TGIF

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97 Responses

  1. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    One of my favorite verses. As Paul was writing this he had Mark sitting in the penalty box 🙂

  2. Michael says:

    It must be one of your favorites…you never comment on this thread. 🙂

  3. Bob says:

    “On the contrary,we to want ban, beat, impeach, crush, humiliate,indict, deport, and dispose of anyone who violates our boundaries of law and ethics.”

    Amen!

    Sadly this is from the same group which immediately cries “I’m free for the Law” and yet builds another law and possibly gospel to match what they want to hear.

    No I’m not advocating chaos or a free for all, just civility and fairness.

  4. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I try to stay off here and the prayer thread so that peace may abound. 🙂

  5. Michael says:

    MLD,

    I’ve known that for some time and appreciate it.
    You and I can tear each other up on other threads, but you draw the line at Miss Kitty. 🙂

  6. Pastor Al says:

    Not sure I trust much of anything Paul says anymore.

    Paul was a man, not God in the flesh…and he pretty much did the opposite of what Jesus taught the Apostles with regards to Leadership and Servant of All model. There was no hierarchy other than Jesus…then Paul came along. Some think he was the Anti-Christ sent by the devil to make Jesus a Religious Institution instead of The Way.

    Maybe, maybe not.

  7. Scott says:

    Good thoughts, Michael.

    There’s quite a bit of irony in it though having spent the last 7 years reading your blog.

    Be patient with those of us who haven’t quite reached the frontlines yet.

  8. Michael says:

    I think Paul got his doctrine straight from Jesus.
    If you put three people in a room together you will have a hierarchy within an hour.
    That’s not necessarily a bad thing.

  9. Michael says:

    Scott,

    I realize that you feel like you are gifted by God to take shots at me.

    If you read carefully, you will note that I consider myself as guilty as any, and more so than most.

    All things have a balance…we are called to expose and mark out those who are hurting the church…then when they repent we are called to restore them with gentleness.

    So far I’m only hitting .500 most of the time…but I’m working on it.

  10. Greg Gordon says:

    Do not spread false reports. Do not help a guilty person by being a malicious witness. – Exodus 23:1

    We are given a choice everytime we hear someone accusing another brother or sister in the Lord, we can agree with them and join with their slander or for the saftey of our souls hate gossip and evil speaking. Even if there is truth in something that is spread abroad it is usually not fully accurate as it is written from a perspective that is usually accusatory and demeaning. The Apostle Peter says “If you are reviled” (1 Peter 4:14) you are blessed. When confusion, acusations and questions abound about a ministry, preacher or situation in the Church, your first reaction should be to pray and not enter into the confusion. If we do not speak first to the individual and spread the rumours and confusion we partake in the sin of spreading a false report. “The scribes and the Pharisees were watching Him closely” (Luke 6:7). And false accusers watch others very closely to find an error but never look to their own sins and failings. Have mercy in your mind and heart for those who are indulging in the sin of gossip. Pray for them as you would pray for your own soul.

    Maximus the Confessor says, “To the extent that you pray from your soul for the one who spread scandal about you, God will reveal the truth to those who were told the scandal.” And in another place, “When Daniel was cast into the lion’s den, he did not condemn any of those who, fulfilling the law of Darius, did not wish to pray to God, but he kept in mind his own duty, and desired rather to die than to sin against his conscience by transgressing the Law of God. God forbid that I should condemn anyone or say that I alone am being saved! However, I shall sooner agree to die than to apostatize in any way from the true Faith and thereby suffer torments of conscience.” The Apostle Peter gives us the way forward: “Keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander” (1 Peter 3:16). No matter what others speak against you or accuse you of, your job is to keep a clear conscience with God in heaven. That in the end is all that matters and the words of men will fall by the wayside in the final day. It is much better to be spoken evil of by all men on this earth and to recieve the good report from the Lord, “Well done.” Two words from God outweigh all the millions of slanderous darts of men on earth.

  11. Michael says:

    This isn’t just a in church issue.

    We see it pro sports…a guy gets in trouble and we want to ban him for life.
    In politics, we want to impeach them or worse.

    At some point we have to get beyond the stone throwing to solutions…

  12. Josh the Baptist says:

    With Scott, it is hard to read this and not think it is pointed towards the few of us who disagreed yesterday.

    I am all for restoration.

  13. Bob says:

    Pastor Al

    No I think you got it wrong.

    All Paul did was organize people according to his traditions. Anytime people organize for any reason there has to be order and in his tradition that order came from Torah and the culture around him.

