TGIF

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217 Responses

  1. Please Note says:

    Nicely written…

  2. filbertz says:

    This was the substance of a conversation I had on our cafe patio last night. It is one thing to identify someone as an enemy of the cross, but to recognize that we are compelled to love our ‘enemies’ with a view to reconciliation–not to us foremost, but to Christ–is a challenging conclusion. As your quoted scripture points out, the kingdom of God is on the line, not our personal comfort.

    …and such were some/most/all of you–when we forget where we came from we lose compassion for those still there.

  3. Paige says:

    It seems that the great challenge of walking the ‘moral high ground’ is not looking down the nose at those who have not yet had that ‘bath’. I am working at reprogramming my thoughts with this in mind.

    IMO, we all are still sinners with nothing to brag about except the incredible sacrifice of Jesus Christ for sins and the gift of faith that has allowed us to embrace His washing……So much to be thankful for and such a wonderful message to share with others.

  4. Steve Wright says:

    Michael, go and read again what exactly you DID write on Monday. I just did. Points 1-4.

    There is plenty of truth in this TGIF – but your connection to Monday and the comments that followed is way off….IMO.

  5. Mark says:

    I agree with Steve on this. And Michael- I do not see persecution happening when we call any of the otehr itmes on the lsit sin. Homosexualtiy is the onyl sin that has been “offically” declared NOT SIN- and woe to anyone who tries to claim it is sin.

  6. Jeff Hensley says:

    Beautifully written, Michael. Thank you for the reminder. Pharisaical behavior comes naturally for me. This does not. God bless

  7. Steve Wright says:

    “and such were some of you”…
    —————————————
    Like Mark said (and was discussed fully Monday and through the week), the past tense need not to apply to this one sin according to a large (and growing) percentage of the Body of Christ

    We have not been given the ministry of accusation but of reconciliation…reconciliation to a God who died for us when we were yet sinners.
    —————————————————–
    Except we can’t exercise that ministry when it comes to this sin, because we are told by many other professing Christians, from our President on down, that there is nothing to repent of – and there are plenty of churches that will receive into membership those who refuse to repent. In fact, we are told it is hateful (and even in some cases, criminal,) to dare call the sinner to repentance.

    The affirmations and “attaboys” almost drowned out the voice of the Spirit.
    ———————————————————————-
    Sometimes the “attaboys” are the voice of the Spirit through God’s people to encourage one when they take a stand for the truth. It is sort of insulting to suggest those who encourage you are actually a hindrance to the work of the Spirit in your life.

  8. TGIF is both brilliant and instructive…

    Brillant because PP is a bright and insightfully nuanced teacher. Instructive because it shows the bits of Protestant angst that makes us always feel bad about our actions.

    Feeling guilty is profoundly Catholic and pretty strongly Protestant. I remember when I started walking out of the room when the introspective guilt discussions got too heavy for me.

    “The Lord has me working on _________” as soon as I hear that I quietly leave the room and turn on the tv. No, more likely I grab the computer. But guilt sucks.

    And what the guys are saying Michael is that you have been fair and FRANKLY the matter of homosexuality is impossible to avoid.

  9. Michael says:

    I’m not in a place where I can respond at the moment.
    I’m not advocating guilt but maybe some humility…

  10. Yes, you are calling us to humility. Of course I did not really participate in the long thread except a couple drive by comments.

    But no one is more fair than you. And I have decided firmly to be unafraid and clear in my responses to this conflict and I appreciate that see the same from you.

    And I am sick of the culture and the culturally infected church using guilt and shame to bully us into the corner if we dissent their self-implosion.

    Strange isn’t it? The inferior weapons we used on the culture are being turned on us. “Homophobe! Bigot! Hate-monger! How can you look at yourself in the mirror” and slowly we come into line. Slowly we are shamed into shutting up.

    Dissident Dread

  11. Steve Wright says:

    In fact, it is the “attaboys” of the world, and especially the ones that come prefaced with “I am a Christian too…” that are actually drowning out the voice of the Spirit in the life of the average homosexual who at some point early on can be more easily convicted of his/her sin than after decades of celebration and practice. It’s a lot easier to sober up a 20 year-old than it is a 60 year-old who has been using for decades

    As a result, this is not just about the doctrine of sin, but the doctrine of salvation. Your cited verse speaks to that. The “humility” should be about equal to what we think of heretics and false religions encouraging people there is salvation in “another Jesus” – in this case, the other Jesus may still be viewed as deity, but he is the one who celebrates their homosexual identity, and of course, by necessity is opposed to the writings of Paul you quote today.

    I think it is safe to say the only (non-criminal) person more hated in US society than those who say that homosexuality is a sin, is the man or woman who actually was an open homosexual, and who repents and tells the world that their old lifestyle was sinful and wrong in the eyes of God.

    And they are out there, in small numbers but out there…THEY need our prayers, and those on the fence wanting to join them but fearful of the backlash.

    The world celebrates the addict who gets clean, the womanizer who marries and settles down, the thief that restores what was stolen and devotes his life to giving to others and so forth…but not this particular repented sinner.

    That is why this is so serious to me.

  12. Dusty says:

    good morning PP family. Hope your day is fill with wonder and joy! 🙂

  13. Xenia says:

    Recently you offered the opinion (to paraphrase) that bloggers are the new prophets of the church.

    I don’t agree with this at all, but since you do, you shouldn’t be apologetic for telling the truth in your role as bloggger/prophet.

    Can you imagine Isaiah one day listing all the sins of the Jews and the consequence thereof and the next day upset because people agreed with him?

  14. I will just say this – the only way you can either compromise with the homosexual agenda or be accepting into fellowship is to turn a blind eye to scripture.
    Look amongst my own, the ELCA – from the 60s to present they have been in a mode of denying scripture beginning with the 6 day creation account, then moving it along to the first 10 chapters, followed by denying Jonah and it goes on

    From there the rational became, “well if those scriptures are wrong, analogies to tell a story or just plain out of date, well why not these that prevent women from being pastors?” – and voila, women pastors.

    As time moved on, “well, it those scriptures are wrong enough to allow women pastors, why can’t it be applied to homosexual pastors? And voila homosexual pastors.

    The very next step will be homosexual marriage.

    Make no mistake, just entertaining the discussion on these blogs weakens the Christian position – this is why the Jars of Clay guy was able to come out pro homosexual marriage … because over time he heard enough “christians” entertaining the conversation .

  15. Xenia,

    You made me chuckle …

  16. Nonnie says:

    I know as I look back on my life before Christ, how thankful I am that the Christians I knew were not wagging their fingers at me and railing against me for my drug use and my lack of “morality.” It was the sexual revolution (late 60’s early 70’s) and I was completely caught up in it. Not one Christian rebuked me or called me out on “my” sin. However they did point me to Jesus and how ALL needed forgiveness for sin. We are all sinners in need of a Saviour and there is no other name that can save, but Jesus. Shortly after receiving Christ, I read 1 Cor. 6 and sat and cried like a baby. I knew how dirty I was, I knew how I had abused my body in so many ways, but Jesus told me I was now washed and clean. Hallelujah! I am so thankful for His marvelous love and grace. I’ve always tried to be a witness for Christ in the way those dear Christians witnessed to me. Point people to Jesus, preach the word, and let the Holy Spirit convict of sin and reveal to them their need.

  17. Nonnie’s post brings up a good point – and perhaps this is the issue.

    I take no offense at homosexuality as a particular sin with the unbeliever. My issue is with the ‘gay pride’ type homosexual who also proclaims himself as a Christian with no need to even consider repenting of that ‘non sin’

    I take no issue with prideful non christains, gossipping non christians, adulterous non christians etc.

  18. Xenia says:

    You may all be shocked to know that I have several homosexual acquaintances who I have never thrown eggs at or even scowled in their direction. I have always shown them all the love of Christ I could muster up. Nothing hateful at all. Moreover, I don’t have any anti-homosexual bumper stickers.

    See, even I can be nice when the Gospel requires it of me.

    This is *not* the same thing as endorsing their perverted anti-christ movement which they are aggressively trying to force upon us all. They will not be satisfied until the last blogger/prophet shuffles off in defeat, they will not be content until the last one of us confines our thoughts to our own skulls because if we say anything, they will make us feel guilty and they know all the guilt-producing scriptures to drag out to beat us down and make us feel lousy for sticking up for God’s truth.

  19. The debate about multiple partnered marriages is looming. This will not be about polygamy per se. It will be about multiple people marrying. We will have garden variety polygamy and then it will get interesting. We will see groups of people wanting to marry. It will be very bi-sexual and basically you will file a form where you can ‘have it your way.’

    Probably it will start with some guys who marry a bunch of single moms who need stability. The custody insanity will clog that up and perhaps slow it down but it will come. It will get really interesting when two men want to marry six women and be one family. Then there will be babies conceived without clarity on the sperm donor, wait we have that now, just not within a single marriage. The really strange one and least likely to succeed will be one woman trying to marry a group of guys. The math just doesn’t work out.

    I am venting but it will happen and some of our resident big-hearts at PP will endorse it all. Christians who want to live Biblical marriage out will have to become separatists.

    Yes that is it, a new separatism is on the horizon. It will be the only way Christians can live. So the communal life which was craved in the the sixties will be lived out in two forms. First, little Christian conclaves and tribes trying to survive. Second, free for all orgies that want to cast off the restraints of convention and religion. Of course they will all develop a religion that undergirds them. Again the resident PPers are here to service that.

    It won’t be boring. If you want job security the law is your future.

  20. Michael says:

    Perhaps someday I’ll learn to write so that people can read with comprehension.
    I affirmed what I had written previously…I simply wanted to provide a balance to it.
    Perhaps I’m the only one here who is prone to spiritual pride and gross self righteousness.
    In that case, just consider this article a confession.
    Perhaps I’m the only one here who finds it easier to hate sinners whose sin is different than mine with little regard for their eternal destiny.
    Again, I confess.
    Perhaps I’m the only one here who God needs to remind where He found me…and where He still often finds me.
    I confess.
    You may now return to the importance of standing tall against sin.

  21. Xenia says:

    I was at someone’s house this week and a cop show was on the TV. A leading character (female) locked lips with a supporting character (female.) I was disgusted.

    Now think. If this was my own house and this happened and my children were in the room with me, I would jump up and turn it off. “Why, Mommy?” “Because it is disgusting. Homosexuality is a sin and we are not going to watch sinners practicing their sin for our entertainment.”

    Child goes to school and tells her teacher. “What do you think, Teacher? You have been telling us all year that it’s great to be gay and that those who disagree are haters!”

    And the next thing I know, I am summoned to school to explain my hate speech. And in a few years, I might be sent to re-education classes. And a few years later, I might lose my kids.

  22. Babs,
    You may be right about what is on the horizon. I can have security in my beliefs and even my outspokenness. I don’t need to espouse my personal opinion “I think homosexuality is wrong” or ” I think homosexuals are wrong.” Because it is not a matter of what I think.

    I just tell people – “Homosexuality is not Christian – and the two are not compatible.”

    No one get’s upset when a Jew proclaims a ham sandwich to be non kosher. 😉

  23. Xenia, your TV story lacks credibility … ” I would jump up and turn it off.”

    No one jumps up to turn it off anymore – you reach for the remote. 🙂

  24. Xenia says:

    Michael, there is no need to balance anything. The homosexual agenda is pure evil. It is demon-powered, which is the only reason it’s gotten as far as it has gotten. Individual homosexuals are victims of this satanic plot, too, and we can show individuals love and compassion as we try to pull them out of the fire.

