Things I Think

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574 Responses

  1. Bob Sweat says:

    #1

    I totally agree! Still reading the rest.

  2. Bob Sweat says:

    FIRST!!!

  3. Michael says:

    Thank you, Bob!

  4. erunner says:

    “As I still have that right, I will say out loud that while I support equal employment opportunities for all people, I also support the right to say that what we were forced to witness sickened me and it was a celebration of perversion, not civil rights.’

    The above may not be allowed to be expressed if some people have their way. Tebow had no skills but he endured a lot and what he endured was celebrated as it was PC. Christians aren’t PC and I’m not defending the infamous te bow. It had to do with his coming out as a devout Christian. People are licking their chops waiting for the likes of Tebow to say or tweet the wrong thing. Sad to see.

  5. Michael says:

    Erunner,

    Tebow was skewered for making a public show of his faith and Sam is being acclaimed for spitting on it.

  6. I don’t know if I agree about what is PC and how God works. i am all for giving the finger to the gay and abortion agendas and move along full speed ahead.

    Look at the 2 brothers who losst their show on HGTV. they are all over the news, speaking directly and openly to the love and works of Jesus Christ. They would not have had that opportunity without the blowup about their religious and social views and values.

    Tell the abortionists and homosexuals to go take a hike.

    Some would say that I am cranky because my Rams took Sams … some would be right 😉

  7. filbertz says:

    Michael Sam will likely not make the Rams roster based on talent & skill alone. If he sticks, it will be for the sake of a broader agenda, but he will likely not play much. He is a ‘tweener’–too small for defensive line, to big and slow for outside linebacker. It was a token selection, but the pressure to keep him on the team will be outweighed by the pressure to win games and make every roster spot count. If the Rams keep him despite his lack of contribution, every team on their schedule will benefit by the choice. The dynamic with team mates will be intriguing to monitor.

    The chilling thing about the whole deal is what you reported–of another player’s constitutional rights being eclipsed by the special rights granted a segment of society. I anticipate a whopping lawsuit…it’ll be a rainmaker.

  8. erunner says:

    Michael, I don’t think people see it as Sam spitting at or on our faith and to even whisper such will label people as ignorant, homophobic, etc. and it’s not going to be tolerated. The Miami player who just got in trouble is going to be educated on how he will be expressing himself on these matters. Talk about a polarizing topic. We’ve got believers who are stating that homosexuality is just fine and they will be the ones interviewed and held up as the gold standard.

  9. Michael says:

    MLD,

    Let me leave no doubt that I believe God is at work through all of this nonsense.
    In the parable i quoted about the fig tree, the disciples understood that Jesus was bringing an end to what they knew and were familiar with…that’s why He immediately spoke to them about the power of faith in prayer.
    That’s why we need to remember that parable…

  10. Michael says:

    fil,

    Good observations on both counts…

  11. “If the Rams keep him despite his lack of contribution, every team on their schedule will benefit by the choice.”

    fil my man – obviously you have not followed the woeful play of my Rams the last several years. Every team benefits just by being on the Rams’ schedule … regardless of player personnel decisions. 🙂

  12. Michael says:

    Erunner,

    You have spoken well.
    I actually thought twice about writing this because I know prospective employers Google your name and this is death to employment hopes.
    However, I’m not going to hide.
    Never have, never will.

  13. Steve Wright says:

    President Obama made a phone call to congratulate a random 7th round pick on being drafted into the NFL.

    I have read 100 times from the world’s press that we should all be able to get-over the coming-out announcement from a couple months ago, and just treat and talk about the man as any other football player.

    But the President does not call 7th round draft picks to congratulate them if they are only to be evaluated solely on their football skills.

    So isn’t the reality that President Obama called the man simply to congratulate him on being homosexual?

    As far as the political realm, one thing has become crystal clear the last few years. The black community, from Obama on down, (who personally just a couple years ago opposed homosexual marriage) the black community which used to loudly denounce (and rightly so I would add) any comparison to the civil rights battles of the 1960s and the homosexual agenda, has now decided to unite against a common enemy, the other political side. The black community used to be the strongest force in this nation against homosexual marriage, and no doubt the rank and file in the community still are – but the black politicians as well as the unelected black leaders like Jackson, Sharpton and numerous liberal talking heads have sold out any linkage to the atrocities of the past for immediate partisan political gain.

    And as an American, I think that is a tragedy. My kids are growing up today, not in the 60s, and so when the entire political, entertainment, journalistic, and now sports world makes a comparison to homosexuals today to blacks in the 60s, it destroys in these young impressionable minds how horrific and sinful and racist the civil rights battles of the 60s happened to be.

  14. filbertz says:

    MLD,
    that is true, coming from a long-suffering Lions fan. 😉

    Maybe they’ll be referred to as the Ain’t Louis Sams.

  15. erunner says:

    I’ll look forward to reading the posts that will be coming later.

  16. paigemom2013 says:

    I think I have arrived at the place in my faith that I have a deep calm as I watch or hear about folly and worse. I don’t even ‘roll my eyes” anymore. I’ve learned that freaking out is a total waste of my limited energies. I have a looped soundtrack in my head saying “on Christ the Solid Rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand…” “My hope is built on nothing less…than Jesus’ Blood and Righteousness”….. This is what I lean on when all around me is flippin’ insane. The news seems surreal to me, it’s so incredible bonkers.

    Michael said, “Christians don’t hate sinners. Christians hate having to accept and applaud what they consider to be sin” I will add that Christians ARE sinners and will be til being released from ‘this body of sin and death”…. and speaking of cats, there is an old saying that might be fitting ‘even a cat knows to cover it’s own s#%t.’

    Dogs have owners, cats have staff. That’s my story and I’m sticking with it. Gotta run..my cat needs something. 😀

  17. Steve,
    I don’t know if it’s a political issue or push. It’s all of society from my kids ages (36, 38, & 40) and younger who just don’t give a darn. They don’t care who does what … ‘don’t bother me i am busy with my life.’ – They don’t push and agenda and they don’t stand in the way of an agenda.

    So I think they poke up their heads and say ‘why do you care? I don’t care.’

  18. Michael,
    What does number 10 mean? Probably only 10% of churches in America fit that model, so what are you saying … some big CEO led churches are going to change styles?

  19. “And if I hear one of you people make reference to his manhood, you’ll be out of here before your ass hits the ground.”

    http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/05/03/vince-lombardi-accepted-gay-players-on-his-team/

    …because it’s about how well a teammate does the job, and, really, shouldn’t it be?

  20. Michael says:

    MLD,

    I’m glad you asked. 🙂
    Unfortunately, that 10% of churches and their leaders take up 95% of the leadership in denominations and “affiliations”.
    The grass roots pastors are sick and tired of hearing it…and I’m hearing more and more simply choosing to ignore them and do their own things in peace.

  21. “and I’m hearing more and more simply choosing to ignore them and do their own things in peace.”

    But isn’t their ‘own thing’ still to be the CEO of their local church?

  22. I was constantly harassed by the ignorant jocks on my various high school teams, because I have an unusual name. Being quite the hetrosexual my numerous girlfriends didn’t understand why I was called “faggot” and “queer” by my teammates and had to have my coaches step in and end the bullying.

    it was only when I was able to be given the opportunity to prove myself an excellent swimmer and sprinter that my previously opinionated a-hole teammates suddenly found value in my being on their teams, even then, the coaches still had to school these idiots that a person is more than their name. I don’t envy high school coaches but to this day I admire the ones who afforded me an opportunity.

    The issue of bullying anyone because of their sexuality infuriates me.
    The fact that the fundamentalist and evangelical churches have such a fixation on sexuality only pisses me off even further. If they would spend 75% of that energy practicing Jesus’ gospel there would be a huge difference in perception on the part of the common person, but hating gays sells tickets to conferences so there will always be an ignorant subculture which perpetuates hate to make itself feel better.

    I have no patience with anyone being diminished or not being given an opportunity because of their sexuality, gender, race, or socioeconomic roots.

    Rant done.

  23. Steve Wright says:

    Unfortunately, that 10% of churches and their leaders take up 95% of the leadership in denominations and “affiliations”.
    —————————————————————
    Plus is it not true that about 80% or more of Christians are attending only about 20% of the churches.

    To tie it into a football theme – its like the super conferences in college. A fluid situation that has not full resolved itself, but is definitely a change from the prior century of history.

  24. Michael says:

    MLD,

    Not necessarily.
    There are many different governance structures at play here.

  25. G,
    “…because it’s about how well a teammate does the job, and, really, shouldn’t it be?”

    Donald Sterling over the past 35 yrs has had one of the most profitable sports franchises. Shouldn’t he just be evaluated on how well he does his job?

  26. Michael says:

    G,

    Will you rant as well about the fact that any employer who Googles this article will refuse to hire me because of my faith based convictions?

  27. Michael says:

    Steve,

    I’m not sure about that number…that would scare the hell out of me.

  28. Kevin H says:

    I fully agree with #1 on the list today.

    I can also potentially picture a particular aspect of this that could turn ugly if Sam were to be cut and not make the Rams. First of all, 7th round picks are far from any sure thing of making an NFL team. Even a team as lamentable as MLD is making out his Rams to be. I don’t know what the actual percentages are, but I would venture to guess that only 50% of 7th round picks actually make the team that drafts them.

    But the potentially ugly aspect I’m envisioning (amongst many other possible ugly aspects) if Sam were to be cut is with Jeff Fisher, the head coach of the Rams. Fisher is known to be a Christian. I have no idea as to what he personally believes in regards to homosexuality. But I would imagine it’s quite possible that he could believe the gay lifestyle to be sinful. If Fisher were to cut Sam, I can just imagine the media then pressing Fisher on his beliefs knowing that he is a Christian. If Fisher were to then say anything deemed even slightly “homophobic”, there could be a whole firestorm for him and the Rams. I hope things don’t play out this way. But I could see it happening.

  29. Neo says:

    Why does it matter who a person has sèx with in the privacy of their own bedroom ( assuming it is two consenting adults)? This cuts both ways; whether President Obama making that phone call or ministers and Christian groups making it such a seminal issue. My point; no matter what side of the issue one is on, why is it so &)@!?& important? 🙂

  30. Steve Wright says:

    G – I have no doubt you will be goose-stepping along with the rest of them (in the name of Jesus of course), while those who stand on the principle Michael declares perfectly in point two are dragged to the PC-enforced gulag. You are a textbook example of the dividing line that will take place in full measure in the near future in America.

    Your complaint about an emphasis on “hating gays” might have had merit a few years ago…but the tables have turned and now your rant rings hollow indeed.

    People with the views Michael expressed, people like myself, are the most hated people in America today. As long as we confine it to within the walls of our church, we’re OK for now….just don’t open a bakery or (as Michael also stated) find yourself needing to complete an employment application.

  31. Michael says:

    Neo,

    I could care less what consenting adults do in their bedrooms with each other as consenting adults.
    The issue is that I come from a faith tradition that views certain behaviors as sin.
    I am now being told that I can’t think that way, that my faith is not only in error, but evil, and that if I continue to speak what my faith teaches I will be punished socially and potentially legally.
    That is the issue.

  32. Steve Wright says:

    Given what happened to the fired Mozilla exec, (and the crickets that followed in response), we are far past the point of using as a standard “what people do in private in their own bedrooms”

    I’m out for the day. That there is debate on how wrong it is what we are witnessing today, here on this Christian blog, is mindblowing.

    But kudos to you, Michael, for standing for the truth.

  33. Neo says:

    Michael. Being that my perspective mirrors yours on the matter, I gladly respect your point of view. However, in the end, my question remains: why does it matter? By tolerating a lifestyle in hopes that genuine Christian love will usher sinners into the Kingdom and thus transformation will ensue, is by no means celebrating or applauding it.

  34. Neo says:

    Conversely, by holding fast to tenets of faith held by millions over thousands of years, neither is that bigotry or hatred. Asia said, in the realm of the bedroom, it cuts both ways.

  35. Neo says:

    Tenants

  36. Michael says:

    Neo,

    You are missing the point.
    It is no longer enough to ‘tolerate”.
    We are being forced to voice “acceptance”.
    There are numerous sins that we “tolerate” in ourselves and others that we pray that the Gospel changes.
    Homosexuality is just one of them…but the only one that we are being forced to approve of under threat.

  37. Neo says:

    Michael. That is a valid point. I might simply add, it’s not as far down the road as many Christians believe. Hence, a “Chicken Little” mentality that is more counterproductive than anything. I suppose some of us are a bit wiser for the wear in being told the sky is falling by this year or that year in so called “prophecy updates” and the like. Although, if you were to call me jaded instead of wiser I wouldn’t argue. 🙂

  38. Neo says:

    Steve. Now you get personal. That’s okay, just keep in mind that when it gets personal it’s because something more than just the issue at hand is at stake.

  39. Michael says:

    Neo,

    I’m not sure how far down the road we are.
    I do know that the media, corporate America, and our government are lining up against Christian doctrine.
    If that means we’re closer to the end I encourage them to continue. 🙂

  40. The drafting of Michael Sam was a life saver for the NFL. He was 7 picks away from missing the draft. His ranking made him a marginal prospect and the likelihood of his success is a slender thread of a chance. When the NFL put him through the rigors he didn’t measure up very well. So I expect him to be cut however the politics are in his favor.

    I wondered when he came out what was going on. Clearly the NFL wants players that can succeed. If his merits as a player were sufficient he would have been drafted higher. The NFL was placed at risk by his coming out. His agents and advisors knew that the politics of coming out made it harder for him to go un-drafted. If his sexual life was unknown he would be like any other NFL player. HIs football prowess would be all that mattered.

    Now the team that drafted him is under scrutiny. There is NO way they can cut him without being called bigoted. There is no way an NFL team can judge Michael Sam solely upon his ability to play. Had Sam not been drafted the entire press corp would be absorbed with the injustice of the NFL and their bigotry.

    I am where I was when this began. Why do we need to know? Why do those who want the right to do as they please in the privacy of their bedroom insist that we approve and are informed?

    The coercion that is coming, indeed it is at hand, will sweep away talk of religious liberty and freedom of speech.

  41. Michael says:

    BD,

    “The coercion that is coming, indeed it is at hand, will sweep away talk of religious liberty and freedom of speech.”

    Yes…and it starts first with telling people how to think.

  42. As for #10 I will offer one piece of advice that will matter. As soon as you adopt a persona that indicates you are a professional Christian you will sell out worship. Many churches worship in presentation and style abandoning all freedom of genuine expression as being indecent and disorderly. Real worship cannot be suppressed That is why Pentecostalism swept the world in the last 110 years.

  43. Steve,
    “I have no doubt you will be goose-stepping…”
    Wow, goose-stepping? Hardly.

    “Your complaint about an emphasis on “hating gays” might have had merit a few years ago…but the tables have turned and now your rant rings hollow indeed.”
    Not if you’ve experienced what I have, Mr. Wright. Lombardi remains the excellent example

    Michael,
    I respect you but completely disagree with you about this subject.
    As far as any potential employer Googling you, it’s like by friend Dave Brisbin likes to point out, that we’re known by what we lead with, and if you’re know for leading with the ability to live and let live in the workplace, then that will remain your strong suit. You have freedom of association and choice, so it’s really about what you choose to say & focus on, knowing the receptivity of the marketplace.

  44. “I do know that the media, corporate America, and our government are lining up against Christian doctrine.”

    They’re lining up against christian stridency

  45. Michael says:

    G,

    I’ve hired, promoted, and worked alongside gay coworkers for years.
    That’s not the issue.
    What you have just posited is that I should keep my mouth shut or pay the (justifiable) consequences.
    Evidently, inclusiveness only applies to people you agree with on both sides of this issue.

  46. “G,
    “…because it’s about how well a teammate does the job, and, really, shouldn’t it be?”

    Donald Sterling over the past 35 yrs has had one of the most profitable sports franchises. Shouldn’t he just be evaluated on how well he does his job?”

    It’s one thing to do one’s job, it’s another thing to be outed as an arrogant tone deaf first class twit who lets his “girlfriend” record him as a tactic to get into her pants, not realizing that maybe, just maybe it could backfire on him in the world of public opinion.

    It’s part of smart business to know what would avoid upsetting your employees and customers.

    Same goes for any of us who have business ties

  47. Michael says:

    “They’re lining up against christian stridency”

    So religious convictions have a new label…that means religious convictions are wrong and unacceptable?

  48. Steve Wright says:

    That’s okay, just keep in mind that when it gets personal it’s because something more than just the issue at hand is at stake.
    ——————————————–
    Yeah, it’s a lot bigger than men enjoying sexual intercourse with other men, or even women leaving their their husbands and the father of their children to pursue sexual pleasures with other women (which has hit the church in a massive way in recent years)

    It is about the loss of what used to be a premise of America. As encapsulated by “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it”

    Those days are gone. And the ones still fighting for that freedom are being told by others in the Body of Christ that we are in the wrong. And the collateral damage when that freedom is gone is MASSIVE.

    I’m seeing that collateral damage in my own town – in an issue that has absolutely nothing to do with homosexuality, but everything to do with ministering in the name of Jesus the basic needs of life to the least of these. Watching the men of God compromise with the PC governments of man to “get along” and not offend the ones with all the money.

