affirmation toward Alex & me.
    I can assure you Dread, Xenia and MLD believe that I am not.

    Alex, I so appreciate your engagement of MLD. I’ve grown weary of his trolling and am thankful you are pointing out his game. I no longer am willing to make time for him and my deadlines allow for only an occasional visit here. Wishing you continued time and patience to ask the tough questions and put up with the “stuff”.

    ( |o )====:::

  129. Em says:

    the O.T. laws and instructions to the Jews, if you consider them honestly without judgmental, knee jerk feigned horror, enabled the Jew to function as unique – it both isolated him in its demands and enabled him to function with integrity in the world of that day – God wasn’t reforming the world through the Jew and, yes, there is reason to see the Son as the One Who gave the direction – in various forms
    and it is the same Son Who entered into the restrictions – for Him – of human flesh some 2,000 years back – IMV, of course…

  130. Alex says:

    Thanks G. Hang in there. The blog stuff is nothing compared to real life. I do appreciate the ability to have open and honest discussions about these issues even though there are two Camps that largely disagree.

    “put up with the ‘stuff'” is a good way to put it 🙂

    I’ve had to put up with a lot of “stuff” in my life 🙂

    I appreciate you and Brian. It is a needed perspective to balance out the range of “Christianity” IMO.

  131. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    “If so, then I think you are wrong…and I think that is a result of your making the bible something it was not intended to be.”

    You are 100% correct. I am acknowledging the Bible as the true word of God and you are only allowing it to be made up stories of man … like the Greeks did with Zeus and you think this was it’s intention.

  132. Em,
    “God wasn’t reforming the world through the Jew ”

    God chose His people to be a blessing to the world, “reforming the world” as you put it, bring His imprint on humanity through their civilizing the nations they were part of.

    That work is ongoing today

  133. Em says:

    what is to be gained by arguing that the O.T. is a historic record and suspect? … this i don’t get…

  134. Em says:

    G, hmmm … reforming or calling people out of the world system … i guess it depends on whether you are committed to evolution or entropy…

    praying that the drought down south is just a cycle and not a “sign” 🙂

    i’m sitting on a piece of land that has a 32 gpm well and land up here is selling like hot cakes, so some folks must be migrating?

    sometimes my ponder wanders

  135. Em,
    God called His People to be distinct, known by being His, and he gave them an immediate mission, to impact the world by their ethical treatment of strangers, respect.

    Yes, I’m committed to evolution, improvement, reformation, and the ongoing expression of God’s kingdom on the Earth.

    Unfettered growth in California has finally impacted infrastructure, coupled with investing in stupid bullet trains instead of saltwater desalinization. It’s a sign that people need to do smart stuff, sooner than later.

  136. Xenia says:

    I reserve judgment about who is and who is not a Christian up to God.

  137. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    “I reserve judgment about who is and who is not a Christian up to God.”

    I do too – but I do take people at their word.

  138. I do too – but I do take people at their actions and attitudes

  139. Xenia says:

    Ah, then you are not following the Gospel attitude that we do not judge.

    You are judging.

  140. Em says:

    “but I do take people at their actions and attitudes” … IMX it is very rare to find a person who does not do this – the terminally prejudiced excepted – trouble is, as Xenia observes, you then have to judge them by what you see – sometimes fear is masked by belligerence etc…

    now, that said, if someone turns up spitting, snarling and waving a gun, saying loudly, “I have a gun and I’m not afraid to use it,” i, too, am going to judge them … by their attitude and actions

  141. “I do take people at their actions and attitudes”
    Not following the Gospel?

    “…if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well”
    action

    “If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles”
    action

    “…love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you”
    action & attitude

  142. In my CC days we used to call that person a “sin sniffer”

    Mu point was if someone says that the Bible is a hoax, that Jesus is only a “concept”, that there is a good Jesus and an bad Jesus, well, what the heck I believe that is what they think.

  143. Michael says:

    I’ve been swamped all day, but it’s time to break from this.

    In this case I do not believe that MLD is “trolling”

    He’s responding to defend the position on the Bible that has been held by the historic, orthodox church for centuries.

    It is also my position on the Scriptures and that of the vast majority of my readers.

    I’m willing to fellowship with those outside this camp, but these debates are always going to end in the same place and won’t be resolved without animosity.

    Thus, move on to other things to beat each other up over. 🙂

  144. OK, but one last thing. If a Oneness Pentecostal, a JW or a Mormon, Scientologist was saying these same things, I think everyone would have no problem saying what I am saying – These statements are 100% wrong and outside the bounds, not just of orthodox Christianity, but all Christianity – if for no other reason by definition.

    For some reason because they come from within this PP community, well… handle with care. OK, done 😉

  145. Michael, hopefully you are swamped by the business doing well?

  146. Michael says:

    MLD,

    I wish…
    Been busy with Mom, Trey, and a tragic situation outside the family that I was asked to help with.

  147. Michael,
    You are the guy I describe in my #16 on the Things I Think thread – you need to come to my church and fall asleep … you need rest.

  148. Alex says:

    MLD said, “Mu point was if someone says that the Bible is a hoax, that Jesus is only a “concept”, that there is a good Jesus and an bad Jesus, well, what the heck I believe that is what they think.”

    No, Straw Man and intellectually dishonest as usual.

    1. I don’t think the bible is a “hoax”…I think it is a book full of writings about God and the Israelites and I think it documented some historical facts. I do not believe the bible is “God” as you do.

    2. I believe there is enough evidence that Jesus was likely a literal historical figure and I believe there is a divine concept of Good and Love expressed in some of the words and actions attributed to Jesus in the bible. I don’t believe that Jesus ordered the slaughter of children and babies as you believe.

    I also don’t think Jesus condoned and authorized human slavery and human sex-slavery…but you are free to believe in that Jesus.

  149. Alex says:

    MLD, the liberal theologian will generally accept truth outside of the bible while the fundamentalist is forced to make everything fit carefully within the bible.

    That is how you end up with goofy caricatures like Ken Ham and other science-deniers who still believe that a Schizophrenic is “demon-possessed” and should stop taking his meds and just “pray hard and have faith”…only to end in tragedy for two families.

    Fundamentalism in religion can be a dangerous thing. Your fundamentalist mindset can lead to very destructive things in society…and has.

  150. Alex says:

    Fundamentalist mindset actually promotes and endorses the continuation of:

    Child abuse, spousal abuse, spiritual abuse, anti-science that results in keeping patients with real mental illness off of their meds, anti-science that results in people keeping their children from getting medical procedures, anti-science that leads to goofy ideas like dinosaur eggs being on Noah’s ark, etc.

    Fortunately, the Christian Fundamentalists have come a long way and aren’t as barbaric as the Taliban and ISIS….Christians no longer burn people at the stake and no longer cut off people’s heads for moral disagreements…but it would be great if today’s Fundamentalists would be more intellectually honest and continue to work toward evolving in the other areas mentioned above as well.

  151. Michael says:

    It has also led to the creation of more colleges, universities, hospitals, and places of human aid than any institution on the history of the planet.

    It’s not faith in the word of God that’s the problem, it’s people who want to control others with it that’s problematic.

    I’m a “fundamentalist” when it comes to the authority of Scripture and have no use for much of the same crew you cite.

    Now, as I asked, lets move on.

  152. Alex says:

    “It has also led to the creation of more colleges, universities, hospitals, and places of human aid than any institution on the history of the planet.”