    If ever there was a time to stand strong against evil, this is the time. It is not the time for hand-wringing.

  25. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    Where have I defended that agenda?
    Should I not guard my own soul against the sins that so easily entangle and defile me?
    Is it really impossible to do both?

  26. “You may now return to the importance of standing tall against sin.”

    Very demeaning and disrespectful to your readers. – in fact I think your spiritual pride is showing as you feign humility while publicly falling on your sword.

  27. Michael says:

    Representatives of my theological tribe are having a big pow wow this week.
    In their midst is a man who allegedly covered gross child molestation for years.
    Every one of the men have written early and often on the homosexual issue.
    They are silent about the sins of the man who sits among them.
    Which is the greater sin?

  28. Xenia says:

    You don’t defend the agenda, you just try to make those of us who fight the agenda feel guilty.

  29. Interestingly as I post here I am reading “How Junia got a sex change” in the e-book. Looks like McKnight demonizes Luther in that one. What say you MLD? Did father Martin castrate some priest and transplant his manhood to Junia? Sounds like him.

    Yes that is boorish and uncalled for but if I may hijack a thread that is rolling down the cliff anyway… Who buys into the idea that Junia was an apostle? I intend to claim it but I may be just a retreaded version of cultural conformity…. what say ye?

  30. Xenia says:

    You may now return to the importance of standing tall against sin.<<<

    There are many people (bloggers) who have strongly criticized the child molesters out there.

    Why no posts from you mocking these people?

  31. Michael says:

    “You don’t defend the agenda, you just try to make those of us who fight the agenda feel guilty.”

    What did I clearly write on Monday?
    Where did I retract a word of it?

    Evidently I’m the only sinner left on the board.

  32. “Evidently I’m the only sinner left on the board.”

    OK, someone didn’t eat their Wheaties this morning. Are you going to spend the day crying in your beer?

    I say that I break every one of the 10 commandments every day … so how can you be the only sinner here? The difference is I recognize my sin, confess my sin and if someone points out my sin, I usually (it may take 3 or 4 attempts) will repent of that sin.

    The homosexual who profess to be a christian will not.

    So are you saying because I sin I cannot point out sin in the church?

  33. Dusty says:

    Michael, i’m a sinner. ((((hugs big brother)))

  34. Xenia,

    Get yer knickers out of a wad. Michael no worries we all know you are the resident a$$ that you are confessing to being.

    Monday was brilliant … today was brilliant… Tomorrow will be … a day off.

    I like your take I just think, like X and MLD that it is time for war and we need not apologize to the lefties. Just get them on your fantasy team. 😉

  35. Babs,
    “Did father Martin castrate some priest and transplant his manhood to Junia? Sounds like him. ”

    Well, didn’t Luther invent the Christmas tree? Just one more ornament to hang somewhere. 🙂

  36. Muff Potter says:

    Xenia wrote @ # 21:

    And the next thing I know, I am summoned to school to explain my hate speech. And in a few years, I might be sent to re-education classes. And a few years later, I might lose my kids.

    Not on these shores Xenia. Not ever. I may not agree with the tenets of your religion regarding human sexuality but I will battle to the death for your right to speak them and teach them to your children. The Founders of our Nation crafted something vastly different from all the other governments on the world stage to this day. The others are all about what the King’s men can and will do to you. Ours is about what the King’s men may not do.

  37. Michael says:

    My God…I write an article reminding myself and the self righteous among us that our sins are as noxious in front of a holy God as the ones we see in others and the roof caves in.
    It balances out the attaboys, I guess.

  38. Xenia says:

    the self righteous among us<<<

    This self-righteous person is going to away from the computer for the rest of the day. We are going to a banquet to celebrate our daughter who just won a huge scholarship and gets to go to college all expenses paid!

    See you laterz.

  39. Michael says:

    Out till Monday.

  40. Xenia says:

    PS I am a student of Russian history. One year (1916) it’s a Christian nation and people are attending church and the rulers are pious believers. Next year (1917) it’s Lenin and the Gulag.

    Things can change drastically in the course of one year. Sure, there’s signs and warnings but one day you will wake up and discover it’s too late.

  41. Michael,
    It wasn’t your article … it was your trailing comments

  42. Michael says:

    MLD,

    I never wrote a word of accusation against anyone else.
    I didn’t back down from my comments on Monday.
    I didn’t say anyone else should back down.
    I simply recognized in writing my own sin and shortcomings and my personal belief that I should be as aware of those as the ones I’m pointing at.
    Fil and Jeff got it.
    You didn’t.
    You, Xenia, and Steve went on the attack.
    Attack away.
    I stand with what I wrote on both ends of the week.

  43. My early comments were how we came to have an acceptance of homosexuality in some Lutheran denominations by denying scriptures – no attack.

    I then made a comment off of Nonnies to say that I have no issues with non christian homosexuals – no attack

    I made no ‘attacks’ until you said “You may now return to the importance of standing tall against sin.”

  44. Michael says:

    BD, Dusty…thank you.

  45. Perhaps it’s your use of “we” and “us” that sound accusatory.
    When you use those terms, you cannot say that you are speaking only for yourself.

  46. Steve Wright says:

    Years ago I dedicated my life to the belief that God’s Spirit is actively at work through the preaching of the word of God, and that the Spirit working through the preached word convicts unbelievers on their way to hell to turn to Jesus Christ. It also convicts believers of sin and leads to repentance and lives that glorify God. That God could (and would) use me as His instrument for His work – with all of the resulting responsibility (i.e. counting the cost) that would entail.

    My life’s work (or the last several years of it) is all available online and a listen will show that at no time, when I am engaged in this holy work, am I guilty of the things us evangelical preachers are routinely accused of – including by some at this blog.

    Rather I preach the message of reconciliation, the love of God found at the cross, and yes, the need for us ALL to recognize we are sinners in need of mercy and grace found only in the blood shed by Jesus at the cross.

    Now, if you want to talk about drowning out the voice of the Spirit, then there is no better example then having not just the world, but so many Christians screaming that homosexuality is NOT a sin to repent of, but rather is an identity to embrace, promote, and celebrate. THAT is what men like myself face, who actually preach to strangers, lost sinners, and the lost friends and family of heartbroken believers in the church who have that rare one-week chance when their loved one agrees to come to church for a visit.

    Your article Monday absolutely nailed the real issue today, and it is NOT that some people are engaging in homosexual sin, while others are engaging in other sins. And so today’s apologia is unrelated and irrelevant to what you wrote on Monday – though, as I have already said, it still full of truth and a good reminder.

    The REAL issue is what you discussed, and is what some of us, including me, applauded and encouraged you about – because even if in your preaching on Sundays in your house church you have a far different audience, and thus experience than some of us (I assume you don’t have too many practicing homosexuals or strangers each week), in your influence as a blogger, available and potentially reaching the entire world, you showed yourself aligned in the REAL issue.

    And to that, we who supported you Monday are NOW said to have been drowning out the voice of the Spirit in your life – even as you quote from the Spirit-given word of God that so many today are denying..while people are deceived in the name of “another Jesus” on the way to hell. And when we challenge THAT you retreat into the martyr mode and call your supporters self-righteous and incapable of recognizing our own sins.

    Now, I have no doubt you will have a couple folks come on later and applaud you for today, talking about “Yes, we are all sinners and we all need to walk with Jesus” which misses the entire point about the acceptance of this one, and only one, sin in the body of Christ and the world we live in.

    I’m sure THEIR applause though will comfort you….

  47. Michael says:

    I was falsely accused of making people feel guilty, retracting a clear stand I had made, and a few other things that I’m not going to bother to detail.
    It’s not sin to misrepresent me, because you all are warring against the enemy.
    Okey dokey.

  48. Michael says:

    Steve,

    I am well aware of all the issues surrounding homosexuality and I WROTE ABOUT THEM CLEARLY!

    Today I wrote that I am prone to letting the affirmation of others drown out the voice of the Spirit speaking to me ABOUT MY OWN SINS which I need to be as aware of as those of others I write about.

    You have been merciless since then.
    If you and MLD don’t believe that we can talk about both you’re in the wrong place and need to click the hell out of here.

  49. mike says:

    Wow. Just wow

    Michael, I appreciate your words but sometimes disagree with your tone. I have the same issue at times so I can empathize with the apparent disconnect.
    I choose to attempt to see your ‘better angels’.
    Have a great weekend.
    -mike

  50. Scott says:

    I copped to my own sin of gluttony 6 months ago.

    Since then, I’ve lost 75 lbs, feel like a million bucks and empathize greatly with those who struggle with their weight.

    Carry on…

  51. Michael says:

    The funniest thing about all of this is that this article had absolutely freaking nothing to do with the issue of homosexuality.
    Nothing.

  52. Bob says:

    I will never compromise on same sex intimacy, nor the subject of what constitutes a marriage union. It is also my opinion that any church organization, of any size, which does is not in love with God.

    Yes I am saying people and organizations which do allow these things hate God, others and love self. The only reason to promote sin (not confession or repentance as Michael is doing in this thread, good job BTW) is to hide or justify ones own.

    Like MLD, I struggle daily in the battle of living for self over God and the grace show to me in Jesus, Messiah and Lord. The only thing which has worked for me is to get to know Him through immersion in His Word and practical application.

  53. dswoager says:

    I’ve been kicking around the idea lately that when we try to control the morality of another person as the church, when we exercise our influence in that way, that we are communicating something other than the gospel of grace to the world. If we try to control the behavior of the lost, then we are in effect telling them that it is our actions that have saved us, that they should be a good person like us. That is why I feel on the whole we should be more in the area of trying to persuade people to the superiority of a life in Christ than to necessarily be calling out specific sins in the world. We accept the gospel of grace ourselves, but too often we say to the world “that we are without sin”, what does that make us?

  54. dswoager.
    I am only speaking of those IN the church who are homosexual and refuse to recognize it as sin or for those who support the homosexual agenda in the church. The unbelieving homosexual is another story no different that any unbeliever.

    But what do you say about inside the church?

  55. dswoager says:

    I agree with you inside the church. It isn’t the example of homosexuality, but I live in Pittsburgh and I remember when all of the Ben Roethlisberger sexual assault talk was going on. One day he came out and said that he had found his faith in Christ, or something to that effect. There were a lot of people who were cynical about such a statement, but the way I heard it I figured that someone who claims the name of Christ is accountable to the people of God as well. He may have been lying, but just by making the profession I think his is a situation that we can speak into.

  56. Bob says:

    ds…

    We don’t “control” the behavior of others to either save them or to punish them. In community we regulate behaviors for the benefit of the community as a whole. The scriptures don’t teach us to call sin “sin” just because. It is so that we can benefit our community.

    By allowing deviant and often times destructive behaviors, even without considering anything spiritual, we damn our community to the consequences of such behaviors.

    If it was just me and myself living in a forest all my behaviors effect only the forest and I.

    I just don’t get why our US culture seems to be so he’ll bent of destroying itself.

  57. I look at it this way – if a church member decided to step out on his wife of 30 yrs and he starts showing up to church each Sunday with his new 20 something girlfriend, I would think someone would talk to him and discuss sin in his life. I know in my church, this guy would be prevented from approaching the Lord’s Table.