    Did he contradict Jesus’ teaching? I think not.
    Did he bring a new order to Greek and Roman believes? Yes, a pagan world became followers of God.

    I’m sure if you were king your church would have some sort of order based on something.

  14. Josh the Baptist says:

    Celebrity pastors…sports stars…politicians.

    I think I see where this breaks down. Some seem to think the people listed are not subject to the same rules that the rest of us are. It’s not that we don’t allow for restoration, it’s that we’ve created separate classes of people who can do whatever they want, while the commoners don’t get the same breaks.

  15. Michael says:

    Josh,

    This thread is usually a place wherein I’m preaching to myself…and hoping that the rebuke the Scripture has given me resonates with others.

    The whole TT thing is a damn good example though of how we frame things today.

    I made myself pretty clear a number of times that I wasn’t in favor of what happened…but we needed to look at all the things being done and said .

    I was placing myself square in the middle for the sake of discussion and edification.

    There is no middle allowed these days…it’s either one extreme or the other.

    I was careful especially to validate you, Josh…I respect your passion for marriage and your love of the church.

    You evidently didn’t hear that.

  16. Scott says:

    See, that’s what I mean. I don’t think I’m gifted by God to take shots at you at all. I just speak my mind at times, that’s all. Yet, you boldly characterize my motives?

    As usual you have a way of taking on the matyrs cloak.

  17. Josh the Baptist says:

    No, I did hear that. And I heard the other side as well. To be clear, I am not mad at you or anyone else. I have seen a couple of my sentences pulled from yesterday on different blogs around the net this morning, holding that up as someone who doesn’t believe in grace…a pharisee. (My name wasn’t used in either case, as I am nobody, but exact quotes were pulled with quotation marks).

    I believe in grace, forgiveness, and restoration. My beliefs are best for the offender and the church. I don’t think it is a good idea to take a recovering alcoholic right back into a bar. He may have to stay home on Friday nights for a while, if he really wants to recover. Maybe for the rest of his life. It just depends on what really is most important to him.

  18. Michael says:

    Josh,

    It’s never fun to see our comments taken out of context and I really don’t appreciate those who do.

    This is just another example of what I’m talking about…and how hard it is to find balance that leads to consensus that leads to solutions.

  19. Jim says:

    I’m all for balance. Regarding elders, I balance what Paul said to Timothy with what he said to Titus.

  20. Michael says:

    Let me add how this plays out in real life from my chair.

    When I first heard of the TT “restoration” I lost my cookies.

    This is what I wrote on Twitter and Facebook;

    “I’m not feeling well enough to do a whole article on the return of TT, so I’ll just do a summary here.
    Narcissistic attention whore finds a pimp to prop him back up and they turn the house of God into a spiritual brothel. Jesus wept.
    That about covers it.”

    Now, if I stay with that and write from that one perspective, I’m going to be ok.

    Most of my readers will agree with what I wrote and I’ll get more than a few pats on the back for boldly standing up for righteousness.

    When I added a texture that didn’t fit that narrative, there were some slaps added to those pats.

    The reality is that without adding that extra layer I wouldn’t have been telling the whole truth and thus would have been less than righteous.

    I don’t like criticism anymore than the next guy…but I also fear God.

    We can still reach the same conclusion on the matter, but we need to hear all the layers to get there.

  21. Michael says:

    Jim,

    I’ve always read Timothy and Titus pretty non critically.
    As I read them now I wonder if most of us (including me) …aren’t disqualified.

  22. Jim says:

    I always considered myself disqualified, and was the first to remind church leaders when discussing my possible giftings. I made it easy on them by refusing to improve my public speaking skills.

  23. Michael says:

    In the internet age with social media, it’s hard to find someone with a “good reputation” who is “beyond reproach”.

    I sure don’t fit the bill…

  24. Dan from Georgia says:

    Thanks Michael for this. Re: your item 23…I would also like to add, “in the internet age with social media…we should learn to bite our tongue/refrain from typing”.

    Amen.

  25. j2theperson says:

    So what do you think would be the appropriate way for people to voice the opinion that it is not a wise idea to hire Tullian to this new position?

  26. Michael says:

    J2,
    I think people have done an excellent job voicing their opinions.

  27. Papias says:

    An elder “ought not to be marked by any disgrace that would detract from his authority. There will certainly not be found a man who is free from every fault, but it is one thing to be burdened with ordinary faults that do not hurt a man’s reputation, because the most excellent men share them, but quite another to have a name that is held in infamy and besmirched by some scandalous disgrace. Thus, in order that the bishops may not lack authority, he gives charge that those who are chosen should be of good and honorable reputation, and free of any extraordinary fault. Also, he is not merely directing Timothy as to the sort of men he should choose but he is reminding all who aspire to the office that they should carefully examine their own life.”