    I’m dealing with it in the lives of people who are getting harassed in their workplace for their Christian views Not because they are bad employees or wasting company time witnessing, but because they have personal Christian convictions (again, not even directly related to the homosexual issue at hand)

    So if you were trying to insinuate that “the something more” involved a direct connection to homosexuality in either myself or a family member, or a latent hatred towards any creation of God who fights these sinful temptations, then you are quite in error.

    But you are 100% correct that something more is at stake in America than just the homosexual issue.

  49. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    Not too mention it was gross watching it, when a man and a woman embrace and kiss it is beautiful and God given

  50. Michael says:

    So now in America our right to make a living is to be based on public opinion of our thoughts?

    Perhaps we should set up interment camps for those who don’t think properly until they are reeducated…

    We used to have the right to be wrong in the privacy of our homes and minds…

  51. Michael says:

    “It is about the loss of what used to be a premise of America. As encapsulated by “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it””

    Bingo.

  52. G,
    “It’s part of smart business to know what would avoid upsetting your employees and customers.”

    So if the NFL decided that it would upset their fan base to draft an openly gay player – that’s OK with you?

  53. No Michael, respectfully, its about being wise as serpents and innocent as doves.

    It’s about knowing what makes one marketable and insuring that if a personally held belief or opinion would impact that then one takes the calculated risks or suffers the consequences.

    I have a moment by moment issue that i constantly have to deal with, my impulse control.
    I was an excellent student, great grades, but was also a class clown all through school, kept everyone laughing and having a good time, but thankfully I have had teachers, friends and mentors who coached me as to when something is appropriate. I must choose when to comment, when to shut up (more than less) and when to let a priceless opportunity to make a pithy comment would cost me credibility.

    Same goes with our faith and deeply held convictions. No one will ever fault you for parenting your son, but to loudly proclaim what is a small marginal issue, your interpretation of scripture regarding gays, that is so minor compared to the bigger pressing issues in the world, the workplace, and the soul searching questions on the hearts of our friends, neighbors and co-workers. Wouldn’t it be better to be known as “that christian guy over there who loves everyone and is willing to work with anyone and root for their success”?

    I know you enough that you are indeed THAT guy, so why brand yourself with anything else?

  54. Steve Wright says:

    Not if you’ve experienced what I have, Mr. Wright.
    ——————————————————-
    You shared anecdotes of schoolyard name-calling and teasing from what, fifty years ago?

    And you don’t think the rest of us have our stories from the playground?

    But some of us grew up. Even the red letters of Jesus should have set you free from digging that old junk up, and even worse using it as justification for militant homosexuals who are now just getting even I guess in your view.

    (and no words of advice about the workplace to Michael on this topic are complete without reference to Mr. Brendan Eich)

    However, Eich is described (in articles like this one) as worse than Sterling. A premise I imagine our Mr. Guitar Man would find himself nodding in agreement.

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/05/05/yes-brendan-eich-is-like-donald-sterling-he-s-even-scarier.html

  55. “So religious convictions have a new label…that means religious convictions are wrong and unacceptable?”

    Michael, hear me on this, it’s about HOW we live our faith. Living is actions, actions are done, every day, and best without commentary, yet they are observable, and when people see us loving others then the best thing is to be known for love.

  56. Steve Wright says:

    Michael, all of what we are seeing in our country could not be happening without the enablement of people like G. Who think like him, who argue like him, and most importantly who disbelieve like him while still professing to be a close follower of Christ.

    The radical atheists alone just don’t have the numbers….

  57. “You shared anecdotes of schoolyard name-calling and teasing from what, fifty years ago?”
    These are the same issues facing kids today. One of my daughters is a teacher.

  58. Michael says:

    G,

    The faith I live out is informed and formed by the Holy Scriptures and and two thousand years of tradition and teachings.
    The parts you approve of and the parts you don’t come from the same book.
    There is more to the living out of the faith than love…or better put, love is also expressed in the proclamation that there is sin in this world and that God died to save sinners.
    If one does not recognize the reality of sin, they cannot recognize the need for a Savior.
    Jesus didn’t have to endure the cross because everyone was already redeemed.
    The most unloving thing imaginable is to tell a dying person that they are well and in doing so withhold the cure that is is available to them.
    I know of no one who enjoys or seeks out this conflict over this issue.
    It is outside of my own nature and convictions to pry into the private lives of people.
    However, when I am confronted by the loss of my own right to think,speak, and believe…and more importantly my sons rights to do so in the future…I will engage the conflict with my last breath.

  59. Steve Wright says:

    G, you connected the church to schoolyard bullying up there. I hope your daughter does not do the same.

    To point out that bullying still exists today is not something I need to be told – I have Christian public school students in my congregation – they get it the worst when they take a stand for virginity until marriage, take a stand against drugs, against p*rn, against vile entertainment…..take a stand for Christ.

    My point was you apparently have not gotten over name-calling from fifty years ago, as you drug it up here as part of the defense for the militants.

  60. Bob says:

    Just a toss out about the fig tree:

    I don’t think Jesus was condemning the whole Temple System, but I do believe he was speaking to the leadership of Israel. In general the Hebrew imagery of the fig tree is that it represents the leadership, but if that’s what you mean by the Temple System then I agree. To me the Temple system is all about the sacrifice requirements and when the Temple was destroyed the ability to sacrifice was also (something the Jewish people recognize to this day). But the leaders are often still empty fig trees.

  61. Bob says:

    I believe G man is correct here, “it’s about HOW we live our faith. ”

    Accept the problem is what the object of our faith is and that makes a difference in how we live.

    Without a doubt hospitality and care for those in need is a theme which runs from the front of the book, through the red letters and out the back. Of course so is repentance of doing things outside of God’s design and instructions is also.

    Well I’ve said too much now.

  62. Steve Wright says:

    Nobody was every martyred for the Christian faith because they loved too much.

    Jesus Himself was not executed because His enemies found Him too loving.

    The issue is truth – something Jesus spoke on constantly in the red letters.

    We are to speak the truth, in love. That is the command.

    So of course, the unloving use of ‘faggot’ or other insults that are often cited around here as common amongst evangelicals (though never with actual cites to sermons or articles apart from the Westboro cult) is terribly wrong and not befitting a servant of Christ.

    But I have too much respect and admiration for the martyrs that died so that I and my children might possess the truth that saves our souls, to urinate in the pool of their blood. And I will honor their memories and serve our Lord by speaking the truth as long as I have breath.

  63. Bob, “it’s about HOW we live our faith. ”

    Do we allow our churches to marry same sex couples? Is it just no harm no foul?

  64. gomergirl... says:

    #16 Paigemom… I totally agree. I find it kind of funny when christians get all worked up about things that are pretty inevitable, given the warnings and prophesy in the bible. Why be so surprised when the gay agenda is pushed on us? Why be so bent out of shape when our country is sliding into the abyss of corruption and totalitarian rule. We need to see it, acknowledge it, and know that it is there and active, but we know that we will end up on the winning side, so why not pray harder, be jesus to those in your sphere of influence and let God work out his own stuff in his time. (this is not aimed at anyone, just my thoughts on the state of the world in general)

    just saying.

  65. “just my thoughts on the state of the world in general”

    My theological stance is not to just accept the world and people as they are … with no comment – just because Bible prophecy says “thy world shall goeth to hell in a hand basket”

    Can we be critical of people who have abortions? Can we make comment about those who perform and promote abortion? Can I say anything negative about the young lady who posted her abortion on YouTube? or do I just need to affirm them in their lifestle

    Or is silence the new normal for the church?

  66. Pilgrim says:

    I was going through some old emails & came across this one & thought your readers might be interested in the content.

    From: “Chuck Smith”
    Date: July 27, 2013 at 4:00:45 PM CDT
    To: …
    Subject: RE: Typical but important letter

    Dear … I am in full agreement with your assessment and advice. No Calvary is over or under another Calvary. We are all brothers in Christ. We all have the freedom to follow our understanding of how the Lord is leading us. If you feel that He is leading you in another direction, you are free to go and follow that leading. If you agree to the Calvary Chapel distinctives and desire to fellowship with us, you are welcome. What we do not want is for fellows to call themselves Calvary Chapel and go a dozen different directions that will only end in total confusion. The CCA board is only intended as an advisory board, not a ruling board. The men serve on this board only to help when called upon or needed. In Christ, Chuck

  67. JoelG says:

    I love #8. About #10…..I go to a CC here in Vancouver, Wa. pastored by Daniel Fusco. He likes to point out the numbers that come to our church because its more people that get to hear the gospel. I’m well aware of the weaknesses of going to a mega church, trust me. But, its hard to argue his logic here, isn’t it?

  68. passin throuh says:

    “Michael, all of what we are seeing in our country could not be happening without the enablement of people like G. Who think like him, who argue like him, and most importantly who disbelieve like him while still professing to be a close follower of Christ.

    The radical atheists alone just don’t have the numbers….”

    Yeah. Love the hysteria.

    Two words: Vince Lombardi.

    “Multiple players who played for Vince Lombardi, the legendary former Packers and Redskins coach, say that he knew some of his players were gay, and that not only did he not have a problem with it, but he went out of his way to make sure no one else on his team would make it a problem.

    In 1969, Lombardi’s Redskins included a running back named Ray McDonald, who in 1968 had been arrested for having sex with another man in public. In the Lombardi biography When Pride Still Mattered, author David Maraniss writes that Lombardi told his assistants he wanted them to work with McDonald to help him make the team, “And if I hear one of you people make reference to his manhood, you’ll be out of here before your ass hits the ground.”

    http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/05/03/vince-lombardi-accepted-gay-players-on-his-team/

    If you haven’t been there, shut your piehole.

  69. Since when has Vince Lombardi become the arbiter of Christian scriptures

  70. Michael says:

    passing through,

    This isn’t about accepting co-workers.
    This is about being told what to believe, think, and say.

  71. Steve Wright says:

    Surreal – Lombardi is synonymous with abusiveness. This is pretty common knowledge for those of us with a sports background and not just linking to recent articles pushed by the homosexual acceptance movement in light of current sports events.

    If he was a pastor, he would be public enemy #1 on this blog.

  72. “My point was you apparently have not gotten over name-calling from fifty years ago…”

    …and you are adept at missing the point, as I have gotten over it

  73. Steve Wright says:

    For those with no knowledge, (and this is common knowledge) what I meant by abusiveness as a football coach is:

    1) Being absolutely in charge, 100% his way or the highway. The Moses Model of the gridiron

    2) Using fear as a motivator, back in the day when players had no rights, and when football as a job meant feeding your family and not making millions of dollars. Always scared that he would tell you to “vote with your feet” if you did not like what he insisted you do.

    3) Making players play injured (see items #1 and #2 above for why the players did not say, no)

    4) Focused 100% on winning as the result. Nothing else mattered as long as you won (albeit there is no evidence of him cheating or violating the rules, such as they were)

    And win he did. And he is literally synonymous with winning football with a trophy named after him. And because he was a winning football coach, his past experience with a homosexual player is being trumpeted by the current press (and two posters here) as to the current football player drafted.

    But if you read that quote with an understanding of this authoritarian, abusive, man – as he threatens to kick people off the team (which meant no job, no food for the family) if they dare even say something he did not like, you realize that quote is not the words of a brave man standing up to a room of bullies on behalf of some poor individual….it is simply Lombardi being Lomdardi. His way or the highway.

    The fact that HERE is Lombardi the bully saying something one agrees with, is actually the problem in microcosm – People going along with others and their actions that they despise, but doing so because they agree with that particular action of the moment.

  74. My coaches were kind, supportive, instructional, encouraging.

    Wright misses again

  75. Michael,
    “This is about being told what to believe, think”

    no problem

    “and say”

    no one in the workplace is allowed complete freedom, yes?

  76. GG
    “be jesus to those in your sphere of influence and let God work out his own stuff in his time”

    I’m SO with you on this.

  77. Michael says:

    G,

    I have never argued otherwise.
    According to your earlier comments, corporate America is justified in keeping me out of the workplace because of opinions expressed in my personal life.

  78. Steve Wright says:

    My coaches were kind, supportive, instructional, encouraging.
    Wright misses again
    ————————————————-
    I did not say one thing about your coaches – but in your eagerness to simply say how wrong I am with my “misses” and not actually defend your statements when challenged, I will assume you were never coached by Lombardi, who you hail in this thread.

    There was a time, G, I imagined you being the sort of person who would march at Selma. Who would bridge the gap of injustice

    Then I read that you think God should just work his stuff and all we need to do as salt and light in the world is go along to get along.

    So now I think that there is something about this homosexual activist issue you embrace. And as long as one is on your side of this issue, it matters not if the person is abusive, and it matters not if the opposing point of view loses their rights, occupations, or freedom.

    I can conclude nothing else. Last word is yours.

  79. So the Church and Christians are to do nothing about anything – we are just to sit back and let God work out his plan??? This is absolutely insane.

    If you want to be Jesus to people around you, how about quoting to people “go and sin no more.” OOOPS!!! can’t do that Jesus trick with a homosexual footballer kissing his boy friend.

  80. “There was a time, G, I imagined you being the sort of person who would march at Selma. Who would bridge the gap of injustice”

    …thanks

    “Then I read that you think God should just work his stuff and all we need to do as salt and light in the world is go along to get along.”

    …gross characterization

    “So now I think that there is something about this homosexual activist issue you embrace. And as long as one is on your side of this issue, it matters not if the person is abusive, and it matters not if the opposing point of view loses their rights, occupations, or freedom.”

    …um, nope

    “I can conclude nothing else. Last word is yours.”
    http://37.media.tumblr.com/3ab9d43ff52df198cd70eaa397bb7c08/tumblr_n3c2af5l6u1sh491mo1_400.jpg

    …you can conclude many things, you simply react & refuse.

    http://37.media.tumblr.com/cfb99fa504148d2a36ac10879d6a4df3/tumblr_n5367xqvWN1sh491mo1_1280.jpg

  81. Michael,
    “G,

    I have never argued otherwise.
    According to your earlier comments, corporate America is justified in keeping me out of the workplace because of opinions expressed in my personal life.”

    No, it is NOT justified, but that doesn’t change the reality of the workplace.
    A business wants to know that we will remained focused on the goals, be able to work with others with whom we might disagree about their lifestyle choices, their politics, their associations away from the job. That is why silence, actions and example win out over declarations and debate, at least in the workplace, at least in my experience.

  82. What matters now is how we respond to the inevitable loss of businesses by Christian owners, the continued rise in unemployment of people that will be denied due to Christian beliefs and the jailing of Christians eventually.
    This is what we need to be focused on.
    The rest all seems to be a fait accompli.

    You all see it coming.
    Look at how the “progressives” demand our acceptance. Go along to get along is their rule.
    The gay interest groups don’t even have to try anymore. The judges are wanting acceptance so much that they are doing their job for them.

    Acceptance is a powerful thing. Exclusion makes one frightened.

    Look at how the supposed “marginalized” have now taken the reins by fear and are now purging the ranks of the powerful first.

    Are you a CEO? Better get on board!
    Not saying the right thing on twitter? Better repent you sinner!

    The marginalized are ensuring that someone besides themselves are marginalized.
    You Christian will be the new marginalized in this Brave New World.

  83. There is a divide – some of us, Michael, Steve and me (and many others) are informed by scripture

    G, and some others are informed by society, culture and their own reason.

    I won’t say right or wrong … just different sources.

  84. Michael says:

    Once again, I’m not in the workplace.
    My name will be Googled and this article and others like it will be used against me by the employers despite my track record with co-workers.
    Is that justified or not?

  85. Michael says:

    “What matters now is how we respond to the inevitable loss of businesses by Christian owners, the continued rise in unemployment of people that will be denied due to Christian beliefs and the jailing of Christians eventually.
    This is what we need to be focused on.
    The rest all seems to be a fait accompli.”

    Yes.

  86. a pastor says:

    MLD:

    “There is a divide – some of us, Michael, Steve and me (and many others) are informed by scripture”

    Please feel free to add me to that list.

    Jesus proved that it is possible to love the sinner while calling sin sin. Some of His first public words of ministry were a recap of John the Baptist’s ministry– “Repent, and believe.”

    Repent. Inherent in that is the message that your life is sinful and you have that which you must turn from. It is the part of the gospel that society bristles at.

    “The opposite of homosexuality is not heterosexuality. It is surrender.” Sy Rogers.

  87. Justified or not, it is a possibility, therefore the question comes up for me, “How can I help my friend Michael, so he can get a job?”

    Dialog is one way, prayer is another, and private suggestions are also possible, and you and I can take that offline.

    Sorry, I’m not trying to piss you off, just discuss and share from my heart. You’re my friend and I care about you finding the right fit. Guess that’s all I can say about that for now.

  88. There is a truly marginalized group in the US right now.
    One that everyone feels we can hate and abuse at will.

    Racists.

    By equating this to racism at every turn, they are ensuring the marginalization of Christians.
    We will be equated to racists.
    Therefore, everyone that is not a Christian will feel that everything Christians get will be deserved.
    I will admit it was masterful to make the whole conversation turn on that argument.
    But then again, the devil has had a lot of time to hone his game.