    Those are largely the Liberals in the Christian Tent 🙂

    Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Stanford, etc etc etc…the best hospitals…most from the Liberal end of the tent 🙂

    Roman Catholicism is largely liberal now…and very much responsible for a ton of the hospitals as well.

    The Fundamentalists can’t really claim much in science and medicine because they don’t believe in science and medicine (in general).

    I’ll move on now.

  153. Michael says:

    Alex, when those institutions were founded, they were anything but liberal.
    Princeton was the new Geneva of Calvinism.

    They have slid into liberalism, but they were founded by rock solid believers.

  154. Alex says:

    Michael, Calvin was the liberal of his day.

    It’s the evolution of theology and Christianity.

    At one time Calvin thought it OK to burn people at the stake….Christianity has thankfully evolved to more liberal than him…and it will continue to evolve.

  155. Bob says:

    Alex:

    You have probably read my exchanges with MLD and I will not engage in any sort of intelligent exchange with the man. Because he always resorts to hyperbole, innuendo and other methods which basically are designed to demean the person and their position. However, with that being written I must disagree with you in this statement, “I do not believe the bible is “God” as you do.”

    What I don’t read in MLD’s posts are an elevation of the Bible to the position of God. I believe he has made it quite clear he holds the bible as the text which describes God and His fundamental working with creation.

    One of the problems for those of us outside of the Missouri Synod Lutheran belief system is understanding MLD and how totally he is committed to it. We read it over and over again in his writings about the contrasts between the OT and the NT, known to him as “the Law and the Gospel.” The “Law and Gospel” is preached in almost every sermon and is at the heart of every catechism class the Lutherans teach. Think of it in the same way that CC has made their version of eschatology an essential doctrine or understanding of the text.

    He will not be moved so why attempt to debate with him.

    You have also made it quite clear about your opinion on who Jesus is and your position on the quality and reliability of the bible text and those views are in opposition to MLD’s and probably most who write on this blog. Does that make you wrong and the others right?

    I always state Christianity starts when one takes the step through the door and accepts the idea (not concept) that Jesus is not only historical, but is physically alive and raised from the dead by God. Of course you are free, as I am, to come to your own conclusions.

  156. Alex says:

    Calvin was a product of the philosophical consensus of his day.

    The Enlightenment and the founding fathers and those who started the major educational institutions and major hospitals and major science departments were the products of the philosophical consensus of their day.

    Things change, things evolve…except in Islam for some reason.

  157. Alex says:

    Bob, I agree about MLD.

    I also agree that Jesus is likely a literal historical figure who walked the planet and breathed our air etc. I also think it is entirely possible he is “alive” in another dimension we cannot see and is in fact “God” in whatever form…we cannot see or understand in this current skin and flesh and bones.

  158. Michael says:

    Calvin would not have been considered a liberal, the Anabaptists would have been the liberal side of the church.

  159. Alex says:

    Bob, I think that much of “Jesus” has become a concept created by fundamentalist bible “interpretation”….and as the true belief of anyone is their actions and their priorities and their behaviors as expressions of their true beliefs….often Fundamentalist example a belief in a “Jesus” that is not really Good or Love…but more the Jesus they believe is the OT Jesus that slaughtered the enemy…right down to the women, children and babies.

    That is the “Jesus” most Fundamentalists seem to worship.

  160. Alex says:

    I do see hope, however, even in Fundamentalist circles.

    I think Michael is a great example of a bible fundamentalist who is not like other bible fundamentalists (in a good way). Guys like Stupar and Rolph and many others preach the Jesus of Goodness and Love and don’t preach the Jesus that slaughtered the babies and made slaves and sex slaves of people.

    I’ll end on that positive note. Michael, you are a good example IMO, keep up the good work.

  161. Bob,
    FYI
    The proper distinction between law and gospel has nothing to do with OT vs NT
    The law and the gospel are clearly and properly stated in each testament. The issue is, do people make the distinction.
    Example “Love your neighbor” law or gospel?

    Gotta run

  162. Bob says:

    MLD

    You always have a come back!

    To many the OT is the “Law” and the NT is the “Gospel.”

    Yes I know that’s not what you mean, but thanks for clarifying for our readers and affirming my writings about your commitment to Missouri Synod Lutheran understanding and doctrines.

    Enjoy your day.

  163. Michael says:

    Bob,

    I’m missing something here.
    What’s wrong with being an LCMS Lutheran?

  164. Bob says:

    Alex:

    To me what has been lost in general Christianity is this, salvation has been degraded to the simple ability to escape hell and go to heaven when one dies. Sadly that is not the historic message of the church, Jewish roots or the basic text.

    By the time of the Second Temple period in which Jesus lived, died and resurrected in, the issue was restoration. The Kingdom of God was seen as a restoration of the earth and humanity through God and the Messiah. Resurrected bodies of those who followed God is a substantial part of that understanding and was held by the church (and might still be in some circles) as an essential belief. In the NT Jesus’ bodily resurrection is often described as the first one. I am sure you have read all that before.

    Personally I not looking forward to heaven, that’s the place of God, I’m looking forward to the restoration, the new heaven and earth, and the associated peace it brings in contrast to the chaos we live in today. To me that is the “hope” spoken of and the anticipation of His return. Sadly, as in the day of Jesus, zealots often want to bring destruction, death and chaos in their attempt to hasten the return of their “messiah.”

    Will it happen? I think so, and I believe I can do my part to bring a little “slice” of that to my bubble today.

  165. Michael says:

    Bob,

    Lost?
    I don’t think so.
    Your @165 reads like the introduction to every book N.T. Wright has written.

  166. Bob says:

    Michael:

    “What’s wrong with being an LCMS Lutheran?”

    I find many LCMS, including MLD, to be very exclusive, to the point where if you do not agree with their forms of sacrament, baptism, and understanding of the text, you are not “in fellowship.” Those last words are BIG in their meaning. To not be in “fellowship” with them is a nice way of saying “you are in error and questionable in your fellowship with Jesus.” I think you understand the depth of that idea.

    That kind of dogma I find reprehensible and refuse to participate with it, even where I agree with them.

  167. Alex says:

    Bob, your version seems much more in line with the Good and Loving Jesus of the New Testament as opposed to the warrior Jesus of the OT and Revelation of many Fundamentalists.

    It would seem to me that if Jesus comes back a second time…it won’t be in the manner expected by most of the Fundamentalists…he won’t be slaughtering with a “sword from his mouth”…more likely he will be killing folks with Kindness, Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Goodness etc a.k.a the Fruits of the Spirit and that whatever John of Patmos was smoking that elucidated those barbaric metaphors is not what many think.

    I imagine Jesus would come back much in the manner he came…helping folks and healing folks and deconstructing the Religious Establishment.

  168. Bob says:

    MIchael:

    “Lost?
    I don’t think so.”

    I don’t think I wrote “lost to all” I said in general.

    Ask around and the question is often and or almost always, “What will it take to get to heaven?” People want to know what will happen after they die, not what will happen if they love and walk with God. They talk about the Kingdom of God as the future event when they die. “Just believe in Jesus so you can go to heaven” is the mantra I hear over and over again.

    The message is dumbed down to the shortest tweet, coolest sound byte or whatever the modern culture wants it to be.

    But, I’m glad you hold to it.

  169. Michael says:

    I love the LCMS.