    Now, when the ‘gay pride’ homosexual shows up, does he get talked to or is this off limits? In some church settings and with some of the folks here, I think he would be allowed to take cuts in the communion line.

  58. dswoager says:

    One of my favorite Bonhoeffer quotes:

    “Therefore, spiritual love will prove successful insofar as it commends Christ to the other in all that it says and does. It will not seek to agitate another by exerting all too personal, direct influence or by crudely interfering in one’s life. It will not take pleasure in pious, emotional fervor and excitement. Rather, it will encounter the other with the clear word of God and be prepared to leave the other alone with this word for a long time. It will be willing to release others again so that Christ may deal with them.”
    ― Dietrich Bonhoeffer from Life Together

    I’m not sure if that addresses what you are talking about in as straightforward a manner as you would have liked, but our faith in God includes a faith in the living word, and the activity of the Spirit. I am probably more lenient in my approach, but a genuine turning from sin can sometimes take time with the word and with God. We should all be more sensitive to the leading of the Spirit in the conviction of our sins, but the truth is that we often (or at least sometimes) are not.

  59. London says:

    What happened to the church history threads?

  60. I think this guy answered better than Bonhoeffer;

    “It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that even pagans do not tolerate: A man is sleeping with his father’s wife. And you are proud! Shouldn’t you rather have gone into mourning and have put out of your fellowship the man who has been doing this? For my part, even though I am not physically present, I am with you in spirit. As one who is present with you in this way, I have already passed judgment in the name of our Lord Jesus on the one who has been doing this. So when you are assembled and I am with you in spirit, and the power of our Lord Jesus is present, hand this man over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh so that his spirit may be saved on the day of the Lord.” – Paul

  61. Neo says:

    Michael, you are a provocateur par excellance…. Kinda like that itinerant Rabbi from Nazareth. Which is why I appreciate you both. As to this article, goes to show how the Church can be just as brutal as the Beast, in my opinion. This thread is just a small anecdotal evidence of that. Carry on.

  62. Dusty says:

    love the song, but were we called to be safe and sound?

  63. dswoager says:

    I suppose the difference would be that it is a sexual sin the the “pagans” do tolerate. 😉 I’m allowed to crack jokes here, right? On a more serious note though I think that it does pull out the heinousness of the sin in question, which leads to the harshness of the discipline. In a way it is making the followers of Christ look even more wicked than those on the outside. In that context, the man stepping out on his wife might even be commiting the more heinous sin, as the world at large would seem to have less tolerance for that than for the homosexual.

  64. Michael says:

    Neo…thanks, my friend.

  65. Michael says:

    London,

    My family has been in crisis mode most of the last two weeks.
    Those threads take a lot of time and I just haven’t had enough to do one correctly.
    Hopefully, I’ll continue soon.

  66. Xenia says:

    Ms. Self-Righteous here, back from the banquet.

    Leon Panetta was in attendance, not as a speaker but as the friend of another honoree. He was trailed by a grim man in a suit with an ear piece.

    Think about it: He was the director of the CIA and the Secretary of Defense. He probably knows if earth has been visited by space aliens, what’s in the hangar at Area 51 and who really shot JFK yet he’s always smiling. I find that comforting.

    The main honoree was my all-time favorite history professor who inspired me to continue my education at the university level and beyond. What a great guy!

  67. Steve Wright says:

    I have two primary concerns and one secondary.

    1) As an American, I will stand against harassment, persecution, and marginalization of my brothers and sisters in Christ (or other Americans for that matter) that do not celebrate the homosexual and his/her lifestyle. Yes, we can change the channel, turn off the radio and expect little else from the world – but when we move past “live and let live, privacy of the bedroom” into where we are now, where people are actually forced into sensitivity training for daring to speak a critical word, when Christians lose their businesses…I will speak out on how wrong this is, and how it goes against everything America is supposed to stand for when it comes to freedom – as Michael did Monday.

    2) As a Christian, I will stand against homosexuality being reclassified as no longer a sin in the eyes of God. Period. – Once more, Michael has never wavered in this either.

    To me, both of these two issues require no defense as a follower of Christ in this country. Res ipsa loquitur.

    Therefore my secondary concern is that Christians feel guilted, manipulated or otherwise “spiritually obligated” when expressing either of the first two convictions, to preface their beliefs with some self-flagellation in the name of Jesus. That we need a disclaimer about how all sins are bad, we all have different sins, we should not focus on just this one etc.

    Because we don’t do that when calling out other sinful behavior or false teaching. And yet, it is so easy to feel obligated to do so, that even I have found myself over the years here on many occasions starting my post with “I don’t preach that homosexuality is a worse sin than others…” – as if we are required to make a disclaimer before we stand for what is right and true.

    I know the world has to. I saw that Jason Whitlock (sports writer) had something critical to say about Sam inking a reality show with Oprah – but I could barely get past the first paragraph as he made sure to tell the readers that he used to be a homophobe but has seen the light, now equates gay rights with the civil rights struggles of his ancestors (he is black for those of you who do not know him), and that he is really rooting for Sam…THEN I guess he felt he could dare write his criticism. But hey, he is smart and wants to keep his job and he knows that even with all the caveats he is going to be ripped by some for daring to say ANYTHING critical – even though he is a very opinionated writer and those strong opinions which often do infuriate people (and are typically offered WITHOUT an opening paragraph of disclaimer) is what he is paid to offer.

    This is what I saw Michael doing today. Standing on the above points one and two as always, but feeling the burden of writing that disclaimer. He can do that if he wishes, and I will likely ignore it – but where I “attack” (as was accused by our host) is when Michael’s personal burden for the disclaimer becomes a lecture to us all…the “we”… that somehow we are in the wrong if we don’t go and do likewise. And from the reaction, I was hardly alone in this.

    Monday was “Things I Think” – personal reflections of our host. We can agree or disagree and discuss.

    Today was things “We” are doing…and doing wrong. (Again, read all those “we’s” in the context of all of us who commented Monday)

    A lecture. With the traditional “make your own application” tagline.

    Well, I have done so. This is my application.

  68. Scott says:

    Steve, what I have discovered about many bloggers is that when they use the pronoun “we”, they really mean “me”.

    Took me awhile to figure that out 😉

  69. Michael says:

    Steve,

    I have written more than once that this article had nothing to do with what I wrote on Monday.
    Nothing.
    This was in no way, shape, or form a disclaimer of what I wrote on Monday.
    This article was about how easy it is for me to feel self righteous looking at the behaviors of others and ignoring the behaviors that are sinful in myself.
    You refuse to acknowledge that and continue to twist my words and smear my intent.
    You are bearing false witness and I will not put up with it.

  70. Michael says:

    You didn’t bother to ask for clarification, just went on the offensive as usual.
    When I offer clarification, you simply attack again.
    You are so wrapped up in your war that it doesn’t matter who gets trashed and becomes collateral damage…and are so proud you won’t recognize it when it happens.

  71. dswoager says:

    Michael and Steve, I think that this is a good example of how we have let the culture determine the narrative within the church. Michael, you wrote what you wrote, and Steve along with others couldn’t help but make the connection because it has become such an obsession within the church. I know I am may be in the minority around here about this, but we expend more energy and emotion about this issue than we really need to. It has become a defining issue in the church because of the way it is treated in the world. I’m not sure we are intended to work that way around.

  72. Michael,

    Ever look up this word?

    “re·vile
    verb \ri-ˈvī(-ə)l\

    : to speak about (someone or something) in a very critical or insulting way”

    Methinks the guy who’s giving you crap today doth protesteth too much.

    According to the Paul quote you cited, he has done this to you and is currently not inheriting the kingdom of God…

    I’m only thankful Jesus has even taken the judgment for “revilers” along with all those other sinners

    Have a great weekend, hug Trey and the cats and don’t let the buffoons get you down.

  73. Steve Wright says:

    I have written more than once that this article had nothing to do with what I wrote on Monday.
    Nothing.
    ———————————————-
    Well, I’d rather be dumb than guilty of bearing false witness. The former is not a sin accusation.

    I guess all that talk about applause received and applause dying down over Monday’s article (the bookends of the post) really has nothing to do with Monday’s article – or today’s point. Just my lack of reading ability. I’ll let that rest now.

    I would add one point about the substance of today’s article if I could. You wrote “I looked just like them before my bath…”

    You see, that I can Amen. If the “them” means the sinners in Corinth Paul was writing to. (I am a little gun-shy on my interpretative skills now so I’ll let you tell us who the “them” is…)

    But if the “them” means actively practicing sinners, raising their hands in praise to the Lord each Sunday, quoting their Bibles, praying to the God of the universe, asking the Lord to bless their sinful life choices, partaking in baptism and holy communion…..

    Well, no, I did not look like that before my bath. I did none of those things. That’s what being born again is largely all about…The old Steve is dead, a new Steve is alive.

  74. Michael,
    This morning you said “Perhaps someday I’ll learn to write so that people can read with comprehension”

    Perhaps you should have stopped right there as you recognized that you miscommunicated. But you continued on and dug your hole deeper.

  75. Steve Wright says:

    The week is complete with G now casting aspersion on even my salvation…

  76. Xenia says:

    Michael, you know, way back up near the top when you first realized that people were misunderstanding the point of your article, thanx to your often problematic use of the word “we,” you could have said, with good humor, “Whoa folks, I see I have not expressed myself well! I am not talking about homosexuality, I am talking about my own proclivity to enjoy accolades! Let me try that again, this time with proper pronoun usage that doesn’t look like I am indicting you all!”

    Whole thread would have turned out differently.

  77. except in his practice of still being a reviler

    are “practicing revilers” just as vile as “practicing (_insert_from_list_here_)”?

  78. James says:

    Michael, good job.
    MLD: I agree with you that we are called to correct sinful behaviour within the church body. We are not called to force society to behave in a certain manner. However, you are starting on the assumption that a Christian must believe in the inerrancy of scripture. You pointed out that the ECLA does not believe in inerrancy. So are these homosexuals and the members of the ECLA not Christians? Is the belief in inerrancy required of a Christian?

  79. Michael says:

    Steve,

    No, this is a full on accusation of sin and bearing false witness.
    I have repeatedly said what this article was about and you repeatedly deny everything I say.
    One of us is a liar.
    Evidently, you have reached sinless perfection.
    I haven’t.
    I still do horrible things and say terrible things and think terrible things.
    it must be that perfect holiness of yours that allows you to know what I really said.

  80. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    I wrote this quickly this morning and then spent the rest of the morning in the hospital with my son.
    It’s been an in and out morning and I tried as best as I could to clarify my article within the demands of the rest of the day.
    I thought I had done so.
    Repeatedly.
    One person wants to drive me into the ground with this…and I’ll be damned if I’m going to let it happen .

  81. if a practicing #4 cannot be in communion with Jesus, can any practicing #8 (“reviler”) be in communion with Jesus?

    …or does the finished sacrifice of Jesus which took all judgment for the sin of humankind, past present and future also apply to these on the list?

    Hope so.
    If not, we’re all hosed.

    Hang in there Michael, I totally understood the intent of your article, that none of us is without the present need for the love and compassion of the living Jesus who conquered death to give each of us life.

    Enjoy that age abiding eternal life.