  89. G,
    So in the end, you agree with the final action World Vision took in protecting their ministry.

    The damage o same sex married folks would be too damaging, and would take their eye off their goal for their business.

  90. Mr. Wright expressed that I somehow linked my observation with TheChurch. That is incorrect. I linked it with a church. There are many churches. Mr. Wright’s church is “a church” amongst “TheChurch” and TheChurch is more diverse and thankfully recognizes the issue of marginalizing others.

  91. Steve, regarding your #13.
    I disagree to an extent on the black community. They are just as split personally on this as the rest of the country. I know quite a few black people and their opinions run the spectrum from acceptance to the biblical view. Actually, I know more that agree with the biblical view because they go to church regularly.
    The politicians they vote for and the leaders they let represent them are the real problem.

  92. There is but one group being marginalized in this whole issue.
    Guess what?
    It ain’t the gays anymore.

  93. a pastor says:

    I find it interesting that a call to repentance which Jesus Himself did, is now equated to “marginalizing”. Matthew 4:17

    How could you follow someone that would stoop so low as to marginalize others?

  94. Eventually the progressives can’t use the word marginalization anymore.
    When the formerly marginalized become the oppressors is one of those times.

  95. “Marginalizing” has been turned into nothing more than a progressive buzz word.
    Much like “privilege”.

  96. There is hard talk in the Bible about sin – public talk – talk to society.
    Peter at Pentecost said “And with many other words he bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.” So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.

    One, you are either saved or you are not saved and second, there is a wicked generation that is keeping people in darkness.

    Michael, Steve, me and a pastor would say the homosexual agenda is part of that wicked generation – G says it’s the Church … or some churches … or just Steve’s church.

  97. a pastor says:

    Mark 1:14, 15

    It would appear that Jesus ‘marginalized’ pretty much everyone in Galilee.

    No. It would seem that part of the good news is that you need to repent. As mentioned earlier, grace is only grace– mercy is only mercy– in the realization that you are being saved *from* something. His grace only makes sense against the backdrop of His justice.

  98. dusty says:

    #7 why less about prayer? I want more! 😉

  99. dusty says:

    Good job, once again big brother. You have a wonderful way with words. I agree with most you have said and ??s on the rest.

    I have not heard the fig tree referred to as the/a church before-or don’t remember-this seems new to me regardless. it makes far more sense to me now.

  100. “Marginalizing” has been turned into nothing more than a progressive buzz word.
    Much like “privilege”

    yeah, tell that to every person denied an opportunity because they are unlike others

  101. Oh, you mean sort of like what happens to Christian business owners from gay people who wish to sue them.
    I see now.
    That kind of marginalization.
    The payback kind.

  102. At least they see it as payback.
    When in power, do unto others as you perceive the have done unto you.

  103. Steve Wright says:

    Mr. Wright expressed that I somehow linked my observation with TheChurch. That is incorrect. I linked it with a church. There are many churches. Mr. Wright’s church is “a church” amongst “TheChurch” and TheChurch is more diverse and thankfully recognizes the issue of marginalizing others.
    —————————————————
    Your post #22 is right there for everyone to read. You were not talking about “a church” but rather “fundamentalist and evangelical churches” That is a large swath.

    And I guarantee you that many churches that are not included in that description, nevertheless would oppose you in your homosexual activism and acceptance cause.

    As far as marginalizing others, if you actually listened to my messages or attended our church you would know how wrong of an insult you just lobbed at me…But guys like me are on the front lines, dealing with actual people (including school children) being persecuted for their beliefs by the homosexual activists in our society.

    You can’t even see Michael’s point about the job app, and you have joined the chorus of silence in not once responding to the reference to the corporate execution of the Mozilla CEO for making a campaign donation that, at the time, was in line with the professed view of the President of the USA

    Maybe what you are calling “TheChurch” is actually the version Jesus described as the mixture of tares with the wheat…..

    The height of irony is that all the punk bands I listened to in the 1980s, and the people in power they were complaining about then, if listened to today would be singing about people supported by G.

    Remember, guitar symbol, I’ve already been there to comfort one of those “3-D” people you found inconvenient, annoying, and kicked to the curb – your love “schtick” does not fly far with me, and I have no doubt when the time comes to “out a fundamentalist” you will have a nice list waiting and be rewarded handsomely by your taskmasters.

    THAT is the road you are headed….

  104. G’s point like all liberal chirstians (to put the best construction on his position) is to stick his finger in the eye of the church.

    G has tried to be so open minded that his brains fell out.

  105. dusty says:

    4. Let’s say this one more time. Christians don’t hate sinners. Christians hate having to accept and applaud what they consider to be sin.

    I agree!!

  106. Rob Murphy says:

    Luke 3
    19 John also publicly criticized Herod Antipas, the ruler of Galilee, for marrying Herodias, his brother’s wife, and for many other wrongs he had done. 20 So Herod put John in prison, adding this sin to his many others.

    Speaking against sin inevitably leads to the criticism of the sinner. There is no way a homosexual won’t be offended when we call homosexuality a sin. John did not speak in vague terms, he told Herod straight away he was in sin. And not just on the marriage issue – read the words ‘and for many other wrongs he had done’.
    Interesting that John’s words assailed the popular and culturally revered standards of marriage and that stance, along with pointing out many other wrongs, cost JtB his freedom. And his life.

    I guess he should have just stuck to “preparing the way of the Lord” instead of getting all political. Unless he WAS preparing the way of the Lord.
    Funny disconnect, earlier in the chapter JtB tells people to give away their clothes, give away their food, stop stealing, stop cheating and um… be content and then we he says the same thing to a politician, JtB’s words are re-categorized somehow? How can that be?

  107. Dusty says:

    Rob, 🙂

  108. Dusty says:

    Michael said, “Once again, I’m not in the workplace.
    My name will be Googled and this article and others like it will be used against me by the employers despite my track record with co-workers.
    Is that justified or not?”

    I know this was probably rhetorical, but Hell NO it is not justified. it is a means used to reprogram us into compliance.

  109. Dusty says:

    Derek said,’Oh, you mean sort of like what happens to Christian business owners from gay people who wish to sue them.
    I see now.
    That kind of marginalization.
    The payback kind.’

    Well said!

  110. Bob says:

    MLD

    “Do we allow our churches to marry same sex couples? Is it just no harm no foul?”
    Isn’t the decision to either to or not marry a demonstration of one’s faith.

    Christian persecution will always be alive and well for two reasons, the first is because of its exclusivity and the second is because Christians are taught to be sheep. Other more violent religions rarely are persecuted, they tend to be the persecutors.

    Since my faith is in the Judeo-Christian God I will live it out by not marrying same sex couples.

  111. Dusty says:

    #2 Amen!!

  112. Neo says:

    To no one in particular: As a Christian, if you have a firmly held belief that the majority of you’d coworkers are ostensibly headed to Hell because they have yet to confess Christ as their Lord and Savior it is going to quite possibly affect your earnings potential or opportunity for promotion if you should so choose to voice that opinion in a public manner among said coworkers. That’s the fact, Jack. Like it or not. Now, it’s up to us to be as cunning/adroit/effective/productive as possible even having held that belief. For example, Joseph didn’t call Pharoah a Tool of Satan or any such thing…he just interpreted his dream, Joseph did his job, and his testimony brought glory to God among the heathens. Back to that wise as serpents and harmless as doves deal…

  113. Dusty says:

    Bob, you won’t be ‘other more violent religions’ either will you?

  114. RiBo says:

    personally, I have no beef with gays, I think it’s been made a taboo sin by fundamentalists for too long which is one reason why there has been a backlash and such passion from the gay side on pushing their agenda.

    I also don’t have a problem with gays wanting a govt. sanctioned legal marriage. Separation of church and state. From the govt. side, no problem. If church’s want to call it “sin” and “immoral” and not recognize the marriage etc, no problem.

  115. Here’s the deal, rail all you want about me being open minded, I get to talk with my co-workers about God, His Son Jesus, the wonders of The Spirit’s activity in our lives, the hope, the encouragement that comes with having a faith life, the glorious things in the bible. Whenever anyone brings up the anti gay stuff i leave it to God to make it an issue with them by pointing them to Jesus in The4Gospels, I tell them to search and pray and ask Jesus Himself to show them from His words what is required to follow Him.

  116. Completely agree with RiBo on his 6:01pm post

  117. RiBo says:

    There is certainly a push against voicing a negative opinion about homosexuality…but that sword cuts both ways. Those who hold a contrary opinion can organize and boycott back and put pressure back on orgs and businesses that ban or fire or cancel or boycott.

    It can be a battle of the boycotts and eventually it will sort itself out.

  118. Also completely agree with Neo’s 5:47pm post

  119. Dusty,
    See to my mind the gay lobby has now gone form marginalized to oppressor.
    They aren’t trying to hit back at the bully from high school or anyone that probably did anything to them in their past.
    They are targeting the one segment of society that still consistently shows their actions in a sinful light.
    They want us to be silenced so that they don’t have to consider the possibility that they may be in the wrong.
    Unfortunately, there are many Christians who want acceptance instead of doing the hard thing and confronting so that repentance may occur.
    _____________
    Side thought: If someone believes in the “privacy of the bedroom”, then why is it only Christians who get called out on it and not the group that actually takes the word “gay” to identify their entire being with that sexual proclivity?

  120. RiBo says:

    I’m more with G’s position, it’s not a big issue to me personally. I am much much much more concerned about Child Abuse, churches and pastors spending the Jesus money on themselves instead of helping folks with it and churches mistreating people through cult-like practices etc.

  121. This is the beauty of the free enterprise, free market system we live in. We have freedom of association, freedom of expression. The one thing we will never have is freedom to operate without consequence from our fellow humans when we ignore the cues of the room.

  122. RiBo says:

    G, agreed…and I think, eventually, the gays and the Christians* will find a middle ground and figure it out after battling for awhile. Both sides are very passionate about the issue…and I understand why some of the gays have a bit of a chip on their shoulder…times were a lot different when I was growing up in the 70’s and 80’s and even 90’s. There was certainly persecution and discrimination towards gays…and often that behavior was justified due to the church and the bible.

  123. I really DO wish that Michael could write and post ans discuss without feat of being Googled by potential employers, but when one is a published blogger, author, political activist, artist, songwriter, photographer, then one is often unfairly defined by their work and one must be calculating and strategic about the effects of their work and be willing to take what comes with the art. This isn’t a dynamic that is unique to a given religion within a culture.

    Ai Weiwei is a great example
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ai_Weiwei

  124. Neo says:

    Frankly, divorce has caused more damage in our society than gay marriage. It’s not even close.

  125. RiBo,
    We’ve both been passionate about God as we understand Jesus. We chose to remain in the conservative church even when seeing things which were contrary to what Jesus taught. I wonder if you also find it odd that for decades the conservative church has had an unhealthy fixation on the Gay issue, spending far more time on it than is necessary, pushing the lie that a civilization will fall in the generation that allows homosexuality. What’s that old saying about telling a lie often enough until the masses believe it? I wonder what would happen if churches simply reached out to individuals and told them God loves them and wants to have a relationship with them and He will make issues witin their lives as He sees fit?

  126. Agree with you Neo, far more!

  127. RiBo,
    What if I think all of the things you listed in your #120 are absolute good things … on what grounds would you criticize me? Now remember, you can use any of the arguments I would use against homosexuals.
    No Bible, no natural law, no societal norms (because those are all confused)

    Let’s hear it.

  128. I think before you answer, RiBo, perhaps MLD could try to explain away Luther’s antisemitism for the next hour…

  129. RiBo says:

    Neo, agreed….same goes for child abuse IMO. Two issues that have hurt many many people…and much of it by Christians* and pastors.

  130. Or perhaps we can just let common sense prevail and understand that some things are about victims who are incapable of giving adult consent and leave it at that

  131. Let’s strengthen marriage by ending divorce…

    how does one do that except on a case by case basis of individual compassion and empowerment?

  132. Neo,
    So do you ever speak directly one on one with a divorced person and tell them the harm they have done to society?

    I can truly say that 100% of the divorced Christians I have spoken with over the years has owned up to their divorce being sin – perhaps not at the divorce stage but always in the failed marriage stage.

    I have never, can I repeat Never had a homosexual christian admit that their homosexual relationship is a sin.Why is that?

  133. It is always a bad argument to claim that somehow the conservative Church has some unhealthy fixation with homosexuality.
    I would bet that in all the years I have gone to church, I might have heard two sermons in that whole time about it.
    Instead it is the gays, that wish to keep it in the forefront.
    It is a never ending tirade of their making right now.
    You can’t say that responding, which is usually what is seen, is unhealthy when someone keeps shaking you and saying pay attention to me every thirty seconds.
    Sorry, that is an old tired falsehood there.

  134. I think RiBo has experienced enough horror that he speaks well in his call for reform.

    And I think Neo sees enough heartbreak at his blessed ministry to weep with those who are hurting, to find ways to strengthen the ministries at his church.

    2 men whom I commend

  135. a pastor says:

    But then you would have to explain why ‘victims’ is a bad thing, and why adult consent is a needed thing. This all gets so awkward when you take away an objective morality.

    It’s pretty sad when apparently professing Christians make human ‘victims’ the lowest common denominator in moral discussions and not the ideals of God. It’s pretty sad when we look no further than whether a sin offends people, and fail to see that it offends God.

  136. RiBo says:

    G, I very much agree with your #125

    I’ve heard it for nearly 4 decades now…”the end is near! America is doomed b/c of the gays!” etc.

    When, in fact, it is the hypocrisy and abusiveness and bad behavior of the Church and Christians* that has hurt me and many many many others exponentially more than any gays…in fact, gays have not negatively affected me or those I love in any measurable way I can think of.

  137. G,
    Why would I need to explain away anything Luther did? – he has been dead 450 years. Is that where you have to go to find someone so you can hold to your sinful opinion?

    Sounds like you are really reaching there my friend.

  138. Bob says:

    G man

    “how does one do that except on a case by case basis of individual compassion and empowerment?”

    Sounds good on paper and in the movies, but the reality is general rules often time help prevent a large majority.

    Personally I believe the easier we make divorce and the harder we make marriage reduces the number of successful marriages.

  139. RiBo says:

    G said, “Let’s strengthen marriage by ending divorce…”

    Yes, agreed. If the Christians* want to strengthen marriage and defend “the definition of marriage!” then the 50% divorce rate in church is a great place to start.

    That, and the “definition of marriage!” according the bible includes multiple wives and concubines. Why did we change God’s definition of marriage? 😉

  140. MLD,
    It is their way of marginalizing you. See, they do it also.

  141. a pastor,
    G, is the example of “calling good evil and evil good.” … but he cannot help himself – he has been bought by the culture.

  142. Neo says:

    A pastor. I hope you tell that to all the divorcees in your congregation.

  143. a pastor says:

    RiBo:

    “When, in fact, it is the hypocrisy and abusiveness and bad behavior of the Church and Christians* that has hurt me and many many many others exponentially more than any gays…in fact, gays have not negatively affected me or those I love in any measurable way I can think of.”

    Is the conversation about who has hurt you, or what offends God? If a person had cancer and was going to die, would you say, ‘well, they never bothered me, so I won’t tell them there’s a cure.’?

  144. “It is always a bad argument to claim that somehow the conservative Church has some unhealthy fixation with homosexuality.”

    really, only 2 sermons?
    You need to listen to the wider conservative church’s podcasts, radio & TV ministries.
    I’ve had to endure having invited family and friends to various Calvary Chapels, independent churches, places I’ve done sound at, led worship at, where it becomes a sorry escapist tale about how God MUST judge America or else He must apologize to Sodom & Gomorrah…

    Derek, the thing about this blog is that we’re relating many of of our experiences and thankfully you have not endured more than 2 sermons about the subject.

    I could only wish that you never hear the scapegoating for all of America’s ills being placed on gay people. I really mean that.

  145. This is really comical and I although I am never surprised by what RB or G will come up with – I am a bit surprised at Neo.

    So Neo, do you doubt that divorce doesn’t get preached in the church? Are you saying since we should not speak out about homosexuality that we should not speak out about divorce?

  146. a pastor says:

    Neo:

    ‘A pastor. I hope you tell that to all the divorcees in your congregation.’

    I take a very serious stand on divorce. Pretty much every divorcee I talk to admits it was a sin and has repented. There is no divorcee coalition trying to make me out as a bigot because of my counsel on divorce. I also take hard stands on premarital heterosexual sex, pornography, and a lot of other stuff. I’m not picking on homosexuals.

  147. Neo says:

    MLD. Almost all those who have been divorced give their reasons for doing so. It’s wrong. Personally, I believe homosexuality is wrong. I also believe the religious zealotry by much of what claims to be “Christianity” is also wrong. In a nutshell, we’re $&$@$. 🙂

  148. RiBo says:

    a pastor said, “It’s pretty sad when apparently professing Christians make human ‘victims’ the lowest common denominator in moral discussions and not the ideals of God.”

    You have not read your own bible enough IMO.

    Homosexuality is listed along with many other sins God “hates”…yet you wouldn’t know it by the attitude and actions of the church* throughout the last 100 years.

    Conversely, the bible presents a very very strong and consistent New Testament Jesus Narrative about the Powerful vs. the Weak, the Strong vs. the Vulnerable, those in Power vs. those w/o power, the Rich vs. the Poor, etc.