    They know what they believe and why they believe it, they put a lot of emphasis on education and they have clear and well elucidated doctrinal positions.

    Every group thinks the other is in some form of error…you think MLD is in error.

    I applaud them for holding to a historic, Reformationally based faith.

  170. Michael says:

    The two groups that have gleaned the most converts from the PHXP?

    The LCMS and the Eastern Orthodox.

  171. Steve Wright says:

    a nice way of saying “you are in error and questionable in your fellowship with Jesus.”
    —————————————————————
    Bob, if there is one thing MLD does not do is question the salvation of the other Christians on this board. So if he is LCMS to the core, and you claim this is what LCMS to the core means, then your thesis is broken.

    Of course he thinks others are “in error” as does everyone here when it comes to their specific views on issues like you mentioned (i.e. sacrament, baptism, interpretation of the text) – but that is a far cry from challenging their salvation.

    Now, as for Alex, if, forgetting about OT connections, if his affirmation of Jesus only gets to the point of saying (quote)

    ” I believe there is enough evidence that Jesus was likely a literal historical figure and I believe there is a divine concept of Good and Love expressed in some of the words and actions attributed to Jesus in the bible.”

    – then that obviously is troubling to any church of any denomination, including wherever you worship. Hopefully he truly does not stop there, and this is all blog stuff…

  172. Alex says:

    The LCMS and EO are much better examples than most Fundamentalists IMO. They have checks and balances and they aren’t psycho like Christian Fundamentalist cults.

    In fact, EO is pretty liberal in many regards and doesn’t believe the bible is God and doesn’t believe the bible is God’s only revealed word to mankind.

  173. Em says:

    one of my uncles – a Roman Catholic,born, bred and committed – and, likewise a Texan after the manner of old J.R. of TV days… told me, when i left school to go out into the workforce, “Em, the first thing to remember always is that people are no d*mn good.” i think of that advice every time i try to read Alex or the G’man… God isn’t going to be able to *reform* – or kill with kindness – the population of planet earth… we even killed Christ and it wasn’t because we missed the message – we got it and we didn’t like it
    BTW – my uncle was very charismatic, a business exec and people loved him
    just sayin

  174. Bob says:

    Alex:

    “as opposed to the warrior Jesus of the OT and Revelation of many Fundamentalists.”

    I will be honest with you, I find a “hesed” loving God throughout the OT also.

    I also find some really evil acting men, who are of the “faith” in the OT. Which, after struggling with how or why God allowed such men and actions, I conclude shows the very patience, care and tolerance of the God of creation, King of the Universe.

    Yes his loving kindness is over and over again shown by His tolerance of the middle finger so often given to Him.

    But we’re headed down a trail this blog, and the media form will not help us exchange our ideas well.

  175. Alex says:

    I follow some EO personalities and their priests are very enlightened men from the examples I’ve seen.

    Very different from a Fundamentalist bible-thumping hypocrite pastor stereotype.

    Lutheran pastors seem a lot better, too. The emphasis isn’t on them and their celebrity or their “authority” or their special anointed-ness etc.

    Just b/c MLD is an a-hole doesn’t mean all the Lutherans are bad 🙂

  176. Alex says:

    Bob, I have Jewish friends who believe similar as you do regarding the OT.

    Loving God…that allowed his kids to be rebellious and imperfect and still suffered them and loved them despite their imperfections.

    Though some of my Jewish friends do really believe that God does act that way toward his enemies.

    In fact, my conservative fundamentalist Jewish friends and their “God” is very much the same as the angry and partisan “God” of my Fundamentalist bible-thumping friends where Jesus only “loves” those who are “correctly saved”…and he “hates” everyone else and will torture them and slaughter them etc…unless you believe exactly what they tell you to believe about the bible as “God” according to their particular interpretation.

  177. Michael says:

    I love Lutherans…even though they don’t love us Calvinists back very often. 🙂

  178. Alex says:

    That is why I say it is important to understand the Concepts of Good and Evil…Right and Wrong…and the Concept of Love.

    Jesus as the expression of those Divine Concepts can clear a lot of things up for folks…as opposed to fixing so much attention and emphasis on jot and tittle of “correct doctrine” depending on which of the 9,000 to 30,000 different Christian Sects you affiliate to…

  179. ( |o )====::: says:

    ““Em, the first thing to remember always is that people are no d*mn good.” i think of that advice every time i try to read Alex or the G’man”

    Em,
    My parents raised me with quite the opposite view, that people are good, will generally come through, and my place in this world is to be respectful and supportive until an individual screws me over, then deal with that single individual with caution, taking into account that they have a whole life story I just don’t know about.

    And that’s how I’ve taught my family about compassion.

    And if a twit human like me can give everyone the benefit of the doubt and deal on case by case basis, well, perhaps God has that ability too.

    Just sayin’…

  180. Alex says:

    “I love Lutherans…even though they don’t love us Calvinists back very often”

    LOL and isn’t that ironic?

    Lutherans and Calvinists are like brothers from the Reformation…and so close on so many issues…but again, doctrinal jot and tittle and nuance as to what the bible “really says and means!” can keep you guys from closer fellowship…

  181. Bob says:

    Steve:

    “So if he is LCMS to the core, and you claim this is what LCMS to the core means, then your thesis is broken.”

    Your post demonstrates the problem with this media. I did not say they, the LCMS, would question my salvation. They would question my “fellowship” and therefore my relationship with God. They make it quite clear salvation is between the individual and God, not their church and the individual.

    You are in error about calling me in error. So let me clarify one more thing, I spent about 10 years with the LCMS through their school system and relations I had through relatives. I am intimately aware of their doctrines and theology. In most cases I find all my LCMS acquaintances over the years enjoyable people and had little issues with them, that is until I read MLD.

    Maybe you don’t get the idea of being out of “fellowship” or maybe you do, but don’t call me in error. Again this media of here is a poor place to exchange such depth of discussion. Michale asked what I felt and I spelled it out for all to read.

  182. Alex says:

    Steve said, “Bob, if there is one thing MLD does not do is question the salvation of the other Christians on this board”

    No that is either dishonest or it is something you’ve missed.

    MLD does it often, he just couches it in terms that are passive aggressive and not straightforward…doesn’t mean he doesn’t in fact do it.

  183. Alex says:

    MLD repeats this canard over and over as his questioning the salvation of others…something to this effect:

    “Well, I just take them at their word!” (implication being that they are not truly saved like he is)

  184. Bob says:

    Alex:

    per 177

    I find the same.

    “Fundamentalism” is not limited to one belief system over another.

    In Jesus day the radical people ranged from Zealots who used violence to the Essenes who withdrew from their culture to achieve their eschatological goals.

    Today there are Orthodox Jews, to various degrees, who believe if they can keep the instructions of God to perfection the Messiah will come. BTW this is different than the Christian’s idea of salvation.

  185. Michael says:

    This always loving Jesus is a character I find nowhere in Scripture.

    When I get some time I think I’ll go through maybe the Gospel of John and point out clearly where He told people to get off, healed selectively, and prayed for His own while excluding others.

    If He’s not coming back to settle all accounts some day then He’s not a God worthy of worship…because love is hate without justice and righteousness.

  186. Steve Wright says:

    They would question my “fellowship” and therefore my relationship with God
    —————————————————————–
    A distinction without a difference as I understand the Bible’s explanation of relationship with God (now) as being one of His children….something the lost do not enjoy.