  82. Michael says:

    MLD,

    I have clarified myself repeatedly.
    You and Steve don’t want to hear it.
    You both prefer the sound of your own voices.

  83. Xenia says:

    Michael, you used snark instead of good humor. That’s where you went wrong.

    And I will tell you that your attempts to paint Steve as a liar is not going over well with me.

  84. Michael says:

    “I totally understood the intent of your article, that none of us is without the present need for the love and compassion of the living Jesus who conquered death to give each of us life.”

    Thanks, G…

  85. James,
    “So are these homosexuals and the members of the ECLA not Christians? Is the belief in inerrancy required of a Christian?”

    I can at least say they are not Lutherans.

    My point was that they looked for loopholes and what they thought they found they used for sin.

  86. Steve Wright says:

    I affirmed what I had written previously…I simply wanted to provide a balance to it.
    —————————————————————–
    Since we are having a middle school grammar lesson, I will have to dig deeper to find the antecedent implied by the “it” since the author affirms it has NOTHING to do with Monday’s article and apparently any of us (for I am not alone) who thought it might are bearing false witness, liars, and sinlessly perfect.

    (Hey, G, if you want to know what railer/reviler really mean, it is not to simply be critical of another..it has to do with the abusive and harsh way of expressing that criticism.)

    I will cop to a lot of sarcasm in my last few comments….:)

  87. Steve Wright says:

    I am sorry to hear about your time in the hospital with Trey. I will bow out now.

  88. filbertz says:

    perhaps the bigger question before the Church is “how do we live in such a way that anyone on the list of sinners would ask us to give an explanation about the hope that is within us?” Clearly, we are providing neither salt or light, unless it is to sting or expose.

  89. If today Paul said to toss the guy who was sleeping with his father’s wife out of the church, G would have written a reply letter of rebuke.

  90. Michael says:

    Steve trying to paint me as one (along with his other accusations) isn’t going over well with me.
    I tried to deal with he privately, he brought it back here.
    So we can deal with it right here.

  91. Michael says:

    We’re home…he’s ok.
    We can settle this here and now…I’ve rarely been this angry on this blog over the last few years.
    I am in a flat out rage.

  92. Steve Wright says:

    I tried to deal with he privately, he brought it back here.
    —————————————————–
    ??????

    (something is wrong on the timestamps of either this blog or my facebook)

    Like I said, I am bowing out for the sole reason that you just advised about the hospital and Trey…so please do not state things to the board that are inaccurate and require me to respond again. Thanks.

  93. Michael says:

    Steve,

    Did I or did I not send you a message on Facebook about this matter to which you replied that you had responded on the blog?
    Yes or no?

  94. Michael says:

    I will cop to sloppy writing, bad grammar, and snark when answering false accusations
    What I can’t believe is that my “friends’ refuse to hear any clarification even after numerous attempts to do so.
    That is the “grace” that sends so many away.

  95. Steve Wright says:

    (sigh) – Michael, there is no doubt things have gone downhill. I’m trying to get off the elevator before it hits the basement if I can.

    However, one value of a thread is people can go back, read post by post, and see what exactly happened. For example, I began very charitably, and most of my commentary has been what I deal with as a pastor to a fairly large and diverse congregation each week..

    Yes, you sent me a one terse sentence message on facebook, about 45-60 minutes after your public accusations of bearing false witness here. (posts 48/49)

    I could post that one terse sentence and all can see if it indicates someone “trying to deal with it privately” but I don’t post private messages. Besides, the folks here can probably guess what one terse sentence from you when angry would look like.

    I was away for awhile, and thought upon what became my post #69 as what I felt was a clear explanation of where I was coming from, posted it when I came home…THEN read your facebook message.

    To which, yes, I replied that I had clarified (my word) on the blog.

    It’s been all nuclear since.

    Now…can we let that aspect die down (along with the rest of it) because the time stamps and the facts support everything I just wrote.

  96. Ricky Bobby says:

    “The acclamation will cease when you write about the ones that we cling to and ignore.”

    Well, that statement was proven true rather quickly 🙂

  97. James says:

    Steve: I realize that you and Michael are having some kind of personal war right now but there are actually those of us out here that are trying to understand the issues involved.
    You mentioned on a few threads back that if a gay couple was attending your church you would call them aside and discuss the issue with them and if they did not repent you would ask them to leave your church. What if they did not profess to be Christian? Or what if they professed to be Christian but did not believe in the inerrancy of scripture? Do you require everyone who attends your services and professes to be Christian to believe in the inerrancy of scripture. How do you handle such things. Certainly a number of your church goers do not believe in inerrancy. Thanks.

  98. James,
    I would like to jump in because you asked me the inerrancy question earlier. Are you saying that it is acceptable to say that your sin is OK because you don’t believe the Bible is true when it addresses that area?

    So the serial adulterer is just fine at your church so long as he will make a statement that the Bible is wrong about adultery?

  99. James says:

    MLD: I am saying that they are saying that it is acceptable to say that their sin is ok because they do not believe the bible to be inerrant. That seems to be the issue here. How do we handle that? Do we insist on inerrancy?

  100. Michael says:

    Steve,
    Feel free to post the messages and time stamps .
    You need to do so before I remove you from my friends list, which will be very shortly .

  101. Xenia says:

    If you remove Steve, might as well take me off too.

  102. James, I think I understand. I am not a big inerrancy guy (I think the term is over used by folks who don’t understand it.) – I believe the Bible is true and I do take it seriously.
    Look, when the Bible calls something an abomination – I have no idea what an abomination actually is – but i do know that you are in serious do do if it is directed at you.

    Let me ask this – how would you or your church handle membership (I am a big membership guy) if that person will not confess Jesus Christ as God – he just says, you guys are wrong about that one.

  103. Michael says:

    Xenia,
    Have it your way.
    A friend would have listened to me and accepted my word…he continues to attack.
    A friend would have, could have said…”you’re a crappy writer and I misunderstood your point, but I accept your explanation”.
    If that is too much to ask, then so be it.
    I’m done.

  104. dswoager says:

    MLD, could you explain why you are as big on membership as you are? The topic came up elsewhere today, so I’m just curious.

  105. Steve Wright says:

    You mentioned on a few threads back that if a gay couple was attending your church you would call them aside and discuss the issue with them and if they did not repent you would ask them to leave your church
    ————————————————–
    James, I didn’t write that. That is not what I would do. I think you are confusing me with MLD

    Michael, as I wrote – I was away for awhile, thought of a reply that I posted here – went to facebook and then saw your one sentence message to me (after many posts here), and said I clarified on the blog. You can declare here that you were trying to work it out privately but I insisted it be played out on the blog if you so desire.

    A friend would immediately stop the debate once you mentioned Trey and the hospital…

    Which I did.

    As far as facebook goes….to my knowledge none of my unbelieving friends (and I have scores of them) have ever unfriended me, even with the content of most of my posts being what it is. The only ones who have unfriended me tend to tell everyone how close they walk with Jesus…so you will be in good company if you choose that route. I hope you don’t though.

  106. James says:

    MLD: I certainly understand that membership solves a lot of these problems. The potential member has to agree to some sort of common ground. However, my question to Steve above is to a pastor of a non-membership group. Even in your group what do you do with someone that attends your church and does not request membership and does not meet your standards? If they are gay. If they profess to be Christians but do not believe in a literal scripture?

  107. Oh my… that didn’t go very well.

  108. dswoager,
    The question being asked of Steve is an excellent reason for membership. The gay couple or even the co cohabiting straight couple and yes, even the rank unbeliever can attend the church and be welcomed, in fact very welcomed – we want them to hear the preaching of both the law and the gospel.

    But, they cannot become members until they have been properly educated (catechized) and willing to confess to certain truths.

  109. James, the big thing to us is who gets to come to the Lord’s Table. Obviously non members cannot just because we may not know who they are or they have not been vetted properly. This works both ways … we want them to know who we are and what we believe so that they can make a spiritually educated decision if we are the people they want to worship with.

    What if they did not know that they were eating the real body of our lord or drinking his blood until they chomped down? Wouldn’t that be rude on our part. 🙂

  110. dswoager says:

    I guess part of my question in this has to do with what the benefits of membership are, and I am sure that varries from one congregation to another. The first church that I was in did have membership, but I wasn’t restricted much other than children’s ministry which was more because of clearances that I would have had to get than anything. The second congregation that I was in was a church plant, and though they didn’t have membership, but to a certain extent I think it was assumed since I was invested as much as I was. There was no affirming of theological stances or anything like that we just got to know each other enough to trust one another. I was able to teach in that congregation as well as even preach a couple times. I guess that is why I have a hard time with the membership concept, I just haven’t had a lot of reason to find it useful personally.

  111. dswoager says:

    … ok, I kind of assumed that was the case.

  112. Scott says:

    One thing I’m learning in my new position at work while interacting with many people throughout the day is that I need to learn how to not answer a matter before I have a full picture. I’m finding that sometimes I’m better off not saying anything at all.

    I’ve ended up with egg on my face more than once recently 😉

  113. dswoager – I am getting ready to leave my office and go home – I will check back later.
    The big thing with membership is that we make formal commitments to each other – publicly before the church. The pastor commits to the new member, the new member commits to the church and the church body commits to the new members.

  114. James says:

    MLD: I agree with all you have said. It makes sense. I understand your frustration with churches that vet their membership based on non-scriptural grounds. Or do not have membership. You have said that we should call out their departure from the truth. Perhaps. Perhaps not. We are not called to change society. If, within our membership, we are accounted as is necessary, that is perhaps what we are called to do.

  115. Steve Wright says:

    The question being asked of Steve is an excellent reason for membership…. the rank unbeliever can attend the church and be welcomed, in fact very welcomed – we want them to hear the preaching of both the law and the gospel.
    ——————————————————–
    I agree with MLD on both counts. However, I do not think the issue warrants establishing membership for a church like ours that does not have it.

    That may change one day, depending on the laws of the land. Meaning if we are allowed to differentiate for members but not for attenders – like if a married couples retreat was happening.

  116. James says:

    Steve, you never answered my questions. And you did write what I said you did. I will find it.

  117. James,
    As a Christian, I only concern myself with what is happening in the church. Most anything else, I handle as citizen who is allowed to lobby or vote issues.

    So, when we have a proposition on the ballot like we did several years ago about marriage – first 22 then 8 – I vote. But I am not necessarily voting on morality as much as I might be voting which kind of society I think would serve us best or that which I think would preserve order.

    An example – within my church, we may want to hold people to a level of accountability that society would not. So perhaps we would excommunicate someone for a unrepentant bad divorce – whereas as a citizen I would not vote to outlaw divorce.

  118. EricL says:

    Michael, I really appreciate your blog and the often feisty conversation that happens here, although I confess to sometimes skipping over the RB vs. MLD marathons. Today, though, I see the Adversary’s hand in the huge amount of misunderstanding that is going on among the many posters.

    It is sad to see this community ripped apart like this. We are truly in a spiritual battle and the Enemy is determined to cause all of us grief.

  119. Steve Wright says:

    Sorry James, I’m not sure when I would have written that, or what the context might have been. I don’t doubt I would have written something like it though…but here is how it would have to go down.

    If I understand you correctly, the question is over the issue of someone in a gay marriage (legal now in my state) coming to our church AND demanding acceptance as a married couple. Is that correct? Someone very public, wanting to come to the married couples retreat etc……not just two people who show up at church together that I happen to find out are homosexuals and married.