    Big themes and strong narratives supporting standing against those who would hurt a human in a much lower and less powerful position….i.e. a grown adult vs. a child.

    Some of Jesus’s strongest words of warning were for hurting “the least of these”:

    “If anyone causes one of these little ones–those who believe in me–to stumble, it would be better for them if a large millstone were hung around their neck and they were thrown into the sea.”–Jesus Christ

    Child abuse is far more destructive. Read the statistics. You want to wreak havoc on society and do the work of the devil (whether a real entity or metaphor)…then abuse kids. The stats don’t lie.

  149. You know there was a time when I listened to a lot more radio broadcasts and podcasts.
    Still didn’t hear that much about it.

    When you try to find offense though, you usually will find it.

  150. Neo says:

    There is a divorce coalition, pastor. And it’s called The Church (in many, many, many instances).

  151. a pastor says:

    RiBo:

    With all due respect, you need to go back to the drawing board. I am not minimizing victims. I am maximizing God. If you think I haven’t read the Bible enough, because I see a larger view of God, then you have missed the boat by not even getting close to the shore.

  152. G is always fast and furious with his comments. So you only hear 2 messages – so G goes to 100,000 churches podcasts and says, look they are all over … yes G – probably 2 at each church”

    And G, why are you searching the web looking for inflammatory podcasts?

  153. Bob,
    A well meaning but burnt out staff pastor at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa tried to make it hard for my fiance and I to get married, yet we just put up with his sorry and sad persona, joyously continued our counseling silently, then pressed ahead and wove a marriage where we will celebrate 34 years, that has been based on love, a commitment to not entertain ending our marriage by refusing to have divorce as an option.

    No, respectfully, it’s not about making it harder to marry, its about making marriage REAL, proclaiming that it’s a lifelong friendship,through bad times and good.

  154. RiBo says:

    a pastor said, “Is the conversation about who has hurt you, or what offends God? If a person had cancer and was going to die, would you say, ‘well, they never bothered me, so I won’t tell them there’s a cure.’?”

    This is where the massive cognitive dissonance about my personal situation is evidenced.

    I understand how destructive the child abuse is…I understand how destructive the church abuse is…b/c I’ve seen it hurt so many and affect so many in such negative and destructive ways.

    You live in a bubble and have no idea how insidious the dynamic is. I have watched brothers, relatives, friends who I went to church with for years and even the dynamic in the abusers themselves…and seen and known the massive amount of evil and harm.

    The gay agenda doesn’t hurt anyone, other than gays themselves if they are promiscuous (like heteros can be) and catch an std or something. Gays pushing for normalcy and non-taboo has not resulted in higher rates of homosexuality. There seems to be a pretty consistent percentage of the human species that is gay. There has been little to no increase…most increase is merely perceived b/c folks aren’t as afraid to be counted as gay. Gays pushing their sexuality as “not sin” is no more or less destructive than Gluttons pushing their gluttony as normal and “I have a condition! I was born with it!” etc.

  155. MLD,
    You are a buffoon. Instead of playing your “blog theatre” game why don’t you shut up and simply let me dialog with the others here and let me build a relationship with each individual and let me learn from them as they learn from me. You are so effing clueless. You abused and wore out our friendship and I thank you in advance to simply stop being a troublemaking troll who only thinks about himself and how much shit he can stir up between others who are trying to interact.

  156. RiBo says:

    a pastor, for all of your bible reading, you have missed one of the biggest narratives in the whole book.

    The bible isn’t about God hating homosexuals and other sinners and about putting out a set of rules for you to follow…I’m sure you still sin. The bible isn’t about focusing on one sin or other…and if it is, then focus on sins that hurt vastly more folks…like Child Abuse and spiritual abuse etc.

  157. All 3 of my kids lived with their spouses before they were married. I told them it was wrong – that I thought it was both societally wrong and biblically wrong. Should I have stayed silent, because what they were doing was no different than what the homosexuals do? Should I have stay silent so I would not hurt their feelings.

    When 2 of them were preparing for divorce I told them that was wrong – both on societies standards and on the Bible’s standards. Should I have stayed silent, because today we are not allowed to call wrong wrong?

  158. RiBo says:

    G, he is a buffoon, LOL. I love that word, “buffoon”. It is very fitting 🙂 MLD can’t help himself, he’s addicted to it.

  159. a pastor says:

    RiBo, I’ll say it again… I am not minimizing victims. I am magnifying God. I am a victim. I was sexually abused as a child. How is that for bursting the supposed bubble you think I live in?

    But here’s the deal… (And I won’t even quote you scripture to show that homosexuality IS a sin with victims.) Every sin ever committed is a sin against God, so there are no victimless sins. God is the victim. So, by claiming a victimless sin is showing your low view of God.

    Magnify your view of God, and He can heal your hurts. It worked for me.

  160. Derek,
    “When you try to find offense though, you usually will find it.”
    Agreed. Truer words are rarely said.

    I never, ever went looking, or go looking.

    I have served in ministry since I was 15.5yrs, and am 58 now. Perhaps it was because I’m in California and the renewal and conservative churches I’ve been in are overly sensitive to cultural issues.

    Honestly, its sad and heartbreaking because these churches and their ministry teams could be doing such good, reaching the hurting people among them and in their neighborhoods.

  161. RB,
    You are way off base. It is the gay agenda that is the culprit here. You can talk about Child Abuse all you want, but until I see a Child Abuse lobby or until I see Child Abuse Pride Day parades, don’t talk to me about it in the same breath.they know they are wrong, that’s why they are so “in your face” when they march around in diapers.

    And at that point they say accept my behavior or pay the consequence … but a kid tries to read a Bible in public school …

  162. Neo says:

    If I watch a baseball game for two innings longer than I should have, in so doing missing out helping my kid with homework, that is sin in my parenting. Perhaps. Or perhaps not. That’s the big problems in making Christianity a set of does and dont’s; viewing the issue of sin as a series of actions/verbs rather than a condition/noun. Okay, so Scripture to give validity to this statement? Just read the New Testament. Sin is used as a noun rather than a verb….ten to one! A condition more than an action…. Ten to one! You know why? When we start playing the rules game, it’s ultimate end will be insanity. Did I sin, did she sin, did they sin? How about when I took that second look, had that thought that lasted a half second too long? Jesus came to deliver us from sin consciousness, not make us more aware of it. It is the “neither do I condemn you” that serves to empower the “go your way and sin no more”.

  163. Dusty says:

    had a guy at work who was gay and always talked innuendo, and vulgar things to and touched the other guys on the team (when I was not looking or in ear shot) the guys did not think they had a voice to say anything about it.. . Til one day I did catch him in the act. I told him he was not allowed to say or do anything to them that he was not allowed to do or say to me or it would be documented as sexual harassment. He stopped completely. and the team was better for it.

  164. RiBo says:

    If you want to point a finger at a “sin!” that is one of the 7 deadly sins…and are fearful of one particular sin becoming normative b/c of an Agenda to normalize it…then go with GLUTTONY!

    Fat pastors and church folks everywhere…obesity in the US is at “epidemic” levels according to many health orgs. If we’re going to get “judged” for a sin, it’ll probably be Gluttony b/c half the Christians* I know are fat from eating too much (no other way to get fat other than consume more calories than your body needs, that’s scientific fact like the earth is round).

  165. a pastor says:

    RoBo:

    “The bible isn’t about God hating homosexuals and other sinners and about putting out a set of rules for you to follow…I’m sure you still sin. The bible isn’t about focusing on one sin or other…and if it is, then focus on sins that hurt vastly more folks…like Child Abuse and spiritual abuse etc.”

    The Bible is the message that humanity is fallen and needs redemption. The message that Jesus gave on this is (literally, verbatim): “Repent and believe.”

    How can one repent if they will not admit they sin? Paul said it this way: “How will they believe if they do not hear?”

    If you think I hate homosexuals, you obviously don’t know me. You seem to make the same equivocation as many in society today: “To call someone a sinner is to hate them.” If that were the case, I would hate myself.

  166. RiBo says:

    a pastor, I am sorry you were abused, I didn’t know that about you.

    Knowing that, why wouldn’t you advocate strongly against Child Abuse (or do you?) knowing how destructive it is on a personal level?

  167. Dusty says:

    Actually there were several gay employees where I worked and they all knew where I stood on the issue (it is sin) and I treated them just as I treated everyone else…hugs and all….I had their respect.

  168. RiBo says:

    a pastor, how can one repent if they don’t stop sinning?

    You still sin, correct?

  169. a pastor says:

    RiBo:

    “If you want to point a finger at a “sin!” that is one of the 7 deadly sins…and are fearful of one particular sin becoming normative b/c of an Agenda to normalize it…then go with GLUTTONY!

    Fat pastors and church folks everywhere…obesity in the US is at “epidemic” levels according to many health orgs. If we’re going to get “judged” for a sin, it’ll probably be Gluttony b/c half the Christians* I know are fat from eating too much (no other way to get fat other than consume more calories than your body needs, that’s scientific fact like the earth is round).”

    The seven deadly sins are an invention. They are not scriptural.

    You seem to operate on bad logic– i.e. “those other sons exist, so this sin is OK.” They are all sins. The existence of one does not negate the other.

  170. a pastor says:

    RiBo:

    “a pastor, I am sorry you were abused, I didn’t know that about you.

    Knowing that, why wouldn’t you advocate strongly against Child Abuse (or do you?) knowing how destructive it is on a personal level?”

    What makes you think that I don’t? You seem very liberal in your inferences of me.

  171. RiBo says:

    I don’t buy the “God is a victim of your sin” stuff. If God is truly sovereign and “big” like you state, then God knew what he was creating, created the devil (supposedly) knowing the devil would rebel, gave the devil the capacity to rebel, created man with the capacity to rebel and sin knowing man would sin, etc…yet created the devil and man anyway, knowing full well what would happen already.

    Or, you reduce “God” to “not big” and reactive and reactionary and surprised when the devil and man did what they would inevitably do.

    Your “Big God!” angle doesn’t square with your “God is a victim!” proposition.

  172. There are ties to child sexual abuse and homosexuality. I have only ever heard BD have the guts to mention it on here before.
    That is the elephant in the room that everyone is trying to avoid usually.
    Why?
    Because, usually this becomes a generational sin.
    Cause if you dig hard enough, you aren’t going to like what you see in causation of homosexuality.

    Everyone have a good night.

  173. Dusty,
    Excellent, that guy was a disrespectful troll, just as a woman who sexually harasses her co-workers is the same. It’s about unwelcome advances and the abuse of power.

    The “sin of Sodom” and her sisters was her inhospitality to her visitors. The fact that a righteous man, Lot, would entertain even for a moment that he should offer his daughters to the crowd is pure disgusting horror, and the brutalization of visitors was a common practice.

    Trust should never be abused and travelers are vulnerable and easily taken advantage of.

  174. Neo, I understand that just about everything we do is sin. I am the one person here on this blog who claims to break everyone of the 10 commandments every single day.

    I am the one here on this blog who claims that almost all of my ‘good works’ are done in sin because I do them for the wrong motive.

    But I come to repentance daily, confess my sin and would never lobby or ask others to accept my sin.

    Now, an I not allowed to call a homosexual to repentance?

  175. RiBo says:

    I left open the possibility you do advocate for the abused, but you seemed to be taking a contrary position to my assertion that Child Abuse and divorce was more destructive to society than homosexuality…

  176. a pastor says:

    RiBo:

    “a pastor, how can one repent if they don’t stop sinning?

    You still sin, correct?”

    I am still a sinner by nature, and I still sin in practice. I repent because I admit that it is a sin. The Bible is replete with commands to confess sin as a part of repentance. That is part of how I repent. As I confess, I thank God for His grace that covers me and ask Him to help me overcome ‘this’ particular area of weakness. He has been faithful to help me. I am no longer a slave to many habitual sins that I once suffered from, and He continues to help me in others.

    Now… How would one repent by not admitting that something is a sin?

  177. Derek,

    “Generational sin” as in someone is cursed in their generations, or that someone who experiences a homosexual experience will always seek out another and pass that on to their children?

  178. Derek,
    I await your explanation.
    Have a good evening.

  179. No, generational as passed on and someone else will do what was done to them.
    It happens deal with it.

  180. RiBo says:

    a pastor said, “The seven deadly sins are an invention. They are not scriptural.

    You seem to operate on bad logic– i.e. “those other sons exist, so this sin is OK.” They are all sins. The existence of one does not negate the other.”

    I didn’t assert the 7 deadly sins were in the bible…the term “Trinity” isn’t in the bible either…nor is “Rapture”

  181. a pastor says:

    RiBo:

    “I don’t buy the “God is a victim of your sin” stuff. If God is truly sovereign and “big” like you state, then God knew what he was creating, created the devil (supposedly) knowing the devil would rebel, gave the devil the capacity to rebel, created man with the capacity to rebel and sin knowing man would sin, etc…yet created the devil and man anyway, knowing full well what would happen already.

    Or, you reduce “God” to “not big” and reactive and reactionary and surprised when the devil and man did what they would inevitably do.

    Your “Big God!” angle doesn’t square with your “God is a victim!” proposition.”

    I had forgotten you are a heretic. Nevermind. It’s wasted dialog. Have a nice evening.

  182. RiBo says:

    a pastor said, “. I repent because I admit that it is a sin”

    No, wrong, that is not the definition of repentance. You can admit you watch p0rn, but if you don’t stop watching p0rn you haven’t repented of it.

  183. RiBo says:

    a pastor, what sins do you still commit? You know they are sin, yet you keep sinning? How have you repented if you continue to sin?

  184. a pastor says:

    RiBo:

    “I left open the possibility you do advocate for the abused, but you seemed to be taking a contrary position to my assertion that Child Abuse and divorce was more destructive to society than homosexuality…”

    I merely made the point that all sin is an offense to God, and since He is the most worthy thing in and beyond all creation, His view of sin can’t be ignored in favor of simply how sin effects people.

  185. Dusty says:

    G, the thing was he seemed embarrassed that he had been caught and confused that it was wrong….til I said if you cant do it to me you can’t do it to them than the light came on…then his face was red, as was mine I’m sure.

  186. RiBo says:

    a pastor said, “Now… How would one repent by not admitting that something is a sin?”

    Not the issue.

    How can one repent if they don’t stop sinning?

  187. RiBo says:

    a pastor said, “ou seem to operate on bad logic– i.e. “those other sons exist, so this sin is OK.” They are all sins. The existence of one does not negate the other.”

    No, you’re missing the point entirely.

    It is you that makes a distinction between sins.

    You sin all the time. You haven’t repented of your sins. You “live” in sin.

  188. a pastor says:

    RiBo:

    “a pastor said, “. I repent because I admit that it is a sin”

    No, wrong, that is not the definition of repentance. You can admit you watch p0rn, but if you don’t stop watching p0rn you haven’t repented of it.”

    Please deal with me fairly and don’t parse my words. The next two sentences that I wrote, which you didn’t quote were:

    “The Bible is replete with commands to confess sin as a *part* of repentance. That is *part* of how I repent. “

  189. RiBo says:

    Typical Fundamentalist Christian*: “Gays can’t be true christians b/c they don’t admit their sin!”

    …yet you are often prideful and don’t recognize it as being sin, or you eat too much as a pattern of your life and don’t consider it as sin, or you tell lies consistently but you consider them “white lies!” and not really sin as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone, etc etc.

    The truth is you live in sin. So does everyone. None have truly repented. All sin, continuously. Many Christians* sin all the time and don’t consider their particular sins as sin.

  190. First my disclaimer – because I don’t think the OT has any hold on Christians today – but many of you do. So which one of these is OK for today?

    20 And you shall not lie sexually with your neighbor’s wife and so make yourself unclean with her. 21 You shall not give any of your children to offer them to Molech, and so profane the name of your God: I am the Lord. 22 You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination. 23 And you shall not lie with any animal and so make yourself unclean with it, neither shall any woman give herself to an animal to lie with it: it is perversion.

    I will bet no one answers, but just points elsewhere to change the subject.

  191. RiBo says:

    a pastor, I can state with 100% confidence that you sin, daily.

    That is not true repentance.

    Which sins do you still practice?

    You “live” in sin. No way around it. I have yet to find one Christian* that doesn’t sin all the time.

    Repentance is changing the behavior, or you are merely asking the gays to admit their sin…but then they can still have homosexual sex all the time, and be “repented!” like you, no?

  192. a pastor says:

    RiBo:

    “No, you’re missing the point entirely.

    It is you that makes a distinction between sins.

    You sin all the time. You haven’t repented of your sins. You “live” in sin.”

    I make only one distinction between sins– forgiven and unforgiven. 1 John 1:9

    How can someone be forgiven if they do not confess their sin?

  193. RB,Thanks for your very clear statements that all sins are OK because everyone sins.

    Again, you are back to calling Good eviland Evil good.

  194. RiBo says:

    The big myth about christianity& is that christians* have “repented!”

    No they haven’t, not if the definition is you stop the wrong behavior.

    Christians* have sins they ditch for one reason or another…but they take on new sins or protect old sins that they aren’t as convicted by or sins that have less severe personal consequences etc.