    John Calvin.
    (Commentary on 1 Timothy 3.2).

  28. j2theperson says:

    I guess I don’t understand why you wrote this article if you think people have done an excellent job voicing their opinions.

  29. Michael says:

    Papias…that is gold .

  30. Em says:

    more than one person who contributes comments to this blog site has observed that Paul doesn’t act like Jesus and therefore, he should be discounted…
    Jesus was sent to the Jews, He appointed Apostles to carry on, affirming His incarnation and the reason for it … the Jews had the benefit of a long history of instruction in righteousness – even if they sinned in spades, they knew how to conduct themselves in polite society 🙂
    Paul, on the other hand, was sent to the unwashed, the dogs, the Gentiles… we needed a whole lot more in-depth instruction in the things of God at the start – we needed to learn a great deal about God’s norms and standards … manners 🙂 at the beginning of the church
    IMV

  31. Michael says:

    J2,

    The issue isn’t whether we excel in voicing our opinions, nor was this about the TT situation.
    The issue for me is being able to hear all sides of a matter , then act in grace and wisdom knowing our own sins and failings.
    Whether it is in politics or the church division is the order of the day and we are all spinning angry wheels on one side of a divide.
    It’s not working…

  32. Josh the Baptist says:

    The words from the New Testament that we attribute to Paul are actually Jesus’ words. There is no distinction.

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

    “The words from the New Testament that we attribute to Paul are actually Jesus’ words. There is no distinction.”

    ???????????????????

    That’s factually untrue.

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

    “The words from the New Testament that we attribute to Paul are actually Jesus’ words. There is no distinction.”

    So, other than the Gospels,
    same for Peter’s words?
    same for John’s words?
    same for Jude’s words?
    …James?

    …they’re actually Jesus’ words?

    O_o

  35. Francisco says:

    Great post Michael. 🙂

  36. Em says:

    yes, Josh, the words are anointed and are Jesus’ words, but the distinction is to whom they were directed… it seems that some folk who do believe in Jesus today think that Paul was presumptive and legalistic, didn’t sound like Jesus did when He walked the earth… in doing so, they forget who Paul had to instruct – ignorant Gentiles … or so it seems to me

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

    Poor Jesus, when speaking through Paul, wasn’t sure if He had the Spirit.
    …and he really didn’t like Cretans, when he said, “One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, The Cretians are alway liars, evil beasts, slow bellies.”

    verily?

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

    To have any meaningful discussion about the Bible one must avoid overlaying the text with such an outrageous requirement that anyone agree that there is no distinction between writers & speakers.

  39. Em says:

    getting back on topic… been thinking about discussion versus gossip… doesn’t gossip grow in closed minds? whereas honest discussions can lead to edification and, sometimes vindication? … most comments here seem to lead to the latter end… IMV, a good thing – much better than just saying, well i won’t judge and letting rumors fester and tarnish good people

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

    That way of thinking is exactly what my Muslim friend believes about her Koran and Hadith, which is entirely a well meaning but unsubstantiated assertion.

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

    Josh,
    I love and respect you but please, give thought to what you asserted, because you’re going to lessen Jesus by trying to raise the rest of the writers.

    Better to take everything and look at it in light of what Jesus said & did.

  42. Josh the Baptist says:

    G – I know we don’t hold the same views on inspiration. I’m happy to discuss that with you again if you like, but I’ll admit I won’t be changing my mind.

    Yes, all the writers of the New (and Old) Testament were inspired by the Holy Spirit. What we are reading is God’s Word. I believe that Jesus is God…thus, Romans, James, Corinthians, Revelation, etc….are the words of Jesus.

    PS – The Gospels are no different. From a strictly human view, Jesus didn’t write any books. The 4 Gospels were written by guys inspired by the Spirit, just like Galations was written by a guy inspired by the Spirit.

    I have plenty of meaningful discussions about the bible without ever having to toss aside the doctrine of inspiration.

  43. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    “Poor Jesus, when speaking through Paul, wasn’t sure if He had the Spirit.”

    Sure, just as Jesus spoke the words thinking the Father had forsaken him. Wasn’t Jesus sure?

  44. Josh the Baptist says:

    We only know about Jesus from “the rest of the writers”. That’s all we know. Don’t see how I can make less of Him by holding that what they wrote about Him is true.

  45. Josh the Baptist says:

    “Sure, just as Jesus spoke the words thinking the Father had forsaken him.”