    Fellowship speaks to our walk…relationship, our salvation.

    So I guess I do not know what you are condemning there among the Lutherans, that would be somehow unique to them and not other denominations that disagree on such things.

    However, to address a different point, your claim about what is “lost” in Christian circles today is not only countered by NT Wright in his books (as Michael noted) but countered by me in just about every message I preach…including last Easter where I emphasized specifically the power of the resurrection life in the here and now, in the Spirit, over the issue of power over the grave where we all eventually go. Victory over death though is not to be dismissed as something trivial or secondary….but life in Christ in the here and now is a major focus of all my preaching…as you can hear for yourself online anytime you desire.

    And I really doubt I am somehow unique out there….thus the problem when you make sweeping claims about Christianity in America. How much exposure can one person really have? It would take a year, minimum, to begin to grasp the theology and philosophy of most ministry leaders (maybe 6 months if one really dedicated themselves to the task) – and so even committing 20 years of your life to such a task would give you a handle on 20 men??? Hardly sufficient when speaking of all of Christendom here in the USA.

  187. Michael says:

    In Bob’s defense it wouldn’t take a year to grasp the theology of most Calvary Chapel pastors or their Baptist kin.

    Closer to about 20 minutes.

    I think Wrights writings on eschatology are going to transform many parts of the church…the old Left Behind crap is going to be and is being seen for what it is.

  188. Josh The Baptist says:

    I’ve read this thread and kept myself from commenting. I was just going to pipe in and commend Michael’s 186.

    Before I could I read the gut-punch in 188.

    Way to love the brethren.

    I’m out.

  189. Michael says:

    Josh,

    How the hell is that “unloving”?

    Rank and file Baptistic theology is well established and relatively simple to understand.
    The only complexity comes in the division between Arminians and Calvinists in the family.

    Every group has distinctions that are easily recognized and oft repeated.

    That’s neither loving or unloving, it’s fact.

  190. Lutheran says:

    Just stopping back to say hi and to comment on the last several comments about the LCMS.

    Bob is correct that LCMSers have some distinctives that they strongly adhere to.

    So do all groups, though. Try taking the Eucharist at a Roman Catholic church if you’re not a Catholic. Ain’t gonna happen, ’cause they also teach closed communion. Try telling a CC pastor that baptism is effacious to salvation and see how long you last — and how often you’re told (if not in person, behind your back) that your salvation is in question (well, some, certainly not all CCs).

    But Bob, you’ve got it wrong WRT our questioning other Christians’s relationship to God if they’re not LCMS. We just don’t do that. There are a couple of more conservative-than-LCMS Lutheran bodies that might, however.

    And I should know — I spent 25+ years in various forms of evangelicalism. In my experience, you were much more likely to find that judgmentalism among fundagelical churches. Plus, I could never participate in a church that taught it was the only way to God. Yecch.

  191. Josh The Baptist says:

    So where do you place yourself in that chain? Below baptists? Bob could understand your theology in 10 minutes?

    It was another arrogant swipe against good brothers in the faith. Brothers you could learn from if you weren’t so busy looking down your nose at them.

  192. Lutheran says:

    Also, to Michael’s point about Lutherans and Calvinists —

    I just don’t share a lot of LCMSers’s views that tries to always find all the picyune differences between Calvinists and Lutherans. We have so much in common, especially when you compare both groups to later “evangelicals.”

    So, Michael, I’m sendin’ the love back to ya. 🙂

  193. Michael says:

    Josh,

    Be offended if you choose.
    It wasn’t a swipe, it was a recognition of long held distinctions that are noted by every church historian and observer.

    I don’t belong to any denomination so Bob and I would have to have a longer conversation.

  194. Michael says:

    Thanks, Lutheran!

  195. Josh The Baptist says:

    “In Bob’s defense it wouldn’t take a year to grasp the theology of most Calvary Chapel pastors or their Baptist kin.

    Closer to about 20 minutes.”

    That wasn’t a swipe? Among the hundreds of others you regularly send out?

    Come on. At least be honest.

  196. Josh The Baptist says:

    “I don’t belong to any denomination”

    Which makes your high horse all the more odd.

  197. Michael says:

    Josh,

    When I want to take a shot, I take a shot and do so purposefully.

    I have no problem owning them, because I wrote them and wanted to.

  198. Josh The Baptist says:

    You know squat about Baptist theology.

  199. Michael says:

    Josh,

    I get that you’re angry and feel the need to insult me.

    I don’t belong to any group because I don’t think any group has the corner on truth…though I do think some groups have a better grip than others.

  200. Josh The Baptist says:

    No insult.

    You know very little about Baptist theology, yet you degrade millions of brothers daily by implying that we are the source of all that ills Christianity.

    It is tiring.

  201. Michael says:

    Josh,

    You’re right.
    I know nothing and have never read any Baptists and purposefully didn’t study the portions of church history that referenced them.

    I chose the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith for our church out of a hat.

  202. Steve Wright says:

    First, I said theology AND philosophy of ministry.

    Second, forgetting all the behind the scenes family drama, all the charges of hypocrisy or favoritism anyone wants to shout out…

    The simple reality is that for almost seven years I have many times corrected people who said Chuck Smith taught something in theology or philosophy of ministry that in fact he did not teach. They were wrong in what they claimed.

    I was right, and knew what I was talking about, because I spent eight years there and also listened to hundreds and hundreds of hours of messages besides the ones I heard live.

    In fact, since my seminary was very “Dallas-lite” and thus my three years there involved a steady saturation of Charles Ryrie, I recall vividly one evening defending Ryrie from false claims about his theology…doing so by tediously typing out line after line from his own books…which I was able to easily find, because, again, I had studied the man’s teachings in depth.

    There is a reason I refrain from sweeping statements about other denominations, church history, and Christendom as a whole…

    It would take me probably a year of one hour messages to do an entire systematic theology and philosophy of ministry….at least

  203. Josh The Baptist says:

    Okay then. So in the insult you tossed about Baptists and CC’s (who I know nothing about), you said it would only take 20 minutes to learn our theology. That was clearly derogetary whether you now admit it or not.

    So, you borrowed the 1689 Confession – Can that even be read in 20 minutes, much less fully understood?

  204. Michael says:

    “You know very little about Baptist theology, yet you degrade millions of brothers daily by implying that we are the source of all that ills Christianity.”

    That is charitably an exaggeration and in reality a complete untruth.

    I’ve written very little about Baptists and have never come close to anything resembling that statement.

    That is not going to fly.

  205. Josh The Baptist says:

    A few days ago you made a point to say that Baptists and CC’s were the force behind all the anti-intellectualism in Evangelicalism.

    Do I have to go back and look it up?

  206. Em says:

    G, “…My parents raised me with quite the opposite view, that people are good, will generally come through, and my place in this world is to be respectful and supportive until an individual screws me over, then deal with that single individual with caution, taking into account that they have a whole life story I just don’t know about.”

    i was similarly raised by the most compassionate, non-condemning, grace-filled pair of fundamentalist Christian grandparents – even, tho, my grandfather was a major player in the holiness movement of his day, which raised the performance bar for the ‘born-again ones’ artificially high, perhaps… and is probably the reason my uncle thot his young, female niece needed a heads-up

    that said, a lot of what we’d like to think is character progress in the human race is simply a more civilized standard of behavior for pragmatic reasons – ISIS is demented and, not what i’d describe as fundamentalist of any religion at all… the tolerance of them (lip service condemnation is a facade) by the civilized world is evil and proves that the human race tends to a standard of what works toward “my prosperity and my peace.”

    just sayin – not preachin

  207. Josh The Baptist says:

    Steve – you were at Costa Mesa for 8 years?!?!