    The fact is, all supposed Christians* sin…daily, weekly, monthly, yearly…all the time…or you’re lying and in sin 🙂

  195. RiBo says:

    a pastor said, “How can someone be forgiven if they do not confess their sin?”

    How can one be forgiven if they don’t repent of their sin?

  196. dswoager says:

    I think about the cultural conflict on homosexuality, and my mind flashes back to a sermon that I heard preached a few years back on Ephesians 5 and 6. The framework that he was working from was that of people that did not necessarily have power within the culture that they were in, but could show the power of the gospel through the way that they related to the people they came into contact with on a daily basis (I’m not doing it justice). I think of this because Michael is likely right that we are losing and are likely to lose this cultural battle (for now), so the question will eventually, or perhaps should now, turn to how we can best speak to the culture that we live in now.We still seem to operate as though we can control this issue from the top down, and when we try and especially when we succeed we take a hit to our witness to the world.

    We can cry out about the sexual sin on their side, but wouldn’t a better testimony be to clean up our own houses in that regard individually and corporately, so we don’t look quite like the hypocrites that we collectively are. We can condemn gay marriage, but wouldn’t it be more effective if we as a people were known to have exceedingly satisfying marriages. We cry out at the world, but sites like this and others are a testimony of how much garbage we need to clean up in our own house. The church is the body, the body has two eyes, and one of them has a big old plank in it. Perhaps the world would be a little more open to our moralizing if we looked a little more moral ourselves.

  197. Neo says:

    MLD. Sure, call all to repentance. Just remember what it is that leads us to it.

  198. a pastor says:

    Nice evasion, RiBo.

    Again. Good evening. I hope you come to the truth some day.

  199. Dusty says:

    there are Christian’s to really strive to repent and change behavior that God brings to their mind.

  200. “No, generational as passed on and someone else will do what was done to them.
    It happens deal with it.”

    I’m seeking to “deal with it” your assertion, and understand it and think it through.

    So you’re asserting that if someone experiences homosexuality they will then go do it to someone else, every time, without fail?

    You’re saying, every time, a person experiences a homosexual act, that then “turns them gay” and they will become a predator, that their sexual wiring is forever changed?

    Every time, cause & effect?

    That’s not observable science, but you have science that backs your assertion, yes?

    …each and every time, without fail?

  201. Dusty,
    “G, the thing was he seemed embarrassed that he had been caught and confused that it was wrong….til I said if you cant do it to me you can’t do it to them than the light came on…then his face was red, as was mine I’m sure.”

    You know what was sweet, precious, is that you treated him as a friend, and made it about mutual respect. That’s part of why he blushed, that he was processing it and came to a realization that he was being disrespectful.

    We need more Dusty’s sweet kindness, that is what leads us to repentance (a change of mind).

  202. Dusty says:

    G ((((hugs)))

  203. Neo says:

    In conclusion (for me), lemme try and thread the needle. I do resent an agenda being shoved down my throat. At the same time, I’m conflicted because I appreciate an evolving society that does seek to make the last first- even if it gets a bit messy and (gasp) might even miss the mark at times. On the other hand, I resent “Christianity” apart from the Gospel. This lethal mixture of Grace and Law- Graw- whereby we make certain sins more or less palatable than others, just because our subculture dictates it to be so. Still, I do admire a sturdy moral compass and believe if it’s simply discarded in the name of “equality”, much destruction awaits any society that does so. See: Gibbons’ “Rise and Fall of Roman Empire”. So what I am saying here is completely paradoxical, with so much irony as to make it appear contradictory. And you know, I’m alright with that.

  204. Neo says:

    Pastor. Nice “evasion”? More like game, set, match.

  205. a pastor says:

    Neo:

    “Pastor. Nice “evasion”? More like game, set, match.”

    He’s discarded a Biblical view of God, of sin, of repentance, and well… the Bible. We aren’t even playing the same “game”. How could he have won it?

    I quoted confession from John 1. Look at the full context:

    1 John 1:8-10 “8 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.”

    We must confess as a part of repentance. We will never be completely sinless. That obviously doesn’t mean that we haven’t repented. So, either the Bible’s definition is wrong of yours and RiBo’s is wrong.

    I sin daily. I repent often. I am forgiven often.

    So, I’ll ask again… If one refuses to confess, how can they repent? No evasions this time.

  206. Neo says:

    Pastor. Once again, the New Testament deals with the matter of Sin as a condition to be confessed. 1 John 1:8-9 is one of the, if not the, most specific instance of this. Confess you are a sinner (noun) or you make God a liar.

    Pray tell, when Jesus in the Gospels or Peter in Acts called people to repent, what were they calling them to repent from? A religious, political mindset that was all wrong. To apply that type of repentance, as you know it means “to change the mind”, to a general wholesale of having to halt certain behavior to be forgiven is wrong.

  207. Neo says:

    I now confess I may be falling into arguing over minutiae and straining at gnats while choking on camels….so with that, agree to disagree.

  208. dswoager
    “We can condemn gay marriage,…”

    Without knowing it, you have brought up the divide in this issue.
    Not a single person here has ‘condemned gay marriage’ – yet that is not good enough for the gay agenda supporters – they require that we celebrate the lifestyle choice.

    No one here beat up the football guy for being gay – we spoke up about the media’s obvious set up in the event.

    But because we brought it up and have issues with that, we are labeled bigots and people here openly support our censure.

  209. Learner says:

    As I puff on my pipe, I’m wondering what the Church would look like if we got all of our value, worth, and life from Jesus, instead of being right?

    Martin Luther said that sin is “man curving in upon himself” … when we lose sight of Jesus we look for something smaller to provide the life he’s already provided for us…for many of us our functional savior (our false life source) is a pseudo righteousness that says, I’m better than you because I don’t do this, or I’m better than you because I love those that do. Jesus offers something so much better.

  210. Learner, are you saying that the Church should not teach against sin – is it just me should worry about me, and, because i wouldn’t want to sound ‘pseudo righteous’ that I just let my neighbor wallow in their own sin?

    How do I tell someone that they may want to look into the claims of Jesus Christ if I cannot point out to them that they are (boy I hope I don’t get arrested for this) sinners?

  211. Brian says:

    could someone please help me out here, what exactly is “Objective Morality”? Thanks.

  212. brin,
    You know, it’s something like “it is always wrong to torture innocent babies just for fun.”

    Unless you can think of a time it is a good deed.- that is Objective Morality.

  213. Brian says:

    So it is safe to say that from a Christian Worldview an Objective Morality is moral absolutes that are “applicable” to all situations all the time no matter the cultural, political etc. context?

  214. Brian,
    Objective Morality transcends Christianity … why would you exclude Jews from the opportunity to participate?

  215. Brian says:

    I am not excluding but as I have been told one cannot have an objective moral view apart from a belief in the Christian God, that is why I said Christian worldview.

  216. An objective moral view is there whether someone agrees or not. One does not get to choose if there is an Objective Moral view.

  217. Think about it Brian – does it make sense to you that an Objective Moral view would be contingent on something – it just is.

  218. Brian says:

    Really? Interesting. So is it safe to say that the morality displayed in Scripture is objectively moral?

  219. “apart from a belief in the Christian God, ” That is another fallacy in your question. There is no such thing as a ‘Christian God.

    There is only one God – who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit – and as it happens, only Christians worship this God.

    There are no other Gods / gods.

  220. gomergirl says:

    MLD…. I think you completely misunderstood what I was saying.
    As an American I have the right to believe and say whatever I want. And so do you. And I will argue that you have that right, even if I think you are wrong.

    As a Christian we believe what the bible teaches, what Jesus taught and what God’s word says. We, in this country have that right, to believe whatever we want, and so are others. But the climate in this current world, we are told that we must conform to what society says are the new norms, and we have no choice. That is not what this country was founded on.
    Now, some people get really worked up about the state of our country My hubby is one. and that is ok, and some need to sound the alarms and fight for our freedoms. But I also have friends that seem surprised and want to fight against things that cannot be stopped (unless by divine intervention) and I think that their energies are a bit misguided They might be better directed to be jesus to those around them, praying for the leaders here and around the world. And when confronted by the struggles to stand firm for what they know to be true.

    does that make more sense?
    I hope so. I am not about to say that we roll over and approve of anything that is against God’s word, but I also don’t search out fights that are not brought to my door, so to speak. I choose to fight the battles that come to me, and pray for those in the line of fire.

  221. brian,
    “So is it safe to say that the morality displayed in Scripture is objectively moral?”

    No – there are hundreds of people in the Bible doing all kinds of bad and sinful things – now what could be said is that they are ignoring Objective Morality for their own will.

  222. Brian says:

    You do know what I am saying I am meaning the Christian view of God and what is the other fallacy that would be helpful.

  223. gomergirl,
    Let me ask this – what would it take to get abortion to knock on your door and get you interested?

  224. Brian says:

    Lets try it this way are the ten commandments objectively moral?

  225. brian,
    The other fallacy was that you had Objective Morality contingent on something.

  226. Ricky Bobby says:

    a pastor, no evasion, just pointing out that you are missing the forest from the trees.

    You haven’t truly repented, no one has. You still sin….all the time.

    There are sins you commit that you don’t think are sin. Many Gluttons don’t think they are in sin (just one example).

    What my position is not: “homosexuality isn’t sin!” that’s a Straw Man of others’ construction. It could be sin, probably is…so is about everything human.

    What my position is not as well: “look at all these others sins! therefore homosexuality isn’t sin!” and “we all are sinners so therefore homosexuality isn’t sin!”

    Not my positions.

    My position: Homosexuality is made a taboo sin in our Christian* culture while other equally damning sins are tolerated, ignored, denied, enabled, protected (child abuse being one that is very harmful and wreaks havoc on society).

    My position is also that none truly “repent” of all sin. You sin, I sin, Billy Graham sins…all the time. It’s being human.

    You may confess some of your sins, but there are some you miss, I’m sure. You may repent of some of your sins, but you don’t truly repent from some of your sins as well as you continue to sin…probably every day.

    One of the strongest of the competing and often contradictory bible narratives is that of God being in charge, that of God being love, God being merciful and God loving his enemies and “forgive them they know not what they do” etc.

    It is very likely that if God is, and is truly love and truly forgiving and truly merciful that he will save the prodigal sons of the whole of his Creation eventually…whether in this life or the next…and like the older brother…some will be ticked off about it.

  227. Like I said, you are under some delusion that there is a view that Christians make up about God – just as a Muslim would make up a view of God.

    No, there is God.

  228. “Lets try it this way are the ten commandments objectively moral?”

    Probably not to your definition because they were not meant to be for all people. The 10 commandments are to the nation of Israel.

  229. Brian says:

    “The other fallacy was that you had Objective Morality contingent on something.” Well maybe the concept of objective morality may not be contingent I E it transcends but the application is most certainly contingent on a variety factors. You know what I mean MLK it would be nice to just have a discussion I do not deny there is one God.

  230. I thought we were having a conversation. I don’t think with the same mindset that you do in this area.
    What did you think of my answer on the 10 commandments?

  231. Ricky Bobby says:

    MLD, “objective morality” is an oxymoron unless the morality is pegged to set of Objective/Absolute laws that are universal.

    Christians* appeal to the bible as such a rule book of universal laws…however, the bible self-contradicts in many places and establishes many Moral codes and then speaks against those Moral codes and establishes something different…and then contradicts itself again and again. There is no set Objective Morality in the bible…and I can demonstrate this many times from the bible itself.

    “God” may have some set of Objective Morals he intended…but we don’t know what they are b/c the bible he supposedly wrote through fallible men is all screwy and not consistent in its stated Moral codes that change to and fro and back.

    …then lump on top of that the fact that 9,000 to 30,000 different Sects of Christianity* can’t agree on what the supposedly “Objective” bible says…and generation after generation had sets of Moral codes and “Morality” that differed greatly from one to another.

    There is very very scant objectivity in it, and you are simply professing a large exaggeration and falsehood.

  232. brian,
    “I do not deny there is one God.” – but do you agree that the One God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit and that only Christians worship this One True God?

  233. Brian says:

    “Probably not to your definition because they were not meant to be for all people. The 10 commandments are to the nation of Israel.”

    Really? Now that is rather interesting so Objective morality or the application of said morality changes. The Law is perfect and it leads us to Christ I think paul says something to that effect. MLD think of it like this, it does not matter what language, what culture, even what time Math is always the same, when applied correctly it always gives the same answer, same with Chemistry, biology cosmology etc. It does not seem to work that well with theology. Those disciplines are merely human constructs.

  234. Brian says:

    “brian,
    “I do not deny there is one God.” – but do you agree that the One God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit and that only Christians worship this One True God?”

    Yes I agree with that, I have always held to the Trinity, my view of “the fall” would be more catholic than anything I E we were wounded by the fall not totally depraved. But a plain reading of scripture can lead one to hold to a reformed view of the Fall. Does that help clarify where I am trying to come from, thanks.

  235. brian – you just said the opposite of what I said.
    I said that the 10 commandments were not objectively moral to your definition.

    You defined your view as “Morality is moral absolutes that are “applicable” to all situations all the time no matter the cultural, political etc. context?”

    So the 10 commandments do not fit your definition.

  236. Ricky Bobby says:

    Brian, you are correct. There is very little objectivity and universality in theology or morality.

    There are some near universals that seem to be objective morality: Love your neighbor is “good”…helping the poor and needy the widow and orphan is “good”…murder is “bad” etc.

  237. Brian says:

    I will check back in later thanks for the interaction I will try to respond to any questions later tonight. If anyone wishes I do not expect long answers just a link for a book suggestion and I will gladly check it out, have a nice evening everyone.

  238. RB,
    Play with the example I gave above – ” “it is always wrong to torture innocent babies just for fun.”

  239. Ricky Bobby says:

    MLD, I don’t understand your fixation on the 10 commandments. You’ve argued before that God gave them to inform man of moral ought and that somehow atheists can’t have morality sans God…

    …yet the Code of Hammurabi pre-dated the 10 commandments considerably and contained pretty much everything the Hebrews wrote down after-the-fact.

    Also, the Noah flood? Gilgamesh epic beat that story by many years.

  240. RB,
    Sorry, the question on the floor was Objective Morality – address that and don’t go off changing the subjects.

    Law was given to others long before Moses and the 10 commandments.

    Jonah was sent to a people with a message that they were to be destroyed. He did not tell them a law and he did not tell them to repent. But they knew to repent, so they must have known something of God’s law and that they had broken it.

    So, back to my innocent babies…

  241. Brian says:

    Actually that is the def often given when the 10 commandments are spoken about along with the prohibition of Same sex marriage that was one of the points I was getting at. The application is relative, which sort of shoots down the idea from what I have come to understand. How is one to know what is applicable and in what context?

  242. Ricky Bobby says:

    Examples that proves the bible is not Morally Objective:

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

    “When a man strikes his slave, male or female, with a rod and the slave dies under his hand, he shall be avenged. But if the slave survives a day or two, he is not to be avenged, for the slave is his money.”–the Bible

    “If a man lies sexually with a woman who is a slave, assigned to another man and not yet ransomed or given her freedom, a distinction shall be made. They shall not be put to death, because she was not free”–the Bible

    “When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she shall not go out as the male slaves do. If she does not please her master, who has designated her for himself, then he shall let her be redeemed. He shall have no right to sell her to a foreign people, since he has broken faith with her. If he designates her for his son, he shall deal with her as with a daughter. If he takes another wife to himself, he shall not diminish her food, her clothing, or her marital rights. And if he does not do these three things for her, she shall go out for nothing, without payment of money.”–the Bible.

    “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it.”–the Bible

  243. Michael says:

    I’m going to bed.
    No moderation will be available.

  244. Brian – no one else answered, perhaps you are brave enough. 🙂 ,
    You may have missed this earlier from me.

    “First my disclaimer – because I don’t think the OT has any hold on Christians today – but many of you do. So which one of these is OK for today?

    20 And you shall not lie sexually with your neighbor’s wife and so make yourself unclean with her. 21 You shall not give any of your children to offer them to Molech, and so profane the name of your God: I am the Lord. 22 You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination. 23 And you shall not lie with any animal and so make yourself unclean with it, neither shall any woman give herself to an animal to lie with it: it is perversion.

    I will bet no one answers, but just points elsewhere to change the subject.

  245. RB,
    The question was about Objective Morality – not whether the Bible is objectively moral. Two swparate subjects… objective morality was around long before the Bible.

  246. Ricky Bobby says:

    MLD, the Code of Hammurabi pre-dated Jonah by almost 1,000 years.

  247. dswoager says:

    MLD, even if not a single person here condemns gay marriage, you have to admit that we live in a culture that assumes that is our stance. The homosexual agenda is being pushed in the media, and unfortunately it seems like nearly every time that we try to do likewise we seem to reinforce the bigoted Christian stereotype. What really gets lost is real people. Because of the public face of Christianity on this issue I have a hard time digging through all the garbage just to talk to people about it. Maybe it is just my context, but it just seems like a bunch of people yelling at each other, and if one side were to humble itself to try to have a rational conversation I would hope it would be ours.