    How in the world would you know that Jesus said that? That is just some guy saying what he thought he heard Jesus say. Right?

  46. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    G, thinks that somehow only Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were inspired to say what Jesus said – that’s why they were allowed to used red ink.

  47. Josh the Baptist says:

    Exactly, and I won’t get into mocking back and forth with G, but I fully confess that I believe in an inerrant Bible and that it is crucial to my faith.

  48. Babylon's Dread says:

    Don’t worry Josh the red letter guys are as selective with the reds as they are with the blacks I assure you they do not interpret them all with the same vigorous ascendancy.

    Ultimately they only have Bibles with perforated pages.

    We forget that the Jesus Seminar existed to help people PARSE out which of the RED letters were actually from Jesus.

    If the word LOVE is in the verse then likely Jesus actually said it but otherwise… very suspect.

  49. j2theperson says:

    ***The issue isn’t whether we excel in voicing our opinions, nor was this about the TT situation.
    The issue for me is being able to hear all sides of a matter , then act in grace and wisdom knowing our own sins and failings.
    Whether it is in politics or the church division is the order of the day and we are all spinning angry wheels on one side of a divide.
    It’s not working…***

    Regarding the Tullian issue and discussion specifically, I did not see anyone behaving in a way that I would have described as “spinning angry wheels”. Obviously, politics and religion are both topics that will engender a lot of passion–there’s nothing new or surprising about that. I don’t think that just because it is not apparent that people are listening to the other side that it is not happening. Particularly over the internet, it’s very hard sometimes to be able to tell the tone of voice another person is writing with–how much harder to be able to tell whether they’re taking in what you’ve said. Plus, the sort of reflection you are hoping people engage in is a slow and private process. Very few people in the heat of a debate are going to admit that their original position might not be the right one, but that doesn’t mean that they’re not going to think about things in private and modify their opinions on a certain subject–even if they don’t go and publicly post that they’ve changed their mind on something.

    I think everybody knows that the medium of the internet inherently promotes harder and less gentle communication, but that doesn’t change the reality that even people who may come across as being very harsh online will most of the time be softer and less confrontational in “real” life and that softer, less confrontational person will be the one thinking about whatever was discussed online even after the particular debate has ended.

  50. Babylon's Dread says:

    I see you wrestling with this Michael…

    Most of us alternate between “get a rope” and giving mercy.

    Usually it depends upon how many facts we have and whether we know the principles involved.

    Grace is carefully cultivated, law springs up wild wherever offense happens.

    Let’s just concentrate on getting them all home safe…
    As for restoration to ministry, well I have said more than enough about it.
    Simply put restoration is possible but not an entitlement.

  51. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Well I go a step further – I believe that even the white spaces on the page are divinely inspired!

  52. Josh the Baptist says:

    The only point I want to make clear is that saying “this guy should not be back in ministry any time soon” is not the same as saying “get the rope”.

    It will actually benefit the fallen minister to be held out of public ministry. He might not like it. It may be painful. But God can work through those things in his life.

    “get the rope” would be never let him darken the doors of church again. Let him live his miserable life along until he dies and goes to Hell.

    “not an entitlement”…Dread said. My point exactly.

  53. Josh the Baptist says:

    The white spaces are inspired…? Not sure I can go that route. That would seem to be dependent on publishers and type-setting and stuff…unless I misunderstand your point.

  54. Michael says:

    Dread,
    I seem to be ever wrestling.
    All the issues that currently vex us are more complex than simple judgments of right and wrong.
    The complexity frightens us I think… so we default to hangings and halos.
    Part of the genesis if this article was from me wrestling over the fact that there are issues I simply won’t write about anymore because the fire that would fall isn’t worth it to me.

  55. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Josh – the white spaces are there to represent the things God has not said – the things left unsaid.

  56. Josh the Baptist says:

    Ok, yeah, I’m fine with that, and as I’ve said, I believe in a closed cannon.

  57. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I believe in a closed cannon – I just not so sure about a closed canon. 😉

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

    “G, thinks that somehow only Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were inspired to say what Jesus said – that’s why they were allowed to used red ink.”

    That is a complete misrepresentation, as usual.

    Josh,
    You wrote,

    “G – I know we don’t hold the same views on inspiration. I’m happy to discuss that with you again if you like, but I’ll admit I won’t be changing my mind.

    Yes, all the writers of the New (and Old) Testament were inspired by the Holy Spirit. What we are reading is God’s Word. I believe that Jesus is God…thus, Romans, James, Corinthians, Revelation, etc….are the words of Jesus.