    Yes, in the first case I would definitely take them aside. I would try to be gracious but show them that in the eyes of God they are not married, and thus in my eyes they are not married, no matter what the state allows. If they are of goodwill, they will move on to another church that acccepts their relationship and they can be celebrated there. Who would possibly want to stay at a church where the pastor just looked you in the eye and said your marriage and lifestyle is a sin before God?

    Of course, if they wanted to fight and make a big deal about things, then yes, I can imagine there might come a time when I would be forced to have them leave, but it would be because they are unruly and disruptive to the church, not in a gay marriage per se.

    No different than if someone who denied the deity of Christ was at the church. That’s not a problem until the guy shows he has an agenda and starts to take people aside and try to indoctrinate them to deny the truth.

    Any gay couple after being told their marriage is not honored at our church, who still wants to hang around and try to convince us of the error of our ways, is someone with an agenda and not someone simply looking for a church home to worship God and fellowship with the saints.

  120. Neo says:

    Okay. Here is what we need for reconciliation around here. This is beautiful!!

    http://i.imgur.com/INh7rHx.jpg

  121. Geez, Neo…that was a bit more than anyone wanted to see.

  122. Steve Wright says:

    And this is where my legal qualifier fits as to membership. I can imagine the law saying that a church can keep the freedom to set its own membership guidelines, and offer things just to members, as long as the doors are still open to the general public (which of course is the law now)

    Then taking the first step to churches without formal membership, if you offer events or opportunities to all the congregation, you must offer them to everyone without discrimination – otherwise you can be sued.

    This is the biggest concern from a liability standpoint on this issue that I have for the immediate future. Because then if we were fined or lost a lawsuit, I would not allow God’s money from our church offering to pay such a thing, and that is how I can see pastors ending up in jail.

  123. Dusty says:

    Not a good day here at all. 🙁
    praying ((((hugs)))) i love you big brother

  124. London says:

    Sorry things are rough Michael, but I’m glad to hear the series will return.

  125. Neo says:

    But Derek, it’s how my heart feels.

  126. Neo, you are not the first here to tell us what we can do with our opinions.

    You Rodney King types are all like that.

  127. Neo says:

    I’m more Martin Luther King than Rodney.

  128. Actually I think you may be more like Billie Jean King 😉

  129. “(Hey, G, if you want to know what railer/reviler really mean, it is not to simply be critical of another..it has to do with the abusive and harsh way of expressing that criticism.)”

    Um, no.
    Michael is an excellent teacher, writer and there are some here who insist on playing a cruel game with him, very ungracious.

    One uses words ones audience/students can look up, then communicates in plain speech. I looked the word up quickly, online, then posted it, so that any casual reader of Michael’s post would and could do the same, no equivocation or explaining away.

    Based on that alone, without equivocation, there is no way out for a reviler any more than there can be a way out for an adulterer, swindler or anyone else on the list except the finished work of The Risen Jesus applied to the action of the person on the list, and therefore to the very life of that precious child of Jesus who doesn’t even see or acknowledge it yet.

    This is what the applied and finished work of Jesus is about, not counting our failures and shortcomings against us.

  130. Ixtlan says:

    Great post Michael. Too bad some wanted to rain on the parade. What in the world is wrong with some of you people today?

  131. Steve Wright says:

    One uses words ones audience/students can look up, then communicates in plain speech. I looked the word up quickly, online, then posted it, so that any casual reader of Michael’s post would and could do the same, no equivocation or explaining away.
    ———————————————————-
    That’s fine G. I on the other hand looked up the word that was given to Paul by the Spirit, which is translated railer as well as reviler, and made my comment.

    But kudos for you and Ixtlan for letting it all die down without feeling the need for one more poke in the eye.

    This has been a surreal day. Called a liar, false witness, defriend threat….all because I objected to a connection the host made at first and then retracted.

    Michael wrote “A friend would have, could have said…”you’re a crappy writer and I misunderstood your point, but I accept your explanation”.

    Very well. Although you are not a crappy writer you wrote a very confusing article to me and apparently a lot of other folks…but I accept your explanation and we can all move on.

    (After G of course has his last shot of course.. 🙂 )

  132. Ixtlan says:

    Well, Steve, I just came in from a very long week and like everyone else, simply expressed my opinion of the conversation today. I probably should have stay out in the back range.

  133. Nonnie says:

    Wow, lots of misunderstanding and talking past one another today by some good people. I posted number 16. Did I misunderstand you as well, Michael?
    What I understood you to write was that it is much easier to look at sins of folks and forget the wonderful redemptive work of Christ that has occurred in my own life….”and such were some of you.”
    I “assumed” you were calling us to continue to stand for God’s word on controversial subjects in today’s culture, but also never forget that sinners (that’s all of us) need Jesus, and how we flesh out our Christian faith can be used for His glory, to heal or can be used to drive people away from Christ and remain broken and lost.

  134. Dusty says:

    I read most of the thread- could not get to the rest yet….vut for the life of me i cannot see what Michael did that was so wrong….he even said he would respond but could not at the moment….then others “and another thing you did…” Michael has never ever said he was perfect and had all the answers….he has apologized when he did nothing wrong….he calls himself a sinner all the time and means it…

    Michael friend big brother im so sorrry you had such a crappy day 🙁 know you are loved by many and as you are quick to tell me this too shall pass. Love ya big brother

  135. dusty says:

    I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, unsing My name.~ John 45:46

  136. Dusty says:

    Ask me and i will tell you some remarkable secrets about what is going to happen to here. Jeremiah 33:3

  137. Thank
    God
    It’s
    Finished.

    Let’s not repeat.

  138. I figured Michael got himself caught in his zipper early and it titled his attitude, that’s why I switched my conversations to dswoager and James.

    But I did like Bab’s comment “I like your take I just think, like X and MLD that it is time for war and we need not apologize to the lefties.” 🙂

  139. Scott says:

    All this will serve as a good “Loose Ends” post on Monday or Tuesday. The pattern is predictable because this is pretty much has it’s been for years here.

    All the talk about the need for common ground and such is pretty much ineffectual when you tell people who misunderstand and challenge what is written, to get the “hell” out.

  140. Xenia says:

    I am just going to repeat what I said earlier: Once Michael realized that his article was being misunderstood by many people here, he could have offered a good-natured “oops, let me try again” but instead he responded with anger and insults. It was his subsequent responses more than his initial post that ticked me off. Then it escalated to calling someone a liar and threatening to unfriend him (Oh, the horror!) But I am happy to forget the whole fiasco. I’m sorry I threw kerosene on the fire; I should have just walked away.

  141. Nonnie says:

    Xenia, you always encourage me to be brave and bold whilst remaining gracious and loving! Sometimes that is very difficult to do. Thank you.

  142. Fisherofmen,wecatchthemGodcleansthem says:

    “If we love one another God dwelleth in us;

    not as he does in his Son, by union of nature; nor as in heaven, by the displays of his glory;

    nor as in the whole world, by his omnipresence and power; but by his Spirit, and the communications of his love,

    and by his gracious presence and communion, which he indulges the saints with; for such who love one another,

    as they appear to have the Spirit of God, of which that grace is a fruit,

    so they are by the Spirit built up a fit habitation for God, and by which Spirit he dwells in them;

    and such may expect the presence of God, for they who live in peace, the God of love and peace shall be with them:”

    Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible

  143. Michael says:

    Nonnie, you did not misunderstand.
    My sins are ever in front of me and my sin nature has been made more evident through the incredible stress of recent times.
    It’s real easy to appear holy and virtuous in public…

  144. Michael says:

    Dusty,

    Much love to you…thank you for your unwavering support and choice to think the best of me still after all these years.

  145. Nonnie says:

    I’ve always felt that as Christians we live in that tension of knowing we are washed, redeemed and forgiven and have a new beginning: and yet, at the same time, should remain ever mindful of the filth we have been rescued from. That should keep us humble enough to look at others and cry out for the Lord to bring them “home.” God help us to live our lives extending His grace, preaching His truth and holiness, and reaching out in love to those who need a Saviour.

    Micheal, I’m praying today is a day of healing and reconciliation amongst our “blog family” here. I really believe there was a vast misunderstanding/miscommunication going on yesterday.

  146. Michael says:

    “This has been a surreal day. Called a liar, false witness, defriend threat….all because I objected to a connection the host made at first and then retracted.”

    I retracted nothing.

    Nothing.

    I tried to clarify numerous times, all of which you refused to acknowledge .

    You, Xenia, and MLD wanted to believe that this was a guilt inducing softening of a clear stance I took on another issue and nothing would convince you otherwise.

    It continues to this morning.

    We move on, but we move on greatly changed.

  147. Michael says:

    Nonnie,

    I’m not a homosexual and I will not be held to account for their sins.
    I will be held to account for mine.
    Trust me, I have my hands full.
    What happened here yesterday is really simple.
    An issue became more important than a person and a perceived softening from a hard line on that issue made a person an enemy.
    The perception was wrong but the shots were real and hit their target square on.
    That’s how the church works quite often these days…I’ve wielded that sword and now I’ve been struck by it.

  148. Xenia says:

    Oh good grief.

  149. James says:

    Hey MLD, thanks for the conversation last night. I learned some things. I appreciate it.

  150. Nonnie says:

    Honestly Michael, I didn’t see it that way. I felt like you misunderstood some people who love you.

  151. A Believer says:

    What a crazy thread.

    I think for the most part we agree that it is important to “speak the truth in love”. And to do so from a place of humility as opposed to one of self righteousness.

    I think we also agree that we do not need to apologize for doing that.

    One of the dynamics of this site is the challenging of one another about statements made or opinions expressed. These challenges do not necessarilly need to be seen as combative or harmful. Especially considering that Proverbs says “faithful are the wounds of a friend”.

    What is painful to watch is seeing attempts at clarifying misunderstanding lead to even more misunderstanding, … thus creating a vicious downward spiral of unchecked emotional responses and personal insults. We need to be cautious about not “biting and devouring” one another.

    Let’s try to believe the best about one another’s motivations here and preserve the long standing friendships this site has formed.

  152. Michael says:

    Nonnie,

    I respect you and love you.
    What I experienced yesterday was not love.
    We can disagree agreeably on that.
    I will certainly do things differently from now on and I’m a very different person this morning than I was yesterday.
    How I deal with all of this will be very different from now on.

  153. “An issue became more important than a person”

    …and Jesus didn’t die for an issue or concept,
    He died for a person,
    a person named Michael,
    a person named (_insert_your_screen_name)
    a person named (_insert_lurker_name_here_)

    …and THAT is what is forgotten in every one of these theological wranglings

  154. Xenia says:

    A post that would have changed it all:

    “Uh oh, looks like I expressed myself poorly in my article because it looks like at least half the regulars here missed what I was trying to say. My bad! Let me try again: Even though I *did* reference Monday’s Things I Think (probably that was my first mistake) I wasn’t actually talking about homosexuality as my ambiguous use of pronouns caused many of you to believe! (I gotta work on them pronouns!) What I was trying to say is that I enjoy accolades but maybe I shouldn’t because I take them too seriously and it drowns out the voice of the Holy Spirit in my own life. Moral of the story: Flattery and accolades are not always the best thing for my soul!