    Earlier I believe you mentioned speaking to your children about sinful cohabitation and divorce. I would assume that you have both the personal and emotional capital that even if they ignored you that they at least heard you out. This really isn’t something that we are likely going to come out on the winning side of, and if we are in any way it is going to be little personal battles, not large cultural ones. We could use to stop fighting a war that we are going to lose to the detriment of the small battles we might have a shot in.

    Learner, I appreciated what you had to say there. I am skeptical about the motives that we often carry into these debates. We sometimes throw ourselves into them to prove we are right, and sometimes to try to prove that we are righteous (at least more so than the other guy). I even question the motive of standing by the word of God (which I think I do) where it sometimes comes off as standing by a system of legalism that makes us feel better about ourselves. If legalism is making us feel better about ourselves, I would question if we are using the law right.

  248. dswoager,
    I think you miss the point. Forget one on one with the homosexual – what do you say when someone asks you “hey dswoager, what do you think of all of this gay marriage stuff = are you for it?”

    What do you say? This is where we are at – if I say what I think, even in very polite terms, there is a good job that it will be used against me.

    This is what we are talking about.

    So, what do you say?

  249. Brian says:

    Lev 18:20-23

    Why would that be something someone would be “afraid of”. Leviticus was a text authored for a tribal society, it spoke to the people of the time in a frame that is not as we speak now. But that is just fluff, I think what you are asking should humans have sexual relations with animals, lets start there. One could bring up the health issues involved in said relationships and that for most of human history such relationships has been seen as depraved, unhealthy, sin etc. So a consensus view of the application could be argued. Though cross species interaction does occur in nature it is not the norm and it is not conducive to the survivability of a species so it is not the norm. The prohibitions for same sex relationships between consenting human adults I see as a different issue, though it has been argued from the evangelical side that SS relationships cannot “produce” life, neither can hetrosexual relationships where one or both of the partners are sterile and I think all agree that said relationship is not sin.

    Children are a different category as they lack the ability to give consent which is why it is called child abuse. As for being offered up to Molech I would ask, did children, preborn, disabled etc die in the flood?

  250. dswoager says:

    Who is asking, and why? If it’s just a random conversation you would get a decent amount of what I have already stated. I believe that the homosexual lifestyle is sinful, but I have more of an issue with the way that I see a lot of Christians in my world, and in the public eye deal with it. You will end up hearing me talk a lot more about the church than about the homosexual. The way a gay man leads his life doesn’t concern me nearly as much as the way a Christian man leads his life, so I focus on that side of the issue.

  251. So who learned something today?
    Who changed their mind about something today?
    Who made a new relationship that will enhance their life today?
    Who is better off for having this discussion?
    Not mocking taunts but real inquiries.

  252. Brian says:

    So who learned something today? Not really but it was interesting.
    Who changed their mind about something today? I did not change my mind but I did learn to have a bit more empathy for those that disagree with me, that is utterly useless on its face but it is what came to mind.
    Who made a new relationship that will enhance their life today? I do not know if I did.
    Who is better off for having this discussion? Not really I am extremely frustrated by the cognitive dissonance it is utterly mind numbing.
    Not mocking taunts but real inquiries.

    Those are my “answers” to your questions.

  253. Steve Wright says:

    The passion and effort extended on this blog today is due to the same reason there is passion and effort extended against abusive Christian leaders here.

    There is more passion here against the Christian leaders who violate trust and hurt God’s people than there is what is being taught at the JW Kingdom Hall.

    And there is more passion against those in the Church who have joined the world on this issue than there is passion towards the actual homosexual. He/she is doing what lost sinners do, just as the JW leaders are teaching what lost heretics do.

    But we expect more from the brethren, especially when we are watching with our own eyes the real damage done to faithful Christians who happen to stand against the worldly tide. Loss of income, loss of employment, vilification and hatred.

    Where I differ is with the idea that “we” have lost this cultural battle. Because clearly there are some posting here who actually see themselves as winning. They are celebrating the victories over evangelicals and fundamentalist boogeymen. And they are doing so by flat-out insulting the majority of us by talking about how they are the “loving” ones, they are the ones properly representing Jesus to the world and so forth.

    So I agree with dswoager who wrote “The way a gay man leads his life doesn’t concern me nearly as much as the way a Christian man leads his life” – Amen. That is why you see the debate here, where Christians gather, and you don’t see us all running to some gay website to preach “turn or burn” – a concern here for the way a Christian leads his life.

    Maybe a couple here, at least reading, will see the seriousness of the day. Maybe the modern version of “First they came for X, but I was not an X, so I did not speak up, then they came for Y…then they came for me” will not show itself here. First they came for the Christian bakers, then the Christian actors, then they came to the church…

    But I am all for not letting real people get lost. So I do not hesitate to point out the women who leave the fathers of their minor children to pursue a lesbian lifestyle and tell their little ones processing the divorce that they now have two Mommies. I don’t hesitate to point out the selfishness of gay men who are spreading syphilis like wildfire because they refuse to tell their sex partners they are diseased (as reported nationally last week). Let’s remember the counselors who are blackballed for daring to seek to treat homosexual behavior as a sin that can be repented of and overcome. And let’s remember when the occasional “bisexual” retreats back to heterosexuality exclusively and immediately ostracized by the same community of Americans that celebrated her previously.

    By all means, lets remember the real people – the real stories. And most of all lets remember our brothers and sisters in Christ who are being persecuted for refusing to bow to this idol of our day

  254. Brian says:

    Pastor Write maybe you can help me, I live a celebate hetrosexual orientation, I do not have sex outside of marriage, I dont mess around, I dont flirt etc. Almost daily when I was in the Christian industry I was reminded what a God hating piece of trash I am, I am just waiting to get one of the sisters alone and let them have it right there in the sanctuary. I grew tired of being viewed as a rapist. I am a prude and I am happy being a prude, I have no problem dying without “knowing a woman” as a believer, I do grow tired of being accused of being gay as some type of rhetoric and gotcha clap trap or that I cant even get some because I am not man enough. BS I call BS, my soul was tortured so many years with such utter pathetic nonsense, almost as bad as the international scientific conspiracy via Romans 1 concerning evolution and the age of the Earth. I live a celibate lifestyle for one reason, I dont want to hurt people, but I am constantly reminded that I do want to hurt people, I hate God, God hates me even more and I am a vessel of Wrath pining for the day we are slaughtered in that terrible day.

    That is just stupid. I acquiesced so much but the apologetic does not end it is hungry and it will eat the marrow out of your brain. I cant believe all those biologists, cosmologists, geneticist, geologists ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. scientific disciplines are in on the great conspiracies. They do have one thing on us, their stuff works, and it works really well. I struggle, I am not gay, have no desire to be gay, but I have been accused of being gay as some type of gotcha card. I have no desire to have “sex” with men, I do feel an affinity to women but I will not put myself in a position where I might cause damage to a marriage, so I draw huge lines between me and married people I work with, I will not date employees of the same organization to avoid some type of conflict and I am very careful in faith communities. To be honest I dont make moves on people, but from day one I felt like some type of rapist just looking to get some from day one in the faith community. It was a mind blank. So no I am not sympathetic to the party line it has screwed me up big time.

  255. Babs,
    I did learn something today from the discussion on this thread.

    The writer of #42 @ 12:03 PM thinks that all non pentecostal worship is a sell out.

    Without discussion of thought here I would not know of such narrowness amongst us.

  256. Dusty says:

    Dixie Dread,

    I learned that the fig tree was not about a single person, but about the Temple system…
    I learned that a gay man, One man of many men,made it into a ball team but his is the only name that made the news.
    I learned that Miss Kitty prefers pate over chicken (sometimes) 😉
    I learned that a lot of people don’t want Michael to write about prayer – but i DO.

  257. I believe Michael was addressing “Consensus Orthodoxy.”

    I wanted my son to learn about this when he was a young man. Here is how I did it…

    We were walking down the side walk on Coast Highway in Laguna Beach during the middle of summer. The sidewalk was packed with tourist that day.

    We came up to a street crossing. The red hand on the traffic crossing light was flashing indicating to not cross. The crowd chose to ignore it and cross the busy street when there were no more cars.

    My son crossed with the crowd while I remained on the corner not crossing until the green hand flashed, indicating it was now safe to cross the street. My son waited patiently on the opposite corner for me to cross.

    We came to the next corner and the same scenario transpired. By the third street crossing my son says to me, “Dad your embarrassing me.”

    Of course then I explained to him consensus orthodoxy and how he chose to let the crowd dictate what was correct behavior as opposed to what the law of the land dictated for pedestrians.

    It was illegal to cross the street as a pedestrian against a red hand and legal to cross on the green hand. The crowd chose to ignore the law en-mass and anyone choosing to obey was “odd~man~out.”

    I have read all of the comments thus far and no one seemed to address the issue of consensus orthodoxy. Michael was addressing this when he proclaimed:

    “Tebow was skewered for making a public show of his faith and Sam is being acclaimed for spitting on it.”

    I do get Ribo’s point about highlighting one sin over and above another sin.

    But really this thread is about being able to speak out even though the consensus orthodoxy is headed in another direction in their speaking out.

    Am I wrong or am I right?

    The day has come, it would seem, when Christians can not stand on the corner until the green hand flashes and not be bad guys for it…

  258. a pastor says:

    Jesus said to take up our cross and follow Him. He said we would be criticized, persecuted, belittled, even killed for doing so. He said to take great joy because they hated Him first. Today’s society should neither surprise, nor scare us. It is the natural world that is at enmity against God, and if we are living as Christ, at enmity against us.

    Church history shows that the church has been most effective when it has been most persecuted. When it has been the ‘law of the land’, it has been fat, lazy and carnal. When it has been persecuted, it has shrank, but been refined and empowered because that which waters it down has been boiled out. (There is a story of a man being shown the treasury of the Vatican. The pope bragged, “No longer can we say, ‘silver and gold have I not’. The man answered, ‘Oh, but no longer can we say stand and walk, for you are healed…’)

    The church has a great opportunity, I think. We can learn how to minister as Christ did. We can learn how to be mocked and still love the mockers. We can learn how to be reviled and love. We can learn how to be spit upon and ask the father’s forgiveness for those who spit.

    We can learn how to call sin sin while offering the love of Christ to the object of that message. I find it interesting, when I read the gospels chronologically, that Jesus was both vocal and active. He was vocal in calling people to repent. He was active in proving the love of God through compassion and actions.

    In Mark 1:15, He called people sinners and told them to repent.

    In Luke 5:8, just from being in His presence and experiencing His power, Peter said– “Lord, please leave me for I am too much of a sinner to be around you.”

    In Matthew, Mark and Luke, we see separate and similar details of Jesus healing Peter’s Mother-in-Law, adding a fulness of picture to a single event. In one place we hear of Him speaking to her. In the next, He touched her hand. In the next, He helped her up. In Luke 4:40, it says that ‘the touch of His hand healed everyone.’

    May we, as His followers, be of the same ministry. May we have the boldness to proclaim to a wicked generation that they/we are sinners in need of repentance. May we carry the Person of Jesus with us, that His very presence may convict of sin and drive the willing to repentance. May we serve with compassion– not just speaking, but touching people with His presence and helping them up from their sickbeds.

    Jesus said that He didn’t come to condemn the world, for it stands condemned without our need to do so. This should be sobering to us. The world stands condemned! Let me pause for a second for everyone to contemplate those implications….

    .
    .
    .
    .
    .

    We are not condemning. We are convicting that a lost and condemned world may find grace. But words alone will not do it. Along with the verbal message of conviction should radiate the actual message of redemption, love, mercy and grace through the lives of those who have been redeemed through love, mercy and grace.

    Good day all…

  259. Here it is in a nutshell. Those here who support the gay agenda really do and they want to throw it back on the church as being bigots etc.

    But our comments – or mine alone if it helps get the point across is that the same group should condemn me no matter what I preach or teach for or against. If I stand up in a public forum and say divorce is wrong – or as the RCC says ‘you cannot come to the table’, no one objects, they either accept or ignore what on say and move on. If I say the say about living together before marriage, no one threatens me or my job. No one tries to pass laws to restrict my speech.

    So, in the same vein and from the same sources I say homosexuality is wrong, people’s heads explode and they lose all reason. Why, I have not said a single thing different about any in the 3 groups?

    Liberal bigotry gets a free pass.

  260. Ricky Bobby says:

    Steve, I am a huge Free Speech guy (as long as the rest of the Bill of Rights). I would die on the hill that churches and Christians have the right to hold a contrary Moral Opinion.

    I don’t think Christians “hate” gays, I think they disagree with them and I also recognize that homosexuality has been made a taboo sin by many Christians and Churches, but that trend is shifting and positions are moderating (and rightfully so). I think you have a very good balance and are a good example of how to handle the issue. Sinners just like all of us and welcome to worship.

    I think there is a “gay agenda” like all Groups have an agenda. I think there is a tendency to over-reach and I get that.

    I also don’t think the over-reach is really “persecution”…at least not biblical persecution like being thrown to lions or boiled in oil or crucified upside down or burned at the stake like Reformers did things.

    I think it’s a Culture War and I think both sides will sort it out over time. Gays will feel they have conquered the bullies who made them hide in the closets all those years and Christians will moderate their hard-line positions and clarify their positions and not make it as big a taboo as in the past…and hopefully some middle ground will be reached…and then hopefully the main issue will be: How can we all Love our Neighbor like Jesus taught?

  261. Dusty says:

    Well said MLD…..i know that is what you have been trying to get across all night.

  262. Steve Wright says:

    Exactly MLD – This is the one sin the world is saying we MUST endorse. It is that simple.

    As much as the world might support p*rn, gluttony, divorce or whatever – nobody is going after you if you personally say that as a Christian you think these things are wrong.

  263. Dusty says:

    Well said a pastor….lots of good stuff

  264. Dusty says:

    Amen davidsurfer51

  265. Look at the evidence. 2 things were illegal in the military
    1.) homosexuality
    2.) adultery (at least among officers … it may be all personnel)

    No one has lobbied to have adultery removed from the military “taboo” list

  266. Ricky Bobby says:

    MLD said, “Look at the evidence. 2 things were illegal in the military
    1.) homosexuality
    2.) adultery (at least among officers … it may be all personnel)

    No one has lobbied to have adultery removed from the military “taboo” list”

    Hmm, good point for once.

  267. Ricky Bobby says:

    a pastor, I agree that the best response to gays from the “church” is for the church to have a reconciliatory tone and try to make peace where it can be had…if the “church” is the NT Jesus ‘peace and love’ narrative and not the OT smite the enemies and Revelation Jesus slaughtering the enemy with the sword narrative.

    I don’t know which is correct, but the ‘peace and love’ Jesus of the bible seems to be the real God to me, so go with that one, IMO.

  268. a pastor says:

    Neo:

    “Pastor. Once again, the New Testament deals with the matter of Sin as a condition to be confessed. 1 John 1:8-9Open in Logos Bible Software (if available) is one of the, if not the, most specific instance of this. Confess you are a sinner (noun) or you make God a liar.”

    I’m sorry, but you are twisting scripture for your own argument. That is not what 1 John says. It says:

    “If we say we have no sin*, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.”

    * Literally, ‘amartia’. To miss the mark. To miss or wander from the path of righteousness. To wander from the path of or to break God’s law.

    It is not a general confession of what you are, but a confession of what you have in your life– what you have done.

    “Pray tell, when Jesus in the Gospels or Peter in Acts called people to repent, what were they calling them to repent from? A religious, political mindset that was all wrong. To apply that type of repentance, as you know it means “to change the mind”, to a general wholesale of having to halt certain behavior to be forgiven is wrong.”

    You are smuggling a lot in here. Please provide scriptural evidence that this is what Jesus and Peter were calling people to repent from. Jesus told the woman in adultery to…? Yes. Go and SIN no more. Turn away from sin. Repent of sin. It had nothing to do with religiosity or politics. (I find it ironic that you would invent a political agenda in the call to repentance to fit your political agenda.)

    Back to 1 John 1, which you claim by man-made philosophy is mis-interpreted…

    “If we confess our sins* (plural), He is faithful to forgive us.”

    This “sins” is ‘amartia”, noun, meaning to miss the mark, wander from the path of righteousness, break God’s law, etc…

    It says nothing about some kind of liberation from religious/political mindset. It says everything about individual actions by which we turn from God’s perfect law.

    I must say, if I’m going to be completely honest… Your attempts to twist scriptural for political agenda make me view you as very suspect.

    Good day.

  269. gomergirl... says:

    MLD, what makes you think I condone or agree with abortion? I think it is one of the most heinous things that society does. I don’t march because I think it is pointless. It lowers the message to that of the gay rights marches. Instead, I choose to support local homes for pregnant women who have no family or church to turn to, I support the easing of adoption so that more unwanted children can get into homes quicker and more easily. I have tried to adopt, but don’t have the financial stability to do so. I have taken girls from youth group to alternative pregnancy centers when they though the were pregnant by a family member and couldn’t tell their parents (not christian and not church attenders)
    I equate marching in right to life rallies and parades and picketing Planned Parenthood with the gay rights parades and protests. It makes a splash but bottom line, does more harm to the cause than good.
    Why do you assume I condone any sin, especially the very visible ones? I would rather love the gay person I work with and be able to share Jesus with them, than march up to a stranger and start screaming in their face that they are a sinner and going to hell.
    The approach I take has given Jesus an in with all sorts of sinners, those who normally have said that they are instantly defensive to what most christians have said to them. I consider that a win for Jesus.
    Please don’t assume that you know what I believe, just from me saying that I am not surprised at the decline in civilization and choose to do my warfare on my knees.
    I would never assume that of you.