    PS – The Gospels are no different. From a strictly human view, Jesus didn’t write any books. The 4 Gospels were written by guys inspired by the Spirit, just like Galations was written by a guy inspired by the Spirit.

    I have plenty of meaningful discussions about the bible without ever having to toss aside the doctrine of inspiration.”

    Here’s the thing, your assertions are doing damage to the idea of inspiration and crossing up the persons of The Trinity.

    Jesus said what He said, did what He did, but he carefully told His followers that when He left He would send The Holy Spirit, Who is a different Person, who would lead them into all truth.

    Let’s not mix persons or assert that they are all the same, nor should we assert their agency and results as the same.

    Paul’s words were, for the most part, “inspired”, but even he confessed that he was unsure from time to time, and I’m hoping you’re not asserting that Paul’s missive about Cretans somehow proves that The Holy Spirit was, therefore, bigoted against them as was Paul. We’re reading human frailty empowered by The Spirit of God, which should give us pause to carefully discern what we read and avoid assertions that are not supported by the text.

    The application to all of this is that when wrestling with the issues surrounding TT is that we’re dealing with American celebrity culture applied to Evangelicalism. It’s the same screw up that ChuckSr did when he too quickly restored David Hocking to ministry by offering him the pulpit at CCCM.

    Back to Jesus… Jesus created a flat hierarchy of being servants of one another. He never intended superstar pastors or musicians or writers or any other roles. TT would do well to get a real job outside of “ministry” where his reputation can be rebuilt while he does the tough work of figuring out how he could choose to destroy his family, and look at how, again, infidelity & divorce destroyed more than it created.

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

    “Let him live his miserable life along until he dies and goes to Hell.”

    Wow.

    How does that square with the idea of us being given the ministry of reconciliation?

  60. Babylon's Dread says:

    “Jesus created a flat hierarchy of being servants of one another. He never intended superstar pastors or musicians or writers or any other roles. TT would do well to get a real job outside of “ministry” where his reputation can be rebuilt while he does the tough work of figuring out how he could choose to destroy his family, and look at how, again, infidelity & divorce destroyed more than it created.”

    That was really poignant

    Applause Dread

  61. Linnea says:

    Great article Michael…in our Christian walk, we are always balancing between the law and grace. What an uncomfortable place to be– if we overvalue the law, we get stuck in self-righteousness; if we overvalue grace, we can get stuck in perpetual sin. Neither one shows an awe of and love of God.

  62. Em says:

    amazing how much agreement there is in the disagreements here …

    so i think that in one sense, G’s assertion that Paul’s words are not Jesus’ words would be correct… Paul wasn’t quoting Jesus the man… however, 🙂 way back up there at #6 Al was doubting Paul’s epistles as authoritative – from God
    in the sense that the Word became flesh and dwelt among us folks for a while, what Paul taught – he was directed to teach way back there in Acts – was inspired by God the Holy Spirit… so, in order to say that his epistles were not Jesus’ words would mean that 1-Paul was not inspired by the Holy Spirit and 2-the Trinity is not a valid (ahem) doctrine … just thinking on the comments and sayin… again

  63. Em says:

    in agreement with BD that #58 was good
    in agreement with Linnea (and a couple others up there) Michael’s post is another good one

    Linnea, how is your husband doing?

  64. Josh the Baptist says:

    G- We disagree on inspiration. We both knew that. I think your way is harmful, and you think the same of mine.

    As for the quote about going to he’ll, I gave that as a negative example.

  65. Linnea says:

    Hi Em…he’s on the mend. Thanks for asking 🙂

  66. brian says:

    “On the contrary,we to want ban, beat, impeach, crush, humiliate,indict, deport, and dispose of anyone who violates our boundaries of law and ethics.”

    I have found this one of my more viler pathetic personality traits. I am unable to sustain this type of spiritual interaction and retaliation with people, I begin to feel truly deeply guilty. Another of my many moral, spiritual, and human failings.

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

    Josh,
    Before anyone can even approach the bible, one must agree that there are different writers, speakers, audiences, etc.

    The assertion that Paul’s words are also Jesus’ words or that Jesus is word for word speaking through Paul is never stated by those who believe in inspiration.

  68. Josh the Baptist says:

    G – I believe in inerrancy. I’m not sure what you are going for here. Did God use different human vessels to write the bible? Of course. BUT every word in the Bible is God-breathed, God-inspired, God-ordained.

    I know you don’t believe that, and I’m not coming after you for that. What’s your point?