    Why in the world would anyone need to stay longer than 20 minutes?

  208. Michael says:

    Josh,

    I’m simply repeating what has been said by every church historian of the 20th century.

    Do I say that every day?
    Would I grant that there are exceptions to the rule?
    Read the history of the anti intellectual movements of the late 19th and 20th century and get back to me.

    It’s so bizarre that Calvinists and Lutherans have to continually acknowledge the history of our traditions, but every other group is supposed to get a free pass.

  209. Josh The Baptist says:

    How many universities and colleges and hospitals were founded by Baptists? Hint: It’s more than you can begin to list here.

    I would put the big 4 SBC Seminaries up against every other seminary in the world. They are simply world class institutions.

    Your church has founded how many colleges? Hospitals? Well, I’m sure your seminaries are world class.

  210. Em says:

    #197 – I’ve never seen Michael get on a “high horse”

    we all need to hear what leads us deeper into the Faith from all corners… but, one of the things i like about Baptists is their simple, easy to understand faith
    been sprinkled as a young adult and been dunked as an adult and, experientially, i’d say that all the dunking added to the depth of my faith was the humility to submit to such an undignified declaration of faith – but that was a ceremony that our Lord submitted to, after all

  211. Michael says:

    Josh,

    There are some great university and hospitals associated with the Baptists.
    There are also a great many independent fundamentalist baptists that have no use for them.

    Basic fundamental baptist beliefs are well known and woven into the fabric of American evangelicalism.

    If that is offensive to you, then so be it.

  212. Josh The Baptist says:

    Em – I appreciate what you are saying. Michael was taking his regular shot at those of us he views as inferior, and I have heard it enough.

  213. Michael says:

    My current favorite theologian is a Southern Baptist…Thomas Schreiner.

    I have noted that more than once on these pages.

  214. Michael says:

    Josh,

    You have exaggerated and insulted.
    I have never addressed you or treated you as inferior in any way, I’ve tried to treat you with respect.
    More and more, you choose not to reciprocate.
    That’s ok.
    If you’ve had enough, God gave you a mouse with which you never have to endure my writing again.

  215. Josh The Baptist says:

    At 212 – So what you are saying, then, is that perhaps Baptist theology is a bit wider and deeper than you first spat out. It might take me a little more than 20 minutes to even learn the difference between an independent fundamentalist baptist, and some other kind of baptist, right?

    By the way, don’t look down your nose to far at the Independents either. I live across the street from an Indy Baptist Bible college, and they churn out rock-solid pastors, missionaries and apologists every year. Because they believe in a way unlike you, does not mean that they are inferior.

    And tell me again how a group who has founded “great universities and hospitals” is the source of the anti-intellectualism that is plaguing the Church?

  216. Josh The Baptist says:

    “My current favorite theologian is a Southern Baptist…Thomas Schreiner”

    Did it take you more than 20 minutes to understand all his writings?

  217. Steve Wright says:

    The head of the Costa Mesa School of Ministry going on 25+ years has his degree from Dallas Theological Seminary

    The dean of my Seminary in El Cajon has a PhD from Dallas Theological Seminary

    Dallas has been around 90+ years and is a world class seminary, ….and if one doubts it, just try and get accepted there to study. I would not be qualified at present to enter their PhD program.

  218. Michael says:

    Josh,

    One more time.
    There is a distinct line of anti intellectual fervor that entered evangelicalism in the late 19th and 20th centuries.

    Check out that history and that lines extension and we’ll talk about it…or we won’t.

  219. Josh The Baptist says:

    Or you could admit that you continually take shots at your Baptist and CC brothers, despite having no leg to stand on when the facts are presented.

  220. Michael says:

    Josh,

    How long would it take for you to explain basic Baptistic theology to another believer?

  221. Josh The Baptist says:

    And I agree Dallas is absolutely world class. Alongside Trinity and the SBC schools, I consider it the cream of the crop.

  222. Josh The Baptist says:

    I could read them the confession of faith in maybe an hour. Of course that has hundreds of Scripture passages linked with every statement, so if were really trying to learn and “understand” the basic theology…I don’t know. I’m 21 years in, and haven’t finished yet.

  223. Michael says:

    Josh,

    You took it and you want me to defend something I didn’t say.
    I have great respect for many Baptists.
    The basic distinctions of the Baptist message are simple in comparison to other traditions.
    That’s not an insult.
    I don’t have the same respect for CC, outside of a few.

    That’s well noted.

    If you choose to remain deeply offended do so, but I’m pretty much done with this.

  224. Josh The Baptist says:

    Is their any denomination or group of people that doesn’t have at least some idiots? Again, I’d ask about your group, but it’s a little unfair since you don’t have one.

  225. Xenia says:

    Explaining Baptist theology might only take 20 minutes if you are talking to someone who already has an understanding of basic Christianity, such as the Trinity, the two natures of Christ, etc. All the points of the Nicene Creed plus a good understanding of all the stories and prophecies of the OT and all the stories, parables and prophecies of the NT. It would take far longer than 20 minutes to explain all that. But to someone who already has acquired this vast amount of information, Baptistic theology does put the pieces together in a simple (but not simple-minded) way and the distinctives probably can be explained in 20 minutes, which IMO is one of the virtues of Baptist theology.

  226. Josh The Baptist says:

    “In Bob’s defense it wouldn’t take a year to grasp the theology of most Calvary Chapel pastors or their Baptist kin.

    Closer to about 20 minutes.”

    To any CC or Baptist who still actually reads here…Are there any of you that took this line as a compliment?

  227. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    Exactly.

  228. Steve Wright says:

    ….and a distinct line of higher criticism (mostly from Europe) that was proclaimed as true intellectualism…much like one has to swallow Gould’s neodarwinian ideas of punctuated equillibrium or be declared “anti-science” – A sign of the unique times of the day. Of course there will be some backlash.

    Fuller Seminary is a good example of the fruit of the neo-intellectualism. I thought about pursuing a PhD there given they are one of the only local choices out here…but figured that is too much time and effort and money to invest to only have to fight so much of what is taught (now) there…not to mention give an apologetic for my degree if it ever came up in a discussion or teaching application.

    I doubt that makes me anti-intellectual though….however in such circles as were found in the German schools of the turn of the (last) century…it largely would.

    As an aside….Chafer and Strong both wrote multi-volume systematic theologies.

  229. Michael says:

    Josh,

    It wasn’t meant as a compliment or an insult, just a statement of the simplicity of the distinctive of the tradition.

    You took it as an insult.

  230. ( |o )====::: says:

    Em,
    I’m convinced that Islam is evolving just as Christianity has evolved, for the same reasons, social pressure and dialog amongst thinkers. Thing is, Christianity had it’s violent period, Islam is still in it, but the minds who contribute to the sophistication and evolution of religions are critiquing, challenging and demanding change in a way that is accelerated, mostly due to our ability to have instant dialog.

  231. Xenia says:

    Compared to Orthodox theology, which is practically impossible to explain.

    I still don’t understand it all. My priest would say the same.