  270. Ricky Bobby says:

    OT Jesus and Revelation Jesus would tell you to take up arms and slay the gay “enemies”….NT “love and peace” hippy Jesus would tell you to love your enemies.

    I guess it’s your call…b/c the bible presents two contradictory narratives.

    I’m going with the “love and peace” hippy Jesus bible narrative…unless someone forces me to defend my Bill of Rights and constitutionally protected freedoms.

  271. Ricky Bobby says:

    I sure hope the “good” God wins out in the end and not the OT and Revelation God who smites all his enemies. I hope “God” who has changed his mind in the bible and seems quite reactive and surprised at times is not the real “God”…I hope it’s the God in the bible who is a Big God and who is truly in control of everything and works things out in the end.

    The bible is very much a dual narrative. You have one reactionary God who smites the enemies and tells his “people” to slaughter and kill…in the OT and NT…and then you have a much more mature and assured God who extends mercy and loves his enemies etc.

    Christianity* reflects both of those “Gods”…so does humanity.

    Which “God” will win the day?

  272. gomergirl... says:

    one more thing…. I have to say that I think that like most human condition problems, abortion and homosexuality are rooted in other and more serious problems. If you look at the root of the problem, they stem from a desire to be loved that goes unfulfilled.

    Girls who feel and are unloved (and often unwanted themselves) are looking for love and approval. Society tells them that they will find that in sex. Then along comes some guy who says “hey baby,sure I love you. let me show you how much” and there begins the problem. girls and boys need to be taught self respect and the worth they have in Christ. Even in church they need to be told this. Not “self -esteem” crap, but the worth they have because of the price that Christ paid for them. As a 40-something woman I struggle with that daily, after having rejection that left me questioning my worth.

    Many gays talk about this as having found the only group they could find who accepted them as they were. When they were struggling in middle school and adolescences, they were rejected by their “church” friends and family and only found acceptance with other outsiders. I think that there is a predatory element within the LGBT community who look for those who are easily manipulated and swayed and bring them into the fold to prove their agenda.

    I am not saying that all are like that, and I am trying to be brief as I am at work. But we need to look at the whole problem, not just the two most incendiary elements. They are the tip of the iceberg, so to speak.

    So yes, I am not a protester, but I do care about the people affected by these issues and want them to find forgiveness and grace and mercy at the feet of the Savior who can wash them clean, restore their purity and give them eternal life, regardless of their past.

  273. RB,
    Do you understand the “peace and love” of Jesus? I don’t think you use it properly.
    1.) God made peace with man by hanging his son on the cross – peace is not some hippie sucking on a bong saying”peace man” – which seems to be your Jesus view of peace.
    2.) Jesus loved people and did not allow people to remain in their sin or at least go unchallenged. To the woman in adultery he said “go and sin no more” – he could have said “peace and love my dear. To the woman at the well, before he did anything, he did not allow her to continue in her lie about who she was and her marital status. But he could have said “peace and love my daughter.
    To anyone he healed Jesus related it to forgiveness of sin.

    But, perhaps the bong sucking Jesus is better for today’s age.

  274. Ricky Bobby says:

    MLD, it is what it is. You can try and spin it all you want, but the dual narratives are very clear and very contradictory and easy to contrast and compare.

    The bible is largely a metaphor of the dual nature of mankind/humanity…and it is the Anthropomorphism and metaphor humans ascribed to “god” that creates a lot of the confusion.

    The more we learn about the Universe/Multi-verse and the more we learn about humanity…the more clearly it seems to me that the truth is somewhere between ancient metaphor of the bible and the reality of the Universe that Science discovers and observes in very limited doses.

  275. gomer,
    I was not saying you don’t care – I was responding to your comment that something needs to ‘come to you’ before you react.

    “but I also don’t search out fights that are not brought to my door, so to speak. I choose to fight the battles that come to me, and pray for those in the line of fire.”

    I don’t protest and I do not do marches etc – I speak only to those I can face to face. Also I am never against an individual only the big machine behind it.

    I want illegal immigration to stop – I want the laws enforced – but i would not support deporting a woman and her small children from the US.

  276. RB,
    That is the atheist mantra and I have seen those similar words on their web sites.

    God is who God is – if you see a duality, so what. What’s the upshot. You follow in Bart Erhman’s footsteps – he points out all these flaws and variations etc and never ties it together to answer the”so what?”

    So I ask you – “so what?” – are you saying that this supposed duality now equals that God today likes sin – that today God accepts sin – that today God does not care how people respond to each other.

    RB, that is your question for today — “so what?”

  277. Bob Sweat says:

    Thread hijack………………….

    On another note, someone asked me this morning if the third trumpet in Revelation 8:10 is Chernobyl? They said the Russian translation for Chernobyl is wormwood. I ask a Russian who said the translation literally means “black grass”.

  278. Ricky Bobby says:

    It’s why Apologetics has become such a Cottage Industry and why the Fear-based Gospel is so prevalent…b/c the questions don’t have good answers…so fear is used to stop the questions.

    Hey, I wish it all added up and fit nicely together. It doesn’t. That’s just the way it is.

    I don’t throw the whole thing out…and I hope in the “good and loving” God who truly follows Jesus’s command to “love your enemies”…vs. the God who smites his enemies and slaughters his enemies with the sword and tortures his enemies in hell forever.

  279. Ricky Bobby says:

    MLD, it isn’t the atheist mantra, I dialogue with atheists often, and they have a different take than I do, though they do recognize the self-evident contradictory narratives presented in the bible.

    You are trying to poison the well by invoking “atheist!” which is a typical tactic of the fear-based apologetic. It doesn’t work on me. I know you have zero power and zero god-like judgment and are just as confused and unsure as anyone though you project a certainty that is really a facade. You will be like Luther on your death bed. Not really sure.

  280. How can you have a “fear based” gospel. The gospel is the Good News – it is the winning answer to all of life’s questions and problems?

    This is interesting that you see “fear” in the gospel

  281. Ricky Bobby says:

    Most of you will be very unsure when you face the finality of death. Most of you will have doubt in your apologetic.

  282. RB,
    See that’s the difference between you and me – the truth of the Bible has nothing to do with my belief or lack of belief.
    Truth is Truth

  283. Ricky Bobby says:

    MLD, you project fear into the Gospel by embracing the “smite your enemy” God who tortures his enemies in hell forever.

    If the Gospel is truly not fear-based then God will redeem the whole of his Creation.

    Right now, the fear-based Gospel you present is “repent or be tortured in hell forever!”

  284. Michael says:

    RB,

    Facing death hasn’t been theoretical for me the last couple of years.
    I’ve held the hand of people I loved when they took their last breath.
    The Gospel is real to me, it was real to them, and I know it will be real on the way home.
    The Christian faith may not add up for you.
    Your doubts do not create a crisis of faith for me.

  285. Ricky Bobby says:

    MLD said, “Truth is Truth”

    Yes, there is some Truth that we can verify and know…Gravity is true, Old earth is true, the bible presents two distinctly different narratives about how to deal with “your enemy!”: “smite thine enemy! Slaughter thine enemy!” vs. “Love your enemy!”

  286. If my gospel, like yours, was made up of fear, yes I would doubt.

    But it’s funny, that you have NO DOUBT about your doubt … or do you ever doubt your doubt?

  287. Ricky Bobby says:

    Michael, your doubts do not create a crisis of faith for me.

  288. Ricky Bobby says:

    The Fear-based Gospel doubts a truly loving and good God who loves his enemies.

  289. Ricky Bobby says:

    You guys are like the older brother of the Prodigal Son parable…you can’t stomach the possibility that God would redeem the whole of his Creation and have mercy on all the Prodigals…even post physical death…which isn’t really death if you believe the bible narratives.

    You are an eternal being, your soul lives on forever…whether officially Christian* or not. Death is not death.

  290. Michael says:

    RB,

    I am not going to get caught up in your quagmire against the faith.
    You have your own blog to promote such.
    I will note this.
    The enemies of God do not want Him to love them them or redeem them.
    They hate Him.
    They want to be Him, not worship Him.
    Their request to be apart from Him will be honored.
    God cannot be “good” without being just.
    God cannot be righteous and loving without a hatred for those things which are neither righteous or loving.
    He must deal with them, judge them, and set right all that has gone wrong with the good creation He created.
    He will.
    Thank God.

  291. Ricky Bobby says:

    The true Gospel? Don’t be afraid. God will redeem this whole mess in the end. Jesus truly paid the penalty for sin…and whether you “understand” now or later…it’ll all be made right. Embrace the “good” and “loving” God who loves his enemies like Jesus commanded.

    All of this stuff is just a blip on the eternal radar if there is any truth to the macro bible narrative. If we are truly eternal beings, if our souls truly live on forever….if God is truly good and love and loves his enemies…then the vast majority of humans throughout history who never heard the Gospel…those souls who were aborted…those who live today…some 2 billion plus who won’t hear the “correct Gospel”…those who reject Christ and God now b/c they don’t know and don’t understand…they will all be reconciled by a good and loving God eventually…if there is any macro truth to the bible.

  292. Ricky Bobby says:

    Michael said, “The enemies of God do not want Him to love them them or redeem them.”

    No, that isn’t true.

    Atheist friend after atheist friend answers the same way. I ask them that if they die and stand before “God” and find out the Christians* were right, would they believe and try to make peace with that “God”…to a person the answer is always yes in some capacity.

  293. Ricky Bobby says:

    Michael I am not presenting something contrary to “the Faith”…I am presenting something contrary to the Fear-based Gospel and apologetic.

  294. Ricky Bobby says:

    Michael, do you truly believe “God” would send a soul to hell to be tortured forever and not relent and repent of his wrath if they stood before him and begged for mercy after finding out he is real?

  295. Michael says:

    RB,

    My authority on God and men is not atheists or fellow bloggers.
    It’s the Bible and it says what I said.
    I believe God preserved His word and I believe that word.
    You may find me a simpleton for doing so, but that doesn’t really bother me either.

  296. Ricky Bobby says:

    Michael said, “It’s the Bible and it says what I said.”

    No, that’s what part of the bible says, other bible narratives say differently: “God loves his enemies”

    Jesus said so.

  297. RB, you are 100% incorrect. I am the one who believes in Objective Justification (Universal). I believe man has reconciled himself to mankind … but the issue is that man refuses to be reconciled.

    You don’t understand the Parable of the Lost Son – if the son had not gone home, it doesn’t matter how willing the father was – the kid dies in the pig pen.

  298. Ricky Bobby says:

    The bible also says God is in all, through all, all in all. Bible says God is love, mercy, forgiveness and God is good. Jesus gave a new law, love your enemies. Jesus commanded us to love our enemies as our father in heaven who is perfect does.

    The bible shows God ‘repenting’ and ‘relenting’ and ‘changing his mind’ often.

  299. Michael says:

    No, it doesn’t.
    Jesus commands us to love our enemies and He provided a way for His enemies to be reconciled with Him.
    That way of reconciliation is the gospel.
    Those who reject that reconciliation remain under His wrath and will be judged accordingly.

  300. I believe man has reconciled himself to mankind … SHOULD READ
    ” I believe God has reconciled himself to mankind …

  301. Ricky Bobby says:

    Yes, it does. Jesus says to love our enemies as our father in heaven who is perfect does.

    Why would Jesus give us a command that God himself doesn’t keep?

  302. gomergirl... says:

    #276 MLD…. then we agree.

    I see what is going on in the world, I stay educated and try to dissect truth from spin, but I have things and situations that come into my life and that I can deal with in a meaningful way. those are the things I actively pursue and or try to have influence in. the other things that are bigger than me and what I can deal with, I use my prayer as my activism and response. There are lots of policies and practices in the world that disturb me and make me angry. But to function in my day to day life, I can’t let that anger and frustration be my primary emotional state (and yes there are that many things I hate in this world that I would be angry all the time if I din’t have some sort of way to let it go) I have the tendency toward anger and wrath, so I have to be very careful to check it, so as not to become an angry and bitter person.

  303. RB,
    You keep saying that Jesus said to “LOVE our enemies”

    But you never define that. I asked above about the Bong Sucking Jesus.

    Does Love mean leaving people in their sin? If your child were in very serious sin, would you just luv him and leave him in his sin?

  304. Michael says:

    RB,

    God in His love provided a Savior.
    Those who reject the Savior reject the means of redemption.
    Jesus spoke of hell more than anyone.
    I’ll believe Jesus.

  305. Ricky Bobby says:

    Michael, is it love to cast our enemies into eternal torture…even if those souls beg for mercy when they are finally able to see the truth?

    Doesn’t sound like any definition of “love” I am aware of…

  306. Ricky Bobby says:

    Michael, God supposedly spoke of nuking all of mankind and repented. God changed his mind many times in the bible. God relented etc.

    Jacob saw God face to face even though the bible said no man could see God and live, but that promise was broken for Jacob who states such in the bible.

    Many other examples of broken promises.

  307. Dusty says:

    God made hell for the Devil, but will send man there who reject His son…”…for I never knew you…”

  308. Ricky Bobby says:

    This is all taken from the bible you profess as perfect and infallible and “God’s word!” etc.

  309. RB, you are a poor excuse for an atheist and an equally poor excuse for a Christian.

    You can’t keep one foot in each camp – well, this is America, so you can and you can continually deceive both sides as to who you are and what you believe – but I see through you like a patio window.

    A faker for both side..

  310. Steve Wright says:

    Love and justice go together. Is it loving to imprison a rapist, murderer, child molester for the rest of his life…even when he says he is sorry once he is caught….

    Well…it sure wouldn’t be loving to his victims to let him go live freely, right?

  311. Michael says:

    RB,

    God gets to define His own terms.
    God is more than some amorphous human definition of “love”…He will be true to all His other attributes as well.
    There is no mention in the Bible at all of anyone begging for mercy after the revelation of Christ.
    The proclamation of the Gospel is the revelation of Christ here and now and those who reject it will always reject it.

  312. Dusty says:

    What does God have to repent of? That sounds like false teaching to me….as do broken promises, and the like….equating God to the likes of man….that is false teaching.

  313. “even if those souls beg for mercy when they are finally able to see the truth?”

    They have seen the truth and they reject and spit on the truth. Read some Dawkins – he will tell you that very same thing.

  314. Steve Wright says:

    God gets to define His own terms.
    ————————————
    Yes, and the number one lesson we must all recognize concerning sin is that all sin is an offense against God. That is what sin, is. The government does not define sin. And certainly individual people do not define it either.

    Sure there may be collateral damage here on earth in hurt to other people. But sin is against God. And thus must be accounted towards God.

    David said “Against thee and thee only have I sinned” in context of arranging the death of the husband of the woman he had committed adultery with.

  315. Dusty says:

    MLD said, “RB, you are a poor excuse for an atheist and an equally poor excuse for a Christian.”

    sigh….MLD, is he toying with us again or does he really think what he is saying is true?

  316. Dusty says:

    ‘cuz I don’t like it one bit! saying that God is no better than man is….is just wrong….it is wrong 🙁

  317. Ricky Bobby says:

    Michael said, “There is no mention in the Bible at all of anyone begging for mercy after the revelation of Christ.”

    Wrong.

    “…and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. And he called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me”

  318. Ricky Bobby says:

    Michael, your Fear-based Gospel narrative forces you to accept a God who rejects the cries for mercy from a tormented soul, while somehow you accept that God chose to have mercy on you for no good reason. You fully proclaim that your believed salvation and mercy has nothing to do with something you did, you just got lucky to be chosen and elect.

  319. Ricky Bobby says:

    You can’t slip any wrong statements by me…I know the bible cover to cover 😉

  320. Michael says:

    RB,

    Wrong.

    The “revelation” of Christ is a NT term for the Second Coming,not the OT place of punishment.

    How did Abraham answer?

    “And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father’s house—for I have five brothers—so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.’But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’And he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.’””
    (Luke 16:27–31 ESV)

  321. RB,
    That is a parable and the point isn’t about people in hades seeking mercy – the point is that EVEN IF you were to ask for mercy, you are doomed to your choice.

    How is that – I even cop to decision theology for those who go to hell.

  322. Ricky Bobby says:

    The vast majority of humanity never heard from Moses or the Prophets…that was a very small Group of humanity.

    What you have done is present a very Hebrew-centric Gospel narrative and appealed to something that only the Hebrews/Jews could participate in.

  323. Michael says:

    RB,

    God will never reject the cry for mercy in this life.
    Period.
    The idea that election is based on “no good reason” assumes that you know the mind of God and what His reasons are and are capable of sitting in judgment on them.
    God does not disclose why He chooses as he does…I rest completely in the goodness, righteousness, holiness, and perfection of His decisions.