    And please take a look at my #52 and recognize that I was not agreeing with the get the rope statement. I don’t want someone to just see your out of context quote from me and assume that I was saying that someone should live miserable, alone, diea
    and go to hell. In fact, my point was quite the opposite.

  69. I think what is meant by Paul’s words are Jesus’ words is that every word Paul spoke in scriptures (in scriptures is key – I don’t know about when he was out in the bars on Sat nights) where exactly the words Jesus wanted him to say … in scriptures.

  70. Em says:

    yeah, what MLD just said @ 69 …

    God keep all close

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

    Josh,
    This statement is factually untrue…

    “The words from the New Testament that we attribute to Paul are actually Jesus’ words. There is no distinction.”

    Church history, biblical scholars and anyone who reads the bible as simple history & literature would take issue with you. They are not Jesus’ words.

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

    Is Jesus bigoted against Cretians?

  73. Josh the Baptist says:

    Yeah, agreeing with MLD and Em @69 and 70. Maybe I’m not being clear. They said it better.

    As far as bigotry and Cretans go, I don’t really like to get into proof verse battles where one phrase is pulled from all context and made to look awful.

  74. Babylon's Dread says:

    It is an interesting thing to look up “bigoted” and reread this and other threads. Bigot seems to be the accusation of choice intended to silence debate.

  75. A Believer says:

    Not sure why accepting Paul as inspired by God the Holy Spirit has to be so difficult.

    Luke in the Book of Acts records that Jesus Himself endorsed Paul as a chosen vessel to preach His name. If this testimony of Luke is rejected, then why accept Luke in reference to his gospel (containing red letters of course!)

    Peter, who Jesus said in John 14:26 would be reminded by the Holy Spirit of “everything I have said unto you”, classed Paul’s writings along with other Scripture.

    Here is his quote from 2 Peter:

    “…even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him has written to you; as also in ALL HIS EPISTLES, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood,which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also THE OTHER SCRIPTURES, unto their own destruction.”

    According to the second chapter of Galatians and again confirmed by Luke in chapter 15 of Acts, other apostles and prophets confirmed Paul’s claim to be inspired and to be a faithful preacher.

    In the book of Revelation, Jesus commended the church at Ephesus for examining and rejecting men who falsely claimed to be apostles. But Paul had done much preaching at Ephesus, and his letter to the Ephesians had claimed he was an apostle.

    If Paul was not an apostle, the Ephesians surely ought to have rejected him; nor would Jesus have commended them if they had mistakenly accepted Paul as an apostle.

    So the fact Jesus commended the Ephesians in the Book of Revelation for rejecting false apostles, even when they accepted Paul as an apostle, constitutes conclusive approval from Jesus Himself that Paul was an apostle!

    Bottom line, if Jesus himself, and then Luke, Peter, and the early church operating under the power and the authority of the Holy Spirit canonized Paul’s writings, who am I to argue with that.

  76. A Believer says:

    Of course an even bigger problem that those who only accept the red letters as authoritative or superior have is that Jesus himself obviously viewed the Old testament in it’s entirety as the very Word of God.

    … so the very One whose words they claim to treasure contradicts their truncated viewpoint.

  77. A Believer says:

    Pertinent to this discussion, here is an interesting way to look at Jesus’ prophetic words concerning future New Testament revelation in John 14.

    The Three Divisions of the New Testament

    1.) “… bring to your rememberance all things I said unto you”
    Matthew – Acts (Historical)

    2.) “… teach you all things”
    Romans – Jude (Teaching)

    3.) “… show you things to come”
    Revelation (Prophecy)

  78. Babylon's Dread says:

    @75-77 Nice return of night shift

    Well Done

  79. “Is Jesus bigoted against Cretians?”

    If the answer to this question is YES, does that somehow make Jesus less Jesus? Less God, less truth, less loving?

    These throw away questions are just to divert from truth. If Paul said it and it is still in the scriptures, then Jesus absolutely wanted it said.

  80. Can you imagine Jesus sitting at the right hand of the Father whining “Paul ruined my Bible.”

  81. “Perhaps I will give Muhammad a shot and see if he will say my words instead of his own.”

  82. Bob says:

    I think it’s a bit unfair the way the Guitar guy is being treated here on this subject. He states a very true statement, the words attributed in the Gospels (and Acts) are those remembered and recorded as coming directly from Him. Why is that so difficult?

    Now the next debate seems to be does Jesus, as the Son of God and part of the Trinity, speak directly through all those other words in the biblical text? This is both a scholarly and faith debate.