    Sorry for the sloppy writing, I’ve been having some family issues lately and am distracted.”

    —-

    I would add that if accolades are bad for your soul, maybe yesterday’s criticisms were good for your soul.

  155. Ricky Bobby says:

    Michael, that’s the problem with the Apologetic and dogmatism. You are in or you are out. It’s a pretty black and white line to tow and it’s probably not very Jesus-like.

    Don’t give folks that much power.

    When I came to the realization that if God exists…then the only thing I have to care about is my Conscience and his opinion and that my Reason is god-given. It is a very personal thing and other fallible humans don’t have any real power, just their opinions.

  156. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    i said everyone of those things in clarifications.
    They were all ignored.
    As i said early on I wasn’t in much of a position to write much at any given time…yesterday was extremely difficult on a number of fronts.
    That’s my problem.
    I learned a valuable lesson…more than one actually.
    I will be careful to remember those in the future.
    I would comment on the state of my heart and soul this morning, but that would lead to more damage to both.

  157. Xenia says:

    I have learned a few things too and I will also be careful to remember them.

  158. Xenia says:

    Actually…. nah. I don’t want to remember anything.

    Why carry a grudge.

    I am going to forget the whole mess and try to think the best of everyone in the future.

  159. Nonnie says:

    Praying today will be a better day for you my friend.

  160. Linda Pappas says:

    Michael,

    Stand firm, what you wrote speaks volumes and is ever so true.

    “It’s important to write this as well.

    You will always get applause from your group when you write about the sins of others that your group believes it has disavowed.

    The acclamation will cease when you write about the ones that we cling to and ignore.”

    People do distract by first tap dancing, then changing the subject, then if all else fails, going after the messenger. The scripture you quoted is ever so relevant to cleaning up our church communities and to rid ourselves of such things when and if they are to be found within or among us. You made it clear on what this thread was about, yet it does not appear as though there is much interest in remaining focused upon that which you presented. Although you attempted to clarify and keep people on track, there was a reluctance or willingness to do so. Nevertheless, what you brought into the light still stands even if no one wants to go there with you, but would prefer to talk about something that had nothing to do with what you presented, but rather once again focused on something outside of what is truly being perpetrated in the church community and enabled among those who calls themselves Christians, if by nothing more than a diversion or distraction of changing the subject matter that you clearly stated that it was not the same as an earlier thread, but nevertheless, if not more so needs to be addressed within ourselves and among the church community. So much so, it bares saying again:

    “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality,nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you.” (1 Corinthians 6:9–11 ESV)

  161. Anonymous says:

    Reading the comments here, it brings to mind my challenges with the subject matter. Recently, someone I know has a grandson who was brought up in the church who just “came out”. She told me “I know he is not going to hell for it”.
    I have softened my position on this issue, even though the Bible states otherwise. Mainly because I was convicted I ought not judge anyone, lest I myself be judged.

    So are these warnings just for the “believing” homosexuals? Is there such a thing?
    The letter is written to the church, right?
    Who is really saved then? Do we have alcoholic “believers”? Angry “believers”? Gluttonous “believers”? Are we all believers just “struggling”?
    I know that I have been “greedy”, (in the same scripture posted above)
    Can we even call sin out as sin anymore without appearing self-righteous?

    According to the letter to the Corinthian church, is Paul saying we have pretenders in the “church” and he is calling them out, or are we to believe that in the “church” there are some “struggling” with these sins?

  162. Michael says:

    “For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.
    So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.
    There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
    (Romans 7:15–8:1 ESV)

  163. Anonymous,
    Sin is not the issue – repentance, confession receiving absolution is the issue.
    All of the sins you listed above, I can guarantee eventually you will gt the person to confess the action, and behavior as sin along with a promise of repentance and an attempt to change.

    The ‘gay pride’ homosexual ?… never.

    Look at Michael’s Paul Romans quote – Paul is just blurting out that everything he does is sin.

    repentance, confession receiving absolution

  164. Anonymous says:

    If Paul is writing to the church and says …”and such were some of you”(past tense not present), seems the kingdom of heaven is being closed out to them.

    So how then ought we measure or “grade” our sins? Are they bringing us judgement now? How much can we repeat them and confess them? Should we ever be changed? Or we just keep sinning and repenting? Are we ever different than the heathen in regards to this? Are there many heathens that sin less then we do? I believe there are. I believe there are very kind, loving, heathens that don’t have the anger issues I have. How many of us know some wonderful, loving heathens that put us to shame? I do, and some are in my own family!

    MLD-Can one then live in a gay lifestyle and just go to weekly confession?
    What about a pedophile? Can he just go to confession each week?

    If I am honest, this is a subject that I spend much time pondering….

  165. Bob says:

    MLD:

    I’ve been wondering, how does a Lutheran “receive absolution?”

    I understand the RCC version, but when you say it something seems out of place.

  166. Bob says:

    To me the Romans 7 quote from Michael says this on homosexuality (and all sin BTW):

    I know it’s wrong, I struggle with it, I don’t accept such as being from or pleasing to God, but I fail and start over as I present it to Him, Jesus, Messiah and Lord!

    Now If I embrace my deviant behavior (and thought) as normal, I am saying I reject God and Jesus’ redemption from it. Essentially I am giving God the, “I don’t car what you say…” routine (also known in some circles as the middle finger salute).

    Isn’t it good to know in our struggles with all the junk there is a haven and King we can go to!

  167. Michael says:

    Anon,

    I believe the passage speaks to those who practice sinful behaviors without ever confessing them as sin and repenting of them.
    I think there are two kinds of repentance in view biblically.
    The first is the initial repentance of the the born again who recognize that they are sinners and Christ has become their salvation.
    If one has been truly “born from above” that is where entrance to the kingdom is gained.
    God begins at that point to sanctify us by a process governed by Him through the Holy Spirit.
    As the Spirit convicts us of sin, we repent and agree with God again about the sin and lean on Him to do a changing work in us.
    If we refuse to hear that voice of the Holy Spirit in conviction, if we harden our heart to Him…then God begins to discipline us in order that we will hear and repent.

    “Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him,and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.””
    (Luke 17:3–4 ESV)

    I believe God does the same for us…

  168. Anonymous says:

    Bob

    So is it the same thing to say “I struggle with overeating and I struggle with greed” as “I struggle with adultery and I struggle with homosexuality”?

    And, are you saying that as long as it is acknowledged it is not condemning?

  169. Bob says:

    BTW

    I am not ex homosexual and yes there is something wrong with it.

    I am just using it as an example since it’s a hot topic and I believe any person suffering and struggling with his or her sin can be called a son of God in Jesus Christ!

  170. Time for a jam…

    Standard tuning:

    Intro:
    E, A, E

    E A E
    I was a sailor, I was lost in sea
    E A E
    I was under the waves, before love resqued me
    E A E
    I was a fighter, I could turn on the threat
    E
    Now I stand accused of things I’ve said

    A
    Love comes to town,

    I’m gonna jump that train
    E
    When love comes to town
    A
    I’m gonna catch that flame
    E
    Maybe I was wrong to ever let you down
    E
    But I did what I did before love came to town

    E, A, E

    E A E
    Used to make love under the red sunset
    E A E
    I was making promises that I were soon to forget
    E A E
    She was pale as the lace of her wedding gown
    E
    But I left her standing before love came to town.

    E A E
    Ran into a juke joint when I heard a guitar scream
    E A E
    The notes were turning blue as days are a dream
    E A E
    As the music played I saw my life turn around
    E
    That was the day before love came to town

    A
    Love comes to town,

    I’m gonna jump that train
    E
    When love comes to town
    A
    I’m gonna catch that flame
    E
    Maybe I was wrong to ever let you down
    E
    But I did what I did before love came to town

    Then The Edge plays a solo followed by:

    A
    Love comes to town,

    I’m gonna jump that train
    E
    When love comes to town
    A
    I’m gonna catch that flame
    E

    Maybe I was wrong to ever let you down
    E
    But I did what I did before love came to town

    Then BB King plays a solo followed by:

    E A E
    I was there when they crucified my lord
    E A E
    I held the scabbard when the soldier drew his sword
    E A E
    I threw the dice as they pierced his side
    E
    But I’ve seen love conquer the great divide

    A
    Love comes to town,

    I’m gonna jump that train
    E
    When love comes to town
    A
    I’m gonna catch that flame
    E
    Maybe I was wrong to ever let you down
    E
    But I did what I did before love came to town

    Yeah, yeah

    Songwriters: 
ADAM CLAYTON, DAVE EVANS, PAUL HEWSON, LARRY MULLEN

    Herbie Hancock | Joss Stone | Johnny Lang Version

  171. Bob says:

    Anon…

    Amazing how people can read something into things.

    First are there some sins which are worse than others as you are implying in the comparison?

    Yes, but in the context of separating people form God, no. Yes because some sins are very destructive to God’s creation, us, and the biblical text indicates such. Homosexuality is always called an abomination and that will never change.

    Second, all sin is condemning. In life all sin has consequences, some greater than others, yet, as in the first, all keep people from God.

    However, all sin (except rejection of God and His works, especially redemption in Jesus) can be confessed, repented of and absolved/forgiven (a religious word I hate).

    Your question, and its implications, is far deeper than a simple blog answer.

  172. Anon…
    “MLD-Can one then live in a gay lifestyle and just go to weekly confession?
    What about a pedophile? Can he just go to confession each week?’

    Confession means something. Am I different than the repentant pedophile? I don’t think so.
    Can a gossip just go to confession each week?

    But I will bet that you have a better chance of the pedophile confessing to his sin than you would the homosexual.

    The very first item in Luther’s 95 Theses;
    “When our Lord and Master, Jesus Christ, said “Repent”, He called for the entire life of believers to be one of repentance.”

    We are never successful at getting rid of our sinful behavior, we may just shove it underground – all we can do is repent.

  173. Bob,
    When you say “I am not ex homosexual and yes there is something wrong with it.”

    Are you saying that you are still a homosexual? 🙂

    Hey, how do you receive absolution? I hear it from the pastor who has been given the Office of the Keys – the authority from Jesus to bind or lose people in their sin.

    That is the only way I can hear it in my ears … I have tried just getting out of the air, but it is much less satisfying.

  174. A Believer says:

    “We are never successful at getting rid of our sinful behavior, we may just shove it underground – all we can do is repent.”

    Correct me if I’m wrong MLD, but doesn’t true repentance also involve a change of action?

    Isn’t that change the fruit of true repentance?

    If you are saying that we will never be free of our sin nature and will struggle with it all our christian lives- I would agree.

    This is where I get fuzzy with Lutherans on sanctification. You seem to present the forensic aspects of it well— our total sanctification in Christ, yet I hear very little about any kind of process of growth whereby that is “actualized” in our daily experience.

    Isn’t it the job of the Holy Spirit to convict us of sin, bring us to repentance, and then give us the power to live out our new ” righteous” position” in Christ?

    Proverbs 28:13
    “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.”

  175. Ricky Bobby says:

    AB, you still with TWTF?

  176. AB,
    “This is where I get fuzzy with Lutherans on sanctification.”

    See, you do still remember the Lutheran training of your youth. 🙂 We don’t have the sharp divide between justification and sanctification like you do. Sanctification is still a part of the justification and the spirit is working both in us. Sanctification is a fuzzy area.