  232. Michael says:

    Compared to Orthodoxy, Catholicism, Anglicanism and other historic traditions….

  233. Steve Wright says:

    So how much of Calvin or Luther could we ignore if the starting point is “an understanding of basic Christianity, such as the Trinity, the two natures of Christ, etc. All the points of the Nicene Creed plus a good understanding of all the stories and prophecies of the OT and all the stories, parables and prophecies of the NT”

    Good grief…Strong and Chafer (to keep those two examples alive) wasted a lot of time I guess and could have made those multi-volume works into a Cliffs Notes version…

  234. Josh The Baptist says:

    And I said the same of being Baptist in 223.

    I could summarize any belief system in a sentence.

    Not the point.

    Michael slung an insult and he knows it.

  235. Steve Wright says:

    Once you enter the “why we do what we do” stage for any church, Orthodox, Catholic, Anglican…you enter the broader idea of philosophy of ministry which EVERY church and denomination happens to have.

    Has nothing to do with intellectual depth whatsoever….

  236. Xenia says:

    Steve, I am not understanding your #234.

  237. Xenia says:

    I want to make it clear that in my comments I am not attacking any group’s intellectual depth.

    As usual, I am just commenting on my own observations.

  238. Michael says:

    Luther never wrote a systematic theology.
    There is a body of recognized orthodox beliefs that has been accepted by all traditions down through the centuries.
    The way these traditions have survived is by raising up leaders to codify them for their traditions.
    By the same token, if I had a dime for every time I heard a CC pastor invoke “cemetery” for “seminary” I’d stop writing and retire to the mountains.

  239. Steve Wright says:

    Just as Xenia would explain in detail why they pray to saints, have icons and so forth…the Baptist or CC guy would give a lengthy explanation as to why they DON’T.

    Now you can insert the random anecdote about some random guy calling those practices Satanic but for THIS discussion, both Josh and myself would have to take a fair amount of time explaining our view as to why we would object to the Orthodox view.

    Both views take time to develop…and thus my original point that started all this….it takes awhile to fully grasp a given leader’s theology and philosophy of ministry

  240. Josh The Baptist says:

    Xenia – I did not take your comments as any sort of attack. At least you have a point of reference from wince to make your comments. Again, it sounds much like what I said about my experience in Baptist churches in 223, so I totally understand.

  241. Xenia says:

    AND I completely understand why people would avoid seminaries that have fallen into apostasy.

  242. Steve Wright says:

    If I had a dime for every formal theological degree (not simply self-run Bible schools) that every CC pastor in the world has obtained I believe I would have more dimes than Michael.

  243. Josh The Baptist says:

    And I know nothing about CC – but at least know enough to admit that instead of making broad brush comments about the group.

  244. Xenia says:

    If someone asked me to explain Orthodoxy in 20 minutes, assuming they understood the basics of Christianity (which one cannot assume today) I would take a deep breath, cross myself, and probably go over the Nicene Creed with them. I wouldn’t spend time (unless they asked) about the beliefs we don’t hold, I would talk about the beliefs we do hold. Most likely it would be a Q and A session. We don’t have a systematic theology, we just have a constellation of things we believe about God which miraculously fit together.

  245. Josh The Baptist says:

    The best I could do in 20 minutes would be a partial reading of the Baptist Faith and message:
    http://www.sbc.net/bfm2000/bfm2000.asp

    Now, that would be just the absolute root basics, and in 20 minutes I couldn’t go into the scriptural justification for each point, and couldn’t answer any questions that arose.

    I was given ten weeks last year to teach a dumbed down youth class on the basics of the Baptist faith. That’s 10 hours, and still, it was a terribly rushed job.

  246. Steve Wright says:

    One example. AFTER the Lord was already using this guy to build a church of thousands of members and plant multiple churches around the world..without a formal education…he proceeded to go out and get a…

    “Master of Arts, Master of Religion, Master of Divinity, and Doctor of Divinity degrees from Azusa Pacific Graduate School of Theology, and a Doctor of Ministry degree from Fuller Theological Seminary. He is an adjunct professor at Azusa Pacific University,”

    How many dimes is that?

    (The guy above is Mike MacIntosh – who also “serves as a Chaplain for the San Diego Police Department, the Newport Beach Police Department, and the American Red Cross. As a certified trainer through the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation, Mike has facilitated many critical incident stress management debriefings, and has provided training to first responders across the US and in Mexico. Mike also serves as a committee member for the California Commission on Peace Officer’s Standards and Training (POST).”)

    (more anti-intellectualism)

    All this talk reminds me of wondering if our friend, CC Pastor Dave Rolph has finished his doctorate yet. I want to read his dissertation.

    (Yours too Dread when it is available)

  247. Xenia says:

    If someone who knew nothing at all about Christianity asked me to explain Christianity in general or Orthodoxy in particular, I would do the same. I’d go over the Creed with them, point by point, trying to explain each point as clearly as I could. “I believe in one God…..” and so on, as long as their interest held. We might never get past “I believe in One God, Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth and all things visible and invisible.

  248. Xenia says:

    All most everything I know about basic Christianity I learned in the Sunday school of my rural Baptist church.

  249. Steve Wright says:

    It’s going to take me over 10 years (one hour and a half per week) just to teach the books of the Bible.

  250. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Bob,
    “but thanks for clarifying for our readers and affirming my writings about your commitment to Missouri Synod Lutheran understanding and doctrines.”

    Going way back to your #163 – why would you think that this is an exclusive Lutheran doctrine? You need to get out more – most Presbyterian type reformed churches believe the same as do (I think) the Anglicans.

    And even though you denied it, you did say “…about the contrasts between the OT and the NT, known to him as “the Law and the Gospel.”

  251. Josh The Baptist says:

    I’ve been teaching adult bible study for 5 years now, one hour per week. We’ve completed 57 books. Admittedly, a few were pretty much broad surveys of the book.

  252. Steve Wright says:

    Admittedly, a few were pretty much broad surveys of the book.
    —————————————————-
    Me too, Josh. On Wednesdays I will cover 2-3 chapters in an hour in a lot of the OT books. Sundays I will cover only 5-10 verses usually in one of the deeper New Testament books..but Sundays are also including a lot of preaching, exhortation and evangelism that would be reduced to a degree if I was teaching the same book in a midweek home study or something.

    As you may or may not know, Calvarys do not typically have an adult “Sunday School” hour on Sundays so our teaching of the Scriptures is in the regular worship service attended by longtime saints, new visitors, or the lost…so it lends itself to a different manner of teaching/preaching for a different purpose than just learning the book

  253. Bob says:

    Lutheran:

    “But Bob, you’ve got it wrong WRT our questioning other Christians’s relationship to God if they’re not LCMS. We just don’t do that. There are a couple of more conservative-than-LCMS Lutheran bodies that might, however. ”

    First I’m not wrong, because you read something into what I said and mis-represent what I am referring to.

    Look up what it means to “not be in fellowship” and particularly where it applies to the practices, sacraments and baptisms of the LCMS.

    I won’t debate it with you and I understand what or maybe why you are defending. Personally if I was a LCMS Lutheran I would hold to what I said as much as I would if I was part any other denomination. What I do like about MLD is he wouldn’t be offended he would simply ask this question; “So do you think you’re not in fellowship?” That’s a die-hard confident response and I’ve seen him write such things in the past.