    In the Old Testament we find parts where God speaks directly to the people through dreams, wind, fire, clouds, His finger, feelings and more. Now I ask this, in what language did He speak, was it always audible, and how did they pass on the knowledge that He spoke to these people? Was someone there and heard Abraham being told to go and sacrifice Isaac or was it a story Abraham told to others (and consider it is Moses who wrote the account down)?

    Continuing with the OT we find God also speaks through Angels, Prophets, animals, plants, and beings we aren’t really sure about. In Christendom we often attribute these things to “theophanies” and consider it Jesus Himself in pre-human form.

    But what about all those times it is men who are speaking and bringing messages to humanity, is that God directly or some other type of inspiration?

    The point is I believe it is an injustice to bowl over the G guy’s ideas, but in defense of the others it is also a tradition of authority to accept the oral and or written teachings as being from God. But to say the written words of Paul (or any other teacher) are the very spoken/written words of God/Jesus is being a bit dishonest. It would be fairer to say we accept the words and teaching of Paul as authoritative and given to the hearers as from God.

    Think of it this way; in Genesis Joseph and Pharaoh have these conversation which are written in the Hebrew language. They include nuances which are unique to Hebrew vocab and thinking and are important to the readers. One problem though, it is highly likely Joseph and Pharaoh spoke together in the Egyptian language of the day. So were these the very words the two spoke? Kind of/maybe. But they are the ones the reader was intended to hear.

  83. Bob says:

    BTW

    MLD’s #80 & #81 are what we call the use of sarcasm to either attempt to prove a point or destroy the validity of another’s position. Both of them are unfair to the person or topic he is pointing to.

    There are four fundamental methods used by “good” teachers:

    1. Fear.
    2. Intimidation.
    3. Ridicule
    4. Sarcasm.

    Good job MLD!

  84. Em says:

    to ask if Jesus was a bigot is right up there with asking by whose authority did He speak…

    if memory serves me, he referred to Gentiles as dogs and, no doubt, the people of Crete were a crude bunch – thing is He died for the Cretans, too

  85. Michael says:

    The turns these threads take…

    The question boils down to authority.
    I hold the scriptures to be inspired and authoritative in their entirety.
    To do otherwise makes me authoritative over the scriptures and I become the word of God to myself.

    That is a scary proposition…

  86. Bob says:

    Michael:

    “The question boils down to authority.
    I hold the scriptures to be inspired and authoritative in their entirety.”

    The first is a correct (and I stated such) and the second is a belief (which I also hold), but neither is the issue when people state the words of Paul are really the words of Jesus. That is the turn taken.

    Now are the words of Paul the teachings Jesus wants His followers to hear?

    That is authority of the teacher, Paul. Answer Yes.

    That is what Jesus meant when He taught, “What soever you bind…”

    That is also why, as EM points out, people were amazed at how He taught.

    In the church world the Organization is considered to have “authority” to rightly divide.

    Oh how this becomes a mess and people start saying, “Just give me Jesus…” Do you blame them!

  87. Bob says:

    Michael:

    Just a rhetorical question; “While the scripture text are “inspired and authoritative in their entirety” whose interpretation of such do you, me or anyone consider authoritative?”

    That is the real question.

  88. Michael says:

    Bob,

    If you hold to the doctrine of divine inspiration (and I do) then it is quite accurate to say that Paul’s words are the words of Jesus.

    If the Scriptures were inspired by the Holy Spirit (and they were) and there is perfect harmony in the Trinity (and there is) then all the scriptures are as if they proceeded from the mouth of Jesus.

    That includes all those nasty bits in the OT too…

  89. Bob, you miss the point and it is usually because you use the OT to interpret the NT and that is backwards. But … When G asks ““Is Jesus bigoted against Cretians?” he is implying that Paul is saying something in the scriptures that Jesus did NOT want said.

    Call my reply sarcasm if you wish, but I not only do not believe Paul said any contrary to what Jesus wanted said – I believe (as I stated above) he said EXACTLY what Jesus wanted said.

    Now, you or anyone can answer a simple yes or no – did Jesus want Paul to say that comment about the Cretians or not? If not, how do we know that Jesus wanted Paul to say any of it.?

  90. A Believer says:

    “That is a scary proposition.”

    Amen Michael.

    When questions arise concerning the authority of or problems with the OT and NT revelations, I fall back on the things I’m certain of.

    I know that Jesus rose from the dead. This validates his claim to deity. As Deity, His opinion on the OT carries more weight than anyone and He considered it the Word of God.

    As far as the New Testament is concerned, I need only look to see if Jesus authorizes anyone to record new revelation. He does authorize the apostles, and actually anticipates this, even prophesying of it.