    Let me ask this – we were made a new creation in Christ – why do we still sin if we are a new creation? Is the new creation just like the old creation? If so – what makes it new?

    Me, I say the new creation and the old man live side by side in us. So, my total sanctification is that new me and the new me can only hear and respond to the gospel. The old man in me (I have to be careful here because Steve Wright objects to my word choices) can hear and respond only to the law.

    Again, we are 100% justified / saint and 100% sinner. In your system, you are now 70 / 30 and working on 80 / 20 then to 90 / 10.

  177. I forgot to answer your question;
    “Correct me if I’m wrong MLD, but doesn’t true repentance also involve a change of action?”

    Does change of action allow for slip ups? If not, then I don’t know what repentance is.

    RB, brought up that issue last week, when he claimed that none of us have ever repented if we have fallen back into sin. Maybe he is right.

  178. AB,
    “yet I hear very little about any kind of process of growth whereby that is “actualized” in our daily experience.”

    I think this is the difference – we don’t pay attention – but to evangelicals, it is very important.
    The sheep, when they were presented with all of their good actions, the things that made them different, what was their reaction? “when did we do these things?”

    Now the goats, they kept lists of their “good works” because this was how they could tell you they were following the lord.

    When told of all the things lacking in their lives, they said “wait a second here lord – we did this and we did this and we did that.”

    So, perhaps you are right, perhaps us lutherans are better than we think and that we have changed more than we notice – but we just plug along, not concerned for ourselves but living out our vocation to love our neighbor / help our neighbor.

  179. A Believer says:

    MLD,

    My response would be that in my system, we are also 100% saint and sinner.

    I also agree that God sees us as perfect in Christ.

    In my view, there is a God ordained process of forward growth in the 100% saint manifesting itself more often than the100% sinner. I believe this growth is alluded to all over the place in the Pauline epistles.

    This process can be resisted (always to our detriment). Hence Paul’s warnings not to resist or grieve the Spirit.

    To answer your first question. The new man is who we are in Christ with all the possibilities that suggests. It’s a position we apprehend by faith. Of course it is not a lobotomy.

    Yes, there is grace for slip-ups and the method of recovery is always the same. Confess the sin (agree with God that it is sinful) and forsake it (take appropriate action that is in harmony with the confession).

    And of course, there is power available to take this action given to us by the Holy Spirit.

  180. A Believer says:

    “RB, brought up that issue last week, when he claimed that none of us have ever repented if we have fallen back into sin. Maybe he is right.”

    I don’t think he is. There is no Biblical teaching that I am aware of to support that position.

    I’m surprised to hear you suggest that.

  181. Anonymous says:

    Michael @172 “Anon,I believe the passage speaks to those who practice sinful behaviors without ever confessing them as sin and repenting of them.”

    So are these people he is speaking to believers?
    They are saved yet won’t repent?
    So are they doomed for judgement?
    So it is the confessing and repenting of the sin that saves us?

    Why does he say “such were some of you”?
    Should it really read “such are some of you”?

    In my understanding, he is saying that the ones who are true believers used to do these things, but there are some in the church who are not converted who practice these things, because they are not really converted.

    I always thought the letter to the Corinthians was a rebuke.

    Not challenging, maybe just never understood the passage.

  182. Anonymous says:

    MLD @177 “Confession means something. Am I different than the repentant pedophile? I don’t think so.
    Can a gossip just go to confession each week?

    But I will bet that you have a better chance of the pedophile confessing to his sin than you would the homosexual.”

    The question I had initially is not who is going to confess, but what the passage means.
    Paul is saying who will not enter the kingdom.
    Who is he speaking to? The church-the believers ..”such WERE some of you”, or the ones who are pretending and are not believers who he is condemning?

    If he is speaking tot he church, (believers)-why is he saying “such WERE”?, and why are we using this passage against non-believers? It doesn’t apply to them.

  183. James says:

    MLD,
    I am following you on the 100% new man/100% old man view. But through repeated sincere confession and repentance would not that change the old man? Maybe not the behaviour but certainly the attitude toward the sin. So the old man would not be the same yesterday as today. Maybe this is what they mean by sanctification? Maybe I am off base here?

  184. Anonymous says:

    Clarification:”If he is speaking tot he church, (believers)-why is he saying “such WERE”?, and why are we using this passage against non-believers? It doesn’t apply to them.”

    If he is speaking to the church, then why would he be condemning them? (preventing from kingdom)
    Is the condemnation for lack of repentance as is suggested here by MLD?
    We are no longer condemnation as believers, right?
    So then he must be speaking to non-believers who are under condemnation because of their disbelief based on their sinful behavior. (or maybe because they are not truly converted)
    That’s the way I have seen this passage and why I no longer can condemn a lifestyle of a person who is not a believer.

    I do know that we will never stop sinning….so I guess the problem is who exactly is Paul speaking to and who will be shut out from the Kingdom and why?

  185. A Believer says:

    “I think this is the difference – we don’t pay attention – but to evangelicals, it is very important.”

    Evangelicals didn’t just invent the idea of striving to be all that we potentially can be in Christ. I think it relates to taking Paul’s teachings on this subject seriously. Running the race, striving for mastery, apprehending that for which we were apprehended, fighting the good fight are all ideas he presents. LOL. We didn’t just make this stuff up in order to have self-righteous bragging rights! That can’t be what you are suggesting.

    I see nowhere that a lack of attentiveness or unconcern is ever advocated in our christian walk.

    Now, as to the sheep and goats. The goats presented their own works as reasons for admission into heaven. Since faith in Christ’s work is the sole reason for admittance, their failure to present that is their undoing and amounts to rebellion and unbelief.

    Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?

    John 6:28-29
    Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.

    Working toward being more like Christ in practice (fleshing out new character and position) is not the same thing as trying to earn your way into heaven by your own works.

  186. A Believer says:

    “And such were some of you.”

    The list of sins Paul gives apply to believer and unbeliever alike.

    The difference between us and them is suggested in the verse that follows.

    “but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.”

    Believers are washed in the blood of Christ and declared righteous. Unbelievers are not.

    Plus believers (as the above verse suggests) have the Holy Spirit to assist them in living out that righteousness.

  187. Anonymous says:

    AB

    So if you are saying the “such were some of you” are believers, (after reading your pots a few times which I agree with),then why would Paul condemn them? (will not inherit the kingdom of God)?

    That’s the part that is the issue.

  188. A Believer says:

    James,

    To your above question about whether the old man changes and becomes more righteous.

    Unbelievers have demonstrated that moral reform is possible. But that kind of reform is not what sanctification is about, nor will that kind of reform ever gain anyone heaven.

    God’s solution for the old nature is never reform, but crucifixion by faith. Reckoning our old man to be dead since we are identified with Christ’s death. This principle is what your baptism is a type of.

    Sanctification involves walking in newness of life—identifying with Christ’s resurrection and then walking in the power of the same Spirit that raised Him.

  189. A Believer says:

    Anonymous,

    I don’t believe Paul is condemning the Corinthians. I believe he is simply stating that the behaviors that characterize condemned unbelievers should no longer characterize us as washed, justified, Spirit-filled believers.

  190. Anonymous says:

    AB

    Ok thanks…

  191. AB,
    “I believe this growth is alluded to all over the place in the Pauline epistles.”

    Yes in theory – but if you want to see how it got acted out, read Romans 7

    Also, “The goats presented their own works as reasons for admission into heaven.”

    If you really think that is the case, then what do you do with the sheep – it looks like Jesus himself offered up their works as admission to heaven.

    I don’t think anyone’s works are an admission to heaven (and John I know you don’t either) , but I also do not think that we are called to measure our ‘goodness’ – it takes away from the work we do for others.

    This is why you are clear on sanctification – you have a part to play. Lutherans are fuzzy on sanctification because it is something the Holy Spirit is doing. Do you think an apple on a tree knows that it is growing – or is it just a fruit coming forth from a branch that is attached to the vine?

  192. James,
    As I said in an early post, the old man can only hear the law … and the law does not change or reform anyone – it only shows your need for a savior.

    Anyone can change behaviors – AB brought out about the unbeliever reforming his life. He can quit smoking, drinking and gambling and start walking old ladies across the street – but it has not changed his standing with God one bit. At best, he is a more pleasant guy to be around.

  193. Linda Pappas says:

    Paul, however does not stop at Chapter 7 which Michael quoted. He then provides instructions how to overcome in Chapter 8. Which means as a Christian we are to get out of Chapter 7 and move on to Chapter 8.

    Romans 8: 1-14 (KJV)

    There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

    2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

    3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:

    4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

    5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.

    6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

    7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

    8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

    9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

    10 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.

    11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.

    12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.

    13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.

    14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

    Note the “ifs.”

  194. Linda – that is such a fallacy that we ‘move’ from chapter 7 and are somehow different in Chapter 8.

    The difference between a ch 7 believer and a ch 7 unbeliever (God forgive me for sounding like an evangelical while I try to explain this) is that, as stated in ch 8, there is no condemnation for the ch 7 sin for the believer.

    The ch 7 unbeliever is still under condemnation no matter if his behavior is good or bad.(A ch 7 unbeliever could be a very good Mormon)

    The christian life is in ch 7, , this is the continual struggle we face (unless you have beat the system) but is mitigated by the Holy Spirit in ch 8.

  195. A Believer says:

    MLD,

    You said, “This is why you are clear on sanctification – you have a part to play. Lutherans are fuzzy on sanctification because it is something the Holy Spirit is doing.”

    I’m not going you let you off that easy on this!

    Don’t forget that you and I have had some pretty direct conversations about this in person and by phone.

    If I recall correctly, you have stated to me in the past that when it comes to justification, Lutherans are monergists (work all of God), but when it comes to sanctification they are synergists (cooperative effort).

    It sounds like you are fuzzy because you can’t determine who is doing what.

    Did I not hear you correctly? Have you changed your position over time?

  196. James says:

    MLD,
    I understand that we are not talking about salvation here. We are talking about sanctification. Certainly the woman on the street can be through her own will power maybe able to turn her life around. But that is not what we are talking about. It might seem the same but it is not. We are saved by Grace alone, by Faith alone, Because of Christ alone. The woman on the street is not the point here. The old man still dwells within us. How do we deal with that? You have shown me that by confession and repentance we can change. But we are just two old men. What do we know?

  197. Linda Pappas says:

    In Corinthians, Paul was calling those who practice the things he listed out to repent. He warned everyone that they were being deceived to think one could dwell in the flesh committing these things and be a follower of Christ too. As for “some of you were,” he is saying that many had also practiced these things, but no longer were, but for those that are, there souls were in danger of being cast into hell. He tells us those in the Corinthian church that such things ought not be named among us and that we who are in Christ needs to hold such to an account (see 1 Corinthians 5), not to condemn them but to protect and warn the community of believers and hopefully to turn a person who called himself a Christian to repentance and turning away from such practices. Paul did not stop with just this, he went on and named other types of sins that are more damaging to an individual and to others, along with telling us briefly that not all sin are alike. But for those who are practicing the ones he named, they are not saved and do not have the Holy Spirit within them. He tells those who are not to even eat with such a one.