  324. Dusty says:

    1 The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. 2 Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. 3 There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. 4 Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. In the heavens he has pitched a tent for the sun, 5 which is like a bridegroom coming forth from his pavilion, like a champion rejoicing to run his course. 6 It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is hidden from its heat.
    ~Psalm 19:1-6

  325. Ricky Bobby says:

    Xenia stated that Jesus died physically and went to Hades and “set the captives free” and preached the Gospel to all the peoples in Hades….did they reject Jesus at that point? All those other races and cultures and groups who never heard from a prophet but supposedly saw Jesus in Hades…in their torment…and your stating you believe all those folks would choose to remain in torment?

  326. Steve Wright says:

    ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.’””
    ——————————————————–
    One of the most amazing facts of the life of Jesus is that He would raise Lazarus from the grave after four days and the response from His enemies was to plot how they could kill Lazarus because too many people were believing on Jesus after that miracle.

    THAT is a hard heart.

  327. Ricky Bobby says:

    Michael said, “The idea that election is based on “no good reason” assumes that you know the mind of God and what His reasons are and are capable of sitting in judgment on them.”

    No, that’s what you do with your Theological “system” and doctrinal box.

  328. Michael says:

    Dusty,

    Well done. 🙂

  329. Dusty says:

    😉

  330. Ricky Bobby says:

    Steve, the only folks who seem that hardened are those religious leaders who supposedly saw Jesus’s miracles and still opposed him…those guys, Judas and the devil.

    I guess I can see religious leaders as still opposing the real gospel and real Jesus…seems to be in the DNA of religious leaders. Power and perceived power and delusion corrupts.

  331. Dusty says:

    “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.
    ~Matthew 25:41

  332. Ricky Bobby says:

    Simple ‘general revelation’ apologetic that is contradicted by other parts of the apologetic, nothing special there. In fact, it actually supports many lines of reasoning against the typical apologetic…we can review all those if you’d like.

  333. Michael says:

    According to the book of Revelation, (which I believe to be Scripture) God will send angelic beings to proclaim the Gospel after the rapture of the church.
    That proclamation bears no fruit…people will not repent.
    People will choose torment before they will willingly bow the knee to the Lordship of the King.

  334. Ricky Bobby says:

    Michael, you seem to be asserting there is something you must do to be saved that isn’t monergistic

  335. Michael says:

    RB,

    Not at all.
    However, I’m out of time and interest in this.
    Too much on my plate right now…

  336. Ricky Bobby says:

    “Every knee will bow and every tongue confess” contradicts that one.

  337. Steve Wright says:

    Steve, the only folks who seem that hardened are those religious leaders who supposedly saw Jesus’s miracles and still opposed him
    ——————————————————————
    But that’s the point. That ANYONE would continue to let their own belief system about God guide their lives, even after such an event. And then to be so wicked as to seek the death of the guy that was brought back to life….wow

  338. Michael says:

    “Every knee will bow and every tongue confess” contradicts that one.
    The word “willingly” clarifies that one.

  339. Ricky Bobby says:

    “that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,”

    “Before me every knee will bow; by me every tongue will swear.”

    “‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will acknowledge God.'”

    “to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment–to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.”

    –the Bible

  340. Ricky Bobby says:

    Michael, you’re saying that God monergistically imposes his will onto yours and chooses you as special and elect….but then you state that “willingly” is the key…

    You are a walking and talking contradiction

  341. Michael says:

    Every knee will bow…some in worship and some in defeat.

  342. Ricky Bobby says:

    Michael you are also asserting that God imposes his will onto eternal souls at some point and they all bow and confess and believe in Jesus…yet God then shows no mercy to them and is retributive rather than rehabilitative and tortures them forever even after he forces their bending of their will…

    Yah, that’s “good” and “love”….and “love your enemies”

  343. The Midnight Rider says:

    Michael,

    #6 Manziel may have been the sexy pikc but Bridgewater will likely be the better QB, beter size and mental makeup.

  344. Michael says:

    RB,

    Not at all, you simply don’t accept any nuance or coherence in the biblical narrative.
    I do not believe that God imposes His will on people in salvation, I believe He enables them to see the truth of who He is and then believe.
    Those who are born again will bow in worship willingly and joyfully, those who are not will bow under the wrath of the King.

  345. Ricky Bobby says:

    Michael, I think even you are beginning to see the problem with your recent assertions. Think about it.

    You really truly believe that God forces his will onto folks to save a few here in this physical existence…and spares them for eternity…and then imposes his will on the vast majority of humanity after physical death and cause them to bow and bend the knee and confess and believe in Jesus as Lord…and then he tosses the vast majority of humanity he created in hell to torment forever…even though Jesus died already to pay the penalty of sin…and even though God finally got what he wanted…they bent their knee and bowed their will to him.

    Doesn’t square and you know it deep down inside.

  346. Ricky Bobby says:

    Michael said, “I do not believe that God imposes His will on people in salvation, I believe He enables them to see the truth of who He is and then believe.”

    You as a calvinist believe he enables a select few and not the vast majority of humanity…yet you also state that God then forces “all” to bend their will in the end…and then goes ahead and tortures them for eternity anyway.

  347. Ricky Bobby says:

    There is no spinning out of that reality…that is what your apologetic states…and it isn’t “love” and isn’t rehabilitative, it is punitive and retributive.

  348. Steve Wright says:

    God will send angelic beings to proclaim the Gospel after the rapture of the church.
    —————————————————————
    Nice to read this. 🙂

    I make the point that there are zero agnostics right before the return of Christ. The supernatural is at work in obvious ways, people literally taking Satan’s side over the Lord’s.

    I find the 2 witnesses key in this. For 3 1/2 years nobody is able to kill them to shut them up as they proclaim the truth and point people to worship the Lord. Then the anti-christ is able to kill them, and tells the people to worship him.

    Seems like Satan is more powerful than God at that moment

    And of course unlike God, Satan isn’t telling the people to deny themselves and their fleshly desires.

  349. Michael says:

    RB,

    I do not believe God forces his will on people salvifically.
    I do not believe the vast majority go to hell.
    He leaves some to their own ways.
    Why is a mystery and outside my pay grade.
    I’m very, very comfortable with my faith…still growing, still learning, enjoying the mystery…but very comfortable.

  350. Mark says:

    RB continues to try to force his human logical mind onto a supernatural omnipotent God Who exists outside the realm of human logic, understanding and time. All of your accusations aganist the bible- all of your “logical” arguments can easily be explained by saying God is God. You do not grasp how otherworldly powerful, absoutely just, inconceivable compassionate, perfectly pure, all knowing and unfallibale God is. You really just dont get it. You continue every day repeating the same thing over and over. It is maddening but also you are a very sad disillusioned and faithless person. Im sorry you have such fear and doubt and have so little faith

  351. Ricky Bobby says:

    Michael said, “I do not believe the vast majority go to hell.”

    I don’t either, if hell is a reality it is probably rehabilitative rather than retributive and punitive. I think most would choose God and Jesus if they were confronted with the truth that they could believe vs. the cartoon version of Jesus we get from the Church and God’s supposed emissaries and messengers today.

    I wouldn’t believe half the crap you guys espouse b/c you guys are no different than the world and sometimes much worse.

  352. Steve Wright says:

    Along these lines…someone posted this devotion today:

    November 6, 1777.
    My dear Sir,
    You say you are more disposed to cry misery than hallelujah. Why not both together? When the treble is praise, and heart humiliation for the base, the melody is pleasant, and the harmony good. However, if not both together, we must have them alternately: not all singing, not all sighing—but an interchange and balance, that we may be neither lifted too high—nor cast down too low—which would be the case if we were very comfortable or very sorrowful for a long continuance.

    But though we change—the Savior changes not! All our concerns are in his hands, and therefore safe. His path is in the deep waters; his thoughts and methods of conduct are as high above ours—as the heavens are high above the earth; and he often takes a course for accomplishing his purposes, which is directly contrary to what our narrow views would prescribe. He wounds—in order to heal. He kills—that he may make alive. He casts down—when he designs to raise. He brings a death upon our feelings, wishes, and prospects—when he is about to give us the desire of our hearts. These things he does to test us; but he himself knows, and has determined before-hand, what he will do. The test indeed, usually turns out to our shame. Impatience and unbelief show their ugly heads, and prompt us to suppose this, that, and the other thing, yes perhaps all things, are against us; to question whether He is with us and for us, or not. But it issues likewise in the praise of his goodness, when we find, that, over all our unkind complaints and suspicions—he is still working wonderfully for us, causing light to shine out of darkness, and doing us good in defiance of ourselves!

    John Newton

  353. Michael says:

    RB,

    God is King, Ruler, Sovereign, and Creator.
    There are those who have, do, and will reject His rule.
    They will get what they deserve and what they desire.
    Your anthropology assumes that all humans are good and kind and loving and will always resound to grace positively.
    That…is simply not the case.

  354. Ricky Bobby says:

    If eternal souls were presented with the evidence like Thomas required and if most souls were confronted with the truth in a non-typical Church/Christian* manner that we see today with all the false theatrics, fake miracles, hypocrite christians, lying, abusive, lecherous, greedy, power hungry heathens that Christianity* is (as well as good also, but certainly good and bad)….I am confident the vast majority…if given a truly free choice and not forced through Monergism of the Calvinist or at the tip of a Sword forcing them to bow…would choose Jesus and God.

  355. Michael says:

    “I wouldn’t believe half the crap you guys espouse b/c you guys are no different than the world and sometimes much worse.”

    That is true.
    However, the paradigm is wrong.
    It’s not about how good we are, it’s about recognizing how bad we are and going to the Savior for the only remedy provided.
    We enter heaven based on His goodness, not ours or we would all be doomed.

  356. Ricky Bobby says:

    The reality is that most souls don’t voluntarily choose the churches apologetic and “faith” b/c the folks see the bullcrap for what it is….they don’t see real miracles, they don’t see real ‘saving faith!’ etc. They see a bunch of humans acting like everyone else, sometimes worse…and they see a bunch of claims that aren’t nearly backed up by any real evidence….certainly not real evidence like Doubting Thomas was afforded.

    We get ‘evidence’ like Benny Hinn and evidence like all of you

  357. “…would choose Jesus and God.”

    You don’t so why do you pre suppose what others would do?

    And don’t say that you do, because you spend all of your time rejecting who Gd is and who Jesus is as revealed in the scripture … you have to take the whole of God and the whole of Jesus and you cannot deny or disregard the parts you don’t like.

    You are either all in with ALL the scriptures or you are ALL out, even if you try to hold on to a few.

  358. a pastor says:

    “I don’t care about doctrine.”

    Ricky Bobbie in another thread.

    lol

  359. Dusty says:

    rb said, ‘I wouldn’t believe half the crap you guys espouse b/c you guys are no different than the world and sometimes much worse.’

    I will no longer read another thing you have to say …you come here nice one min then the next you insult us….why do you come here just to aggravate and agitate? that is rhetorical, ‘cuz I won’t read your response.

  360. Michael says:

    “We get ‘evidence’ like Benny Hinn and evidence like all of you”
    So now believing in the traditional faith makes one a charlatan and wicked in your eyes?
    All of us are bad in some way because we hold to traditional interpretations of Scripture?

  361. Ricky Bobby says:

    Michael said, “We enter heaven based on His goodness, not ours or we would all be doomed.”

    No, your apologetic states that you enter heaven based on you bending your will to God before you die…and then you state that God “enables” a select few to be able to do that before they die a physical death…and then you state those who God didn’t enable are held responsible and forced to bend their will after they die a physical death…and then God torments them in hell anyway.

    That is what you essentially state.

  362. Michael says:

    RB,

    My apologetic states that we are sinners who receive the imputed righteousness of Christ when we believe and that we are justified by faith in Him.
    He is the only savior for sinners and we are all sinners in need of a Savior.
    Those who reject the Savior reject His righteousness and must stand in front of God on their own merits as a sinner and a rebel…and they will be judged accordingly.

  363. Ricky Bobby says:

    You state that you believe “all” souls will be reunited with their bodies and stand before God someday.

    You state that only a select few who were enabled to believe while still alive on earth will avoid being tortured in hell forever.

    Certainly all these souls who are forced to bend their will in the end will be begging God for mercy…the bible even states such “Lord! Lord!” (yet you state the bible never says there are cries for mercy after the fact, but the Lazarus and rich man narrative contradicts your statement as does the “Lord! Lord!” narrative which are cries for mercy as well)

    You state that God will not grant mercy at that point, but will use torment in hell as retribution and as punitive action.

  364. Mark says:

    RB your faith paradigm shifted when you stomped your feet and demanded justice against your stepfather and you did not receive the justice YOU DESIRED. Instead of “getting over it” like so many of us who have been abused, you have made it a lifelong crusade to malign Christianity because some Christians didnt do what you demanded. Read the Psalms. They are full of men lamenting over the wicked who are not being punished- the wicked who propser- the wicked who act with impunity. Yet the Scripyture makes it very clear that these “wicked” wil suffer eternally if they do not turn away and repent. You should be focused on your own deep fellowship with the Creator God, the Savior Jesus, the enlighening Holy Spirit. If you truly seek Him- God will give you the assurance and th faith you have been rejecting.

  365. RB,
    Even if we mis speak in trying to explain things, the Bible does not. You are still confronted with a hell that is a point of no return. You can make up anything you want in your head about the way things should be or if you could instruct God how you would have him do it – but face it, the document is His written word and we are all stuck with it.

    Some gladly and some just kicking and screaming.

    You should go try Buddhism because obvious Christianity does not work for you.

  366. Michael says:

    ““For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed.But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.””
    (John 3:16–21 ESV)

  367. Ricky Bobby says:

    Mark, incorrect. The situation revealed some Truths to me that I could no longer deny about religion, faith, Jesus, the church, humanity, pastors, leaders, the bible etc.

    I am not opposed to Christians*, I see them/us for what we are. I see the bible for what it is. I see pastors and leaders for what they are.

  368. Ricky Bobby says:

    Personally, I love “God” and Jesus and I have a Concept of God that is similar to some of the 9,000 to 30,000 christian* sects versions of God and Jesus and not similar in other areas.

  369. Michael says:

    “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”
    (Matthew 10:28 ESV)

    Jesus

  370. Ricky Bobby says:

    MLD said, “You are still confronted with a hell that is a point of no return.”

    No, not really. It is assumed from part of the biblical narrative, but nowhere in the Old Testament, in fact the Jews don’t believe their bible, their Law, their Old Testament taught an eternal torture in hell forever.

    Even the NT’s finality has much to do with translation and choosing to interpret the literal words as final and eternal, but the literal “text as God!” isn’t as clear. Read it.

  371. Ricky Bobby says:

    “who can destroy”

    Not who will destroy

  372. Perhaps you are similar to the UCC or the Episcopal church or even the ELCA – But your views are not similar to the Bible at all.

    So if you take pride in aligning with apostate views of apostate churches fine … but I still think you would make a better Buddhist.

  373. Ricky Bobby says:

    Not “who has to destroy” nor “who promises to destroy” or “who is bound by some law that is pre-eminent to God himself to destroy”

    God is probably capable of nuking anything completely, doesn’t mean he has to or will….much like he repented and relented and changed his mind according to many bible narratives.

  374. Ricky Bobby says:

    MLD, I think those groups/sects you mention model the Good Jesus narrative of the bible much more than you and many others. You certainly model the “Smite thine enemy” taliban OT and Revelation Jesus more closely.

  375. Dusty says:

    2 Thessalonians 1 (New International Version)

    1 Paul, Silas[a] and Timothy,

    To the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:

    2 Grace and peace to you from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
    Thanksgiving and Prayer

    3 We ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters,[b] and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love all of you have for one another is increasing. 4 Therefore, among God’s churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring.

    5 All this is evidence that God’s judgment is right, and as a result you will be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering. 6 God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you 7 and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. 8 He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9 They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might 10 on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed. This includes you, because you believed our testimony to you.

    11 With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith. 12 We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.[c]

  376. Michael says:

    Most scholars believe that the gospel of Mark was based on Marks interviews with Peter…who wrote;

    “For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment; if he did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a herald of righteousness, with seven others, when he brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly; if by turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes he condemned them to extinction, making them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly;and if he rescued righteous Lot, greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of the wicked(for as that righteous man lived among them day after day, he was tormenting his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and heard); then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment, and especially those who indulge in the lust of defiling passion and despise authority.”
    (2 Peter 2:4–10 ESV)

  377. Ricky Bobby says:

    In fact, a literal reading of the passage used by the apologetic to assert an “eternal” hell…actually only states that the fire is eternal…not the punishment.

  378. Michael says:

    ““Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink,I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.””
    (Matthew 25:41–46 ESV)

    Jesus

  379. Ricky Bobby says:

    Michael, it’s too Hebrew-centric and doesn’t nearly address the vast rest of the World of that time. Your rationale doesn’t hold water for that reason alone.

  380. RB,
    Why do you hold the Jews up as the standard of what is true?
    “the Jews don’t believe their bible, their Law, their Old Testament taught an eternal torture in hell forever.”

    They were wrong about Jesus and who God is also – so why couldn’t they have been wrong about hell?

    Look, you can’t say Jews don’t believe it – I’m a Jew and I believe in hell.

  381. Ricky Bobby says:

    Many Christians* really cling to Judaism and the Hebrew-centric OT and mix that into their rationale…which is a huge mistake.