    BTW it’s not just the LCMS who do such things. The questioning of what others practice, believe about God and their relationship with Him is very common e amongst a a very wide and diverse group of Christian denominations. To deny such an idea is… well you understand.

    BTW we need to thank Alex for stimulating this thread!

  254. Josh The Baptist says:

    Ahh, I understand. We have Sunday School for all ages, with maybe five different classes for adults. I have a 12 or so in my class, most of whom have been there nearly every week for 5 years. So yes, I can see how the Sunday morning service would be different. A long with that, I get to preach around 12-15 sermons per year. 12-15 split between Sunday morning and night. I have noticed even a different teaching dynamic in those two services. I guess those who come back on Sunday night are more interested in learning, so you can dig a little deeper?

    I preached at the jail two weeks ago for over 90 minutes straight. Those guys will sit there for as long as you want to talk. THey just love getting out of the cells 🙂

  255. Bob says:

    Steve:

    “However, to address a different point, your claim about what is “lost” in Christian circles today is not only countered by NT Wright in his books (as Michael noted) but countered by me in just about every message I preach…”

    Why do you take offense to my observations?

    I am thankful that you preach this stuff because we need more of that.

  256. Lutheran says:

    Bob,

    I don’t know your background because I don’t show up here anymore.

    “Look up what it means to “not be in fellowship” and particularly where it applies to the practices, sacraments and baptisms of the LCMS.”

    I’m not sure what “not be in fellowship means.” That’s not a term I’m familar with.

    But let’s look at what the LCMS itself says:

    A: The LCMS recognizes all Trinitarian church bodies as Christian churches (in contrast to “cults,” which typically reject the doctrine of the Trinity and thus cannot be recognized as Christian). In fact, a primary “objective” listed in the Synod’s Constitution (Article III) is to “work through its official structure toward fellowship with other Christian church bodies”—which explicitly assumes that these “other church bodies” are “Christian” in nature.

    That does not lessen the Synod’s concern for the false doctrine taught and confessed by these churches, but it does highlight the Synod’s recognition that wherever the “marks of the church” (the Gospel and Sacraments) are present—even where “mixed” with error—there the Christian church is present…

    Of course, personal salvation is not merely a matter of external membership in or association with any church organization or denomination (including the LCMS), but comes through faith in Jesus Christ alone. All those who confess Jesus Christ as Savior are recognized as “Christians” by the Synod—only God can look into a person’s heart and see whether that person really believes. It is possible to have true and sincere faith in Jesus Christ even while having wrong or incomplete beliefs about other doctrinal issues.

    This explains why former Synod President A.L. Barry called members of the Roman Catholic Church “our fellow Christians” in his statement Toward True Reconciliation, which at the same time identifies and laments the false teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.

  257. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Alex – ““Well, I just take them at their word!” (implication being that they are not truly saved like he is)”

    This is not so – if someone tells me they are not a Christian or they do not believe in Jesus Christ – I take them at their word. I used to go around with Steve W. about this all the time, that if a Christian tells me he is no longer a believer – I take him at his word that he has left the faith … where the OSAS guy will say “no, he can’t leave the faith.”

    So, when someone says the Bible is a hoax, that there are more than one Jesus (a good one and an evil one) and a whole host of other things – I don’t try to tell them they don’t really believe that – I take them at their word.

    I believe that you really do believe those things you have stated.

  258. Bob says:

    Lutheran:

    I think I said what you pointed out. But, it does not address the elephant in the room when dealing with “fellowship.”

    Lutherans pay attention to their own and the rest are left up to God is another easier way of saying it.

    So If I, or anyone else, are in “error” it’s up to God to sort it out.

    Let’s drop it before this ends up in a doctrinal fist fight. I stand on my previous statement as correct, you affirm it actually, and I will fellowship with both God and Lutherans (maybe not MLD). However, I assure you according to the LCMS I am in error and what does that make or leave me?

    I’m OK with that.

  259. Steve Wright says:

    Bob, I don’t take offense at your attempt to broadbrush all of American Christendom…I just think you are not capable of the assertion.

    And to repeat…I am hardly alone or unique in what and how I preach about living life in the Spirit as a child of God in the here and now….day by day.

    I quoted the old hymn on Sunday…Because He lives..I can face tomorrow. Life is worth the living, because He lives.

    (not “because He lives…I know when I die I will go to Jesus in heaven…” 🙂 )

  260. Bob says:

    Steve:

    You have no evidence to say this, “I just think you are not capable of the assertion.”

    Just the simple fact many who call themselves “Christian” attend church regularly and then reign evil down on those around them is example enough. Yes it shows we are all sinners, but then we sing the praise, “saved by grace” while we ignore the poverty around us and yet we get to go to heaven. (kind of reminds me of a certain man who loved money…) May we be ashamed

    Turn on the TV and look at the messages filled with self-interest, ego, monetary gain, and so much more. Look at the prosperity message, those who push the success of their conversions like notches on their gun…

    Yep I guess I’m wrong…

    We should, in general, be ashamed.

    Again thank you for teaching living today!

  261. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Bob,
    Let me see if I understand you. At your church, which you are in fellowship with, bapptizing babies unto salvation is just as acceptable as baptizing adults as a witness to their already hatched salvation – correct?
    In otherwords if I showed up with a one month old grandson and asked your pastor to baptize the baby for salvation he would? He would not say I was wrong for making that request?

    When your pastor serves the Lord’s Supper does he alternate weeks and say weeks 1 & 3 of each month we are actually taking in the body and blood of Christ and weeks 2 & 4 just juice and crackers.

    I would guess that you will laugh at this and agree that your pastor, your church and your denomination are just as narrow as mine.

  262. Josh The Baptist says:

    I have found that TV preachers are not indicative of what is actually going on in the Church.

  263. Steve Wright says:

    Turn on the TV and look at the messages filled with self-interest, ego, monetary gain, and so much more.
    ———————————————
    Now you lost me, Bob, because your initial focus @169 was on a complaint that Christianity was just about going to heaven when you die. You wrote “Ask around and the question is often and or almost always, “What will it take to get to heaven?”

    Now you complain about the TV preachers who are focused, albeit wrongly, on living this life.

    You’re all over the map. 🙂

  264. Alex says:

    MLD, you are a liar, plain and simple and you engage in a dishonest manner.

    I won’t respond to you any longer.

  265. Alex says:

    I encourage others to avoid interaction with you as well due to your dishonest track record on here.

  266. Alex says:

    The biggest testimony against your particular belief system is your dishonesty and intentional dishonesty in these discussions. Shame on you. But I acknowledge you can only change yourself and others can’t do that for you.

  267. Xenia says:

    Alex, here is something that will make you smile.

    I just received back from my teacher a paper I had written about our mutual hero, St. Justin Martyr. I began by referring to him as St. Justin the Philosopher, also known as “St. Justin Martyr.” My teacher wrote in the margins that it really should be (but isn’t) “St. Justin *the* Martyr,” and that some people mistakenly think Martyr is his last name.” I know we straightened all that out but it made me think of our conversation of a few months back.

  268. Alex says:

    X. LOL, that is great 🙂

    For the record I long understood him as Justin “the” Martyr, I just like using it as his last name, it’s easier and more fun.

  269. Alex says:

    Kind of like Jesus Christ 🙂

  270. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I did not lie – you said the Bible was a hoax, that it was not written by God but instead written by the Israelites – all the genocide stories,etc to show that God was on their side and to instill fear that they would kidnap their women and children as sex slaves.