    That’s good enough for me and really does simplify things.

  91. Michael says:

    AB,

    Good to see you here again…hope you are doing well.

  92. Bob says:

    MLD:

    “If not, how do we know that Jesus wanted Paul to say any of it.?”

    We don’t, we accept the idea by faith that He did.

    You make way too many assumptions when you say such things as this, ” because you use the OT to interpret the NT” This is one of your problems, you immediately “interpret what people say in light of your colored glasses, the one by which you have determined “authority.”

    Give people a break, the beauty of the text is it is very broad and yet contains very few words.

    AB:

    You said this: “I know that Jesus rose from the dead. ”

    I agree, but I also ask this, “How do we know this is true?”

    The only way “I know” this is true is because I accept the words penned in the text that He did so; which means I accept their authority as being inspired and true. Others don’t accept such and therefore are not “Christians” in the generally accept idea.

    It always comes down to faith.

  93. A Believer says:

    “It always comes down to faith”. Yet, there are solid reasons that you accept the texts.

    God often provides prompters to faith that are based in logic and reason.

    “Come let us reason together…”

    “In the mouth of two or three witnesses let everything be established…”

    It is not illogical to believe that if God is all powerful He can raise the dead. And of course we know that He prophesied this very thing in the OT. This is why Peter was able to say we have a “more sure word” of prophecy since he and others were eyewitnesses to the event.

    Historical examination of the proofs for the resurrection are pretty ironclad. Very difficult if not impossible to refute. I would refer to Frank Morrison’s work ” Who Moved the Stone? for evidence of this.

    The Jewish claim (also made by other critics) is that the disciples moved Jesus body after his death. If this were true, eleven of Jesus’ disciples were martyred for what they knew to be a lie. This is not probable at all. Men do not do this. Now Muslims will lay down their lives for what they think is true, but is in a fact a lie. But they would not do this for what they knew to be a lie.

    Both OT and NT are “testaments”. They contain testimony very similar to what might be presented in a court of law today. As such these testimonies are reasonably verifiable by careful study of the evidence.

    I say reasonably because ultimately it will come down to faith. But I will suggest that faith is not always a blind faith- a leap into the dark.

  94. Bob says:

    AB

    “I say reasonably because ultimately it will come down to faith. But I will suggest that faith is not always a blind faith- a leap into the dark.”

    Agreed!

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

    Time for another round of “If, then, therefore!”
    It’s the circular reasoning game of assumptions that makes all things in a book the same!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fev0lQb-KDc

    If I assume that “The Word of God” is the collection of documents called “the Bible”, that God inspired every thought & word of the writers so that they are, each and every word, authoritatively Jesus’ very words regardless who spoke them,

    then, no matter what page I flip to, Jesus is speaking to me, directly, and I can count on any passage as Jesus’ authoritative words,

    therefore, I’m walking around with a book containing Jesus’ words and I can flip to any random page and actually quote Jesus.

    If Paul is dictating directly from Jesus, speaking Jesus’ very words, intent, and heart

    then when Paul speaks of Cretans in a manner which is defined by Webster’s Dictionary
    “a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially : one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance”

    therefore Jesus, speaking through Paul, is a bigot against Cretans.

    Stay tuned for more If, then, therefore

  96. Scott says:

    Titus 1:12 Paul says that one of their (the Cretans) own ‘prophets’ characterized them that way. Paul confirms this characterization. He would know, he ministered among them. Which is why he lays the groundwork in the previous verses for the type of character the elders would need to have in dealing with these type of men in Crete.

    To suggest that Paul was a bigot (thus Jesus by extension) from this passage is a stretch of credulity. Paul laid down his life and ministered among these people for a good season of time. Bigots don’t do that kind of thing.

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

    Scott,
    If the words of Paul are also the words of Jesus, and he’s describing these very people he ministers among as “always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons”, isn’t that a broadbrushing disrespectful way of describing a group, not just calling out an individual?

    That’s a dictionary definition of being a bigot, to slander and broadbrush an entire region of people, like saying “all southerners are Confederate flag waving Klan members” when only the smallest minority of individuals insist on practicing such things.

    So, if Paul isn’t being a bigot, then perhaps he’s just not sophisticated enough to describe an entire region of individuals with more nuance?

    Sounds like nothing that Jesus said or did, so either the words of Paul are not the words of Jesus, or Jesus misspoke through Paul?

    Or how about we find a better way of expressing the concept of inerrancy without making Jesus a bigot against Cretians by saying Paul’s words are Jesus’ words?

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