    Back to “some of you were,” Paul is telling us that it is possible to turn away and to renounce such fleshly thoughts and behaviors if we are in Him, having the Holy Spirit to equip us, as well as, to understand why such sins are not to be a part of us. Not just because the laws says not to do this or that, but now we can see in depth the deep abiding and progressive damage it does to our spirits, as well as, the spirits of others. We then do not resent the law, but rather see it for what it is—that which tells us what is right and wrong and how to conduct ourselves, but not because it is a law, but rather because it is that which God wants us to know deep within our hearts why he placed it upon our hearts in the first place and why the blood of Jesus had to be shed so that we too could live and abide in Him according to what the law failed to do, but in our hearts the Holy Spirit enables us to go beyond the law to see into it at a greater depth—the depth that God intended all along in giving the “moral” laws in the first place. Man, without the Holy Spirit only sees the law, not the heart of God in understanding the love, grace, and mercy which it was seated upon.

    “Shall we then go on sinning even the more . . . . . ?” Certainly not . . . “

  198. A Believer says:

    All I want to know is how did we get from walking old ladies across the street, to a woman on the street?! 😯

  199. Linda Pappas says:

    MLD

    I respectfully disagree with you.

    Chapter 7, Paul is telling us how we may struggle with a double nature, then in Chapter 8, he tells us how to deal with it. Paul didn’t stop writing his thesis at chapter 7, but continue on in understanding what we can do to over come this old man (or woman) who practice such things that we all know is against God’s will for us.

    It is a choice and he tells us that we can overcome if and when we repent, and if we don’t, it would behoove (old English) us to question just who we are serving. Oh by the way, read the very last part of chapter 7 where Paul writes that there is nothing that can separate us from God.

    Except for one thing: what is it? The answer is in chapter 8. Hint: it has to do with putting the old man (or old woman) to death or mortifying the flesh (deeds), thus doing away with the old nature that Paul talks about in Chapter 7.

  200. AB,
    Justification – Sanctification and Glorification are all the sole work of God.

    I even lean towards our repentance is a work of God himself. First God repented towards us so as to not destroy us and 2nd in scripture some call out to god “turn me o god” (MLD paraphrase.

    My position has always been the same,

    Does a tree or an apple contribute to the fruit that is produced – or is the fruit influenced from the outside. I just went out to my plum tree and pleaded with it to produce bigger and better fruit – I told it to just try harder. 🙂

  201. Linda – why would a non sinner – a ch 8 good even think about condemnation. Again, the local Mormon is far ahead of me in changed behavior.

  202. Bob says:

    MLD:

    “Are you saying that you are still a homosexual? 🙂

    Hey, how do you receive absolution? I hear it from the pastor who has been given the Office of the Keys – the authority from Jesus to bind or lose people in their sin.”

    Answer first question:

    It’s a lot like the question, “When did you stop beating your wife?”

    Answer: No.

    OK you answered the absolution thing. I know I can forgive a person who sins against me, but I would disagree that was what Jesus meant by “binding and loosing.”

    In the context of his that statement it is a rabbinic idiom which means they have the ability to decide on interpretation of the texts and traditions. To bind means to, “make a ruling of interpretation,” and to loose would be to do the opposite. Check it out in you friendly Jewish idiom.

    “The various schools had the power “to bind and to loose”; that is, to forbid and to permit (Ḥag. 3b); and they could bind any day by declaring it a fast-day (Meg. Ta’an. xxii.; Ta’an. 12a; Yer. Ned. i. 36c, d). This power and authority, vested in the rabbinical body of each age or in the Sanhedrin (see Authority), received its ratification and final sanction from the celestial court of justice (Sifra, Emor, ix.; Mak. 23b).”

    Good link to the meaning of the day (Jesus’ day that is) and how the church adapted the rabbinic meaning to its purposes.

    http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/3307-binding-and-loosing

    BTW I knew this before I went to this site, o I’m not just googling and pasting anything here. It was part of a study I did many moons ago.

  203. Bob,
    We are not Jews any longer – just because people use the language of the day does not mean that new meaning is not being poured into it. Look, baptism was a common Greek word that had nothing to do with Christianity – but look how the Holy Spirit totally changed the meaning.

    I am having a little trouble following your point in posting the article. The last part agrees with my position 100% – I was referring to the John 20 passage

    “Quite different from this Judaic and ancient view of the apostolic power of binding and loosing is the one expressed in John xx. 23, where Jesus is represented as having said to his disciples after they had received the Holy Spirit: “Whosesoever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whosesoever sins ye retain, they are retained.” It is this view which, adopted by Tertullian and all the church fathers, invested the head of the Christian Church with the power to forgive sins, the “clavis ordinis,” “the key-power of the Church.”

    The special part is that Jesus himself empowered church leaders with this authority knowing first they needed the reception of the Holy Spirit. This is not the same as was received by the masses on Pentecost when they received the Holy Spirit.

    But this isn’t the blog for this type of discussion as most here think their pastor is only one step up from a used car salesman and think that he has no special authority from Jesus.

  204. Bob says:

    MLD

    I’m just simply responding to your post as you do so many here. There is a different interpretation of that statement as I have clearly pointed out. I just ask this one thing, did Jesus mean it in the context of his day and in the manner the original hearers would have understood its meaning or does a later church interpretation trump it?

    Oh and some pastors are no better than a used car salesman so why should that be hidden end or denied?

  205. Bob says:

    MLD

    ps. I am no more Jewish than I’m a homosexual.

    Double. 😉

  206. Bob says:

    MLD

    The article confirms what I said and affirms what was generally accepted by the 3rd century and what you stated.

    Nearly 200 years after Jesus rose from the mountain top an expanded interpretation, most probably foreign to the hearers (remember they were shocked at Jesus forgiving sin) when it was originally spoken.

    So which interpretation is most correct?

    Bed time.

  207. Linda Pappas says:

    MLD, on your comment: “Linda – why would a non sinner – a ch 8 good even think about condemnation. Again, the local Mormon is far ahead of me in changed behavior.”

    Paul was addressing anyone who would listen, be it unbeliever, carnal, and walking in the Holy Spirit and not in the flesh. He was teaching the entire community whom gathered together while addressing many issues, including church discipline, repentance, false conversions, and victors in Christ.

    I understand your understanding is couched in Lutheran doctrines, so it is difficult for you to think outside of this box. And your referencing of Mormon teachings, that is, salvation by works is supposed to negate anything that might smack of a person’s choice to repent and turn away from that which separates him from God. Yet, this does not establish your statement that it is repentance that comes from God, rather than that which comes from our choice after being convicted by the Holy Spirit to turn away from the sin and towards God instead.

    Paul is not talking about works of the flesh and neither am I. I am saying as James has told us, that is by faith we are saved and that saving faith will bear evidence by the choices we make by either making excuse and wallowing in them or to pick up our cross to die to them. Paul is telling us that those who do not put to death these things will suffer eternal hell. Paul is telling us that there are some who once practice them but now no longer, yet in the church at Corinth, many have yet to do this.

    Your doctrine would have us to believe that Paul was only speaking to Christians, yet we can easily read that he also was speaking to anyone who heard him speak or read his letters which talk much about him teaching those who called themselves Jews and those who congregated with the Christians by name or by the indwelling of having received the Holy Spirit. Paul was not exclusive towards those who accepted Jesus as their Redeemer and Lord of their lives, but also spoke to unbelievers,and people who thought they were saved, but were not. His primary concern was to keep the believer in the faith and he did this by teaching that if someone practice such a lifestyle that was unrepentant yet claiming to be in the faith, that they were being deceived and that the church community ought not enable this, but with much love, wisdom, and concern was to call that person out, so that others would be warned and not deceived as well.

  208. The book of Romans was not coherent to unbelievers unless they were somehow steeped in Judaism.

  209. Bob,
    I hate to trump you by going to the text … but I did.
    The 2nd half of your article references John 20:23 – so here is 21-23
    “21 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” 22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.”

    So now tell me how this had one meaning coming out of Jesus’ lips and the way the Fathers looked at it?

  210. Linda, A couple of short points
    1.) My understanding is NOT couched in Lutheran doctrines, AND it is NOT difficult for ME to think outside of this box.
    2.) I come from 25 yrs thinking in you CC box … and then did think outside of that box.
    3.) You need to think outside the box that thinks Paul wrote with chapter divisions so that you could “move out of ch 7 into ch 8” – as if there is some lifestyle change between the 2 chapters.
    4.) The majority opinion by far is that Romans 7 is Paul’s life as a Christian – not a pre christian phase or the Christian’s starting point. Chapter 8 points to God’s work in our life.
    5.) You missed my point about Mormons – if we are going to measure behavioral activities between 7 & 8 – the Mormon neighbor has better behavior than me.So I am a ch 7 person and he must be a ch 8 person.

    Now to the point – Paul was writing to Christians in Romans … read the text Ch 1:7-8

    “7 To all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed in all the world.

    1.) unbelievers are not called saints
    2.) God our Father is not a term used when addressing unbelievers
    3.) “your ” faith – unbelievers are without faith.

  211. Bob says:

    MLD

    It’s early and I’m off. But I read the quote and knew the scripture long before you mentioned it, I can see how they came up with the interpretation. What I am pointing out is this, to the hearer of the day he would not have interpreted it the way the church does. And I’m sure you know that scripture, without knowledge of the day, is still debated in its meaning.

    Additionally even before know this about the historic Hebrew understanding my church circles would have agreed, only God/Jesus can proclaim absolution of sins his chosen workers can only help the sinners come to Him for it.

  212. Linda Pappas says:

    MLD

    Thanks, appreciate the feedback.

    Good to know that you can think outside the box and as “you” CC Box, I take it to mean “that you think outside the box of CC that you believe I live in. To this, I am not part of CC but I do believe in what scripture says and I do not rely upon church traditions or theological arguments founded upon philosophical school of thoughts.

    Never did think the Bible was originally written in chapters. Only referenced them as such as it is easier to do so when moving from one reference point to another as Paul moved on in his teaching of sin and victory over such. Chapter 8 points to a collateral partnership between the Christian and the Holy Spirit. I could can less what the majority thinks. The majority also crucified Christ, so this does not prove anything, as the majority could be in error given their traditions and what they view the church to be or to contain on a number of issue, such as sanctification, repentance, authority, etcetera, and so forth.

    Why even bring up the Mormons—-it only serves to distract from what we are discussing. Perhaps, this is why I “missed your point.”

    Yes, the letter written was to the Christians, however, within these groups, don’t you think Paul knew there would be among these that heard there would be those who thought they were saved, but were not and that Paul wanted to make it clear what it meant to lead a life in Christ, particularly knowing that there would be much discussion among them much like there is today. In chapter 7, Paul was laying out the blueprint of one who had come to Christ and the struggles that even he experienced, but then he put forth that if one would abide and walk and dwell in the Spirit, rather than the flesh then they would be able to overcome that which they had brought with them in their conversion. At the same time, he addressed those who continued to live as if they were heather and made it clear, for such they were deceived thinking they were Christians at all. “as such were some of you,” were, meaning times past.

    Question: How many people come to Christ through hearing or reading the Word? Reason would tell us that Paul knew that his letter would be read and then heard and then taught to anyone who had an ear to hear or was just curious and that these would be found among those who congregated within the small groups in Rome. Among these would be found unbelievers and those who thought they were believers, but were not. Sort of begs the question, that Paul knew this and wanted those who did to believe to be solid in their faith and walking uprightly and telling all just how this can be done, while warning everyone not to be deceived thinking to do otherwise is quite alright to continue to do.

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