    You stated several times there is a good Jesus and a bad, evil, warrior Jesus

    I don’t lie – I repeat people’s words back to them… and I don’t call people dirty names like you do to me. Don’t reply, I like it that way.

  271. Alex says:

    X, I followed an orthodox priest’s page for awhile “Ask an Orthodox Priest”…it was a good example of your sect and it was very interesting. I found him to be much different (in a good way) than most evangelical pastors I’ve encountered over the years.

  272. Michael says:

    Let’s call this dispute…I have a bunch on my hands this afternoon.

    By the way…happy birthday, MLD. 🙂

  273. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Michael – I prefer that my BD be labeled my Medicare 1 yr anniversary. 😉
    Thanks

  274. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I lay down the weapons of my warfare – for the sake of peace to all.

  275. Michael says:

    Thanks…I’m sure Alex will do likewise.

  276. Em says:

    “I have found that TV preachers are not indicative of what is actually going on in the Church.”

    true words ! some are, perhaps, a testament to God’s sense of humor …

  277. Bob says:

    Steve

    I’m not all over the map, TV is example of the depth and width of the self attitude and greasy grace held in the preaching. Being saved just to go to heaven is part of that self driven message.

    But I guesss I need to compartmententalize for clarification, my fault.

  278. Xenia says:

    Here’s something:

    All my clergy friends on FB who called themselves “Father John Smith” or “Bishop Peter” have had their accounts deleted. Facebook does not want any clergy titles to be used. The only ones left are those (like my teacher) who have obscure ecclesiastical titles that FB never heard of.

    One by one, they are all being deleted.

    It is getting to the point that none of the secular tools of this world will be usable by Christians.

  279. Xenia says:

    from the article:

    “I might disagree with the policy implementation, but I would grudgingly accept it–were it not for one thing. At the same time that Facebook was clamping down on the use of religious titles, they issued an apology to members of the cross-dressing community and reversed their position regarding queer stage names. That means that the man who calls himself by the stage name “Lil Miss Hot Stuff” or “Sister Roma” will be permitted to use that name without Facebook’s insisting that he conform to the community standard.”

    FB did try to delete Drag Queen names but Gay, Inc objected and this was FB’s response:

    “I want to apologize to the affected community of drag queens, drag kings, transgender, and extensive community of our friends, neighbors, and members of the LGBT community for the hardship that we’ve put you through in dealing with your Facebook accounts over the past few weeks.”

    So, you can be Miss Sassy Boots but you cannot be Bishop Alexander.

  280. ( |o )====::: says:

    Perhaps Facebook is merely helping us practice what Jesus said?

    But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers.

    Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven.

    Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one Instructor, the Messiah.

  281. Alex says:

    Yes, good with me, thanks MLD and happy birthday.

  282. ( |o )====::: says:

    Happy birthday MLD.

    Farrell’s awaits you to stop by at Mission Viejo Mall with the grandkids & celebrate with a Zoo!

    http://www.farrellsusa.com/menus/ICEC2013menu.pdf

  283. Alex, G – thanks 🙂

  284. I think the thing with FB is they want people to use their real name. I would not be allowed to have a page with my name Martin Luther’s Disciple – at least after they noticed it.

    All churches have FB pages and there are some really cool Christian debate/discussion pages. I don’t think that FB is entering the social / culture wars

  285. Xenia says:

    I don’t think we have any right to expect any special treatment from FB but it is alarming when most of your pastor friends, the monks you know, your favorite EO podcasters and bloggers disappear from FB. One monastic who has a following of 16,000 people who read his blog and listen to his podcast woke up and discovered he was locked out of his two FB pages (his and his monastery’s). He hasn’t used his secular name in 30 years; not one would recognize it. I don’t use my secular name either, for that matter.

    Wouldn’t you feel that there was something off-kilter if you woke up one morning and all the Lutheran clergy disappeared from FB? It was just…. freaky. Sort of “was there a rapture and I got left behind?”

  286. Did anyone ask FB what was up? I once lost my FB account because someone complained – no one from FB ever contacted me nothing. They just made an administrative adjustment. (that means kicked me off.)

  287. Xenia says:

    Yeah, they asked and were told they couldn’t use Father Joseph Smith or even FrJoseph Smith. In EO culture, these men (and nuns) are only known by their titles. No one ever calls a priest or monastic by their first name only and monastics rarely use their last names. Probably the same is true for RC clerics.

    It’s a matter of respect.

    However, no one is forcing anyone to use FB.

  288. Em says:

    my family suspects dementia is setting in because i won’t get a Facebook account…
    they think that they’re punishing me by never emailing me 🙄

    hope MLD’s birthday is full of grandkids and cake and God’s blessings

  289. Em – the birthday is full of God’s blessing indeed – but thank God void of the grandkids. We had combinations of all 5 for a 4 day period ending yesterday. I need a breather.

  290. Xenia says:

    Our priest has 17 grandchildren age 9 and under. And they are all here visiting for Easter.

  291. Em says:

    “the minds who contribute to the sophistication and evolution of religions are critiquing, challenging and demanding change in a way that is accelerated”

    two things come to mind regarding this expectation: the mind of man does construct religions, yes and there are way too many minds among us that love violence – pockets of Utopias won’t prevail over the masses

    i don’t think those who would deconstruct the Bible realize what a cruel and passive god that leaves them with… for sure, they’ve missed the staggering genius of the Book – but God says search for Me and you shall find Me when you search for Me with all of your inner man, mind, will, heart, soul, understanding – thankfully, this web-site is here for us

  292. “the minds who contribute to the sophistication and evolution of religions are critiquing, challenging and demanding change in a way that is accelerated”

    I know, they are people like L Ron Hubbard and Sun Myoug Moon and others who were honest enough to start a new religion from scratch, people who had their own vision as to what religion was to be … as opposed to those dishonest folks who want to turn Christianity into something it is not.

  293. Bob says:

    EM:

    “i don’t think those who would deconstruct the Bible”

    I’m not sure completely who or what you are referring to here, but I have zero problem with people “deconstructing” the religions, denominations and beliefs out there. I believe such “deconstruction” is the very heart of searching for the God of creation and who is over all.

    The God of gods, King of kings and Lord of lords!

  294. Em says:

    ah, yes… the evolving definition of the word… think maybe i’m not a Christian after all…
    i am a Redeemed-by-God-Sinner-in-Whom-the-Third-Person-of-the-Triune-God-Resides-by-Acceptance-of-the-Finished-Work-of-God-the-Son-Immanuel-at-His-Cruxifixion-in-Obedience-to-God-the-Father

  295. Em says:

    before this gets way out of hand again…

    deconstruct the Bible means: “analyze (a text or a linguistic or conceptual system) by deconstruction, typically in order to expose its hidden internal assumptions and contradictions and subvert its apparent significance or unity.”

    since i can’t highlight, i repeat: “…typically in order to expose its hidden internal assumptions and contradictions and subvert its apparent significance or unity.”

  296. ( |o )====::: says:

    Deconstruction is more about questioning the assertions made by our rabbis, priests & pastors.

  297. Em says:

    #298… this is IMV always a good thing… but we’ve got to check our own attitudes and assumptions while doing so

  298. Bob says:

    Em

    “but we’ve got to check our own attitudes and assumptions while doing so”

    Yep!

    and that’s part of the process.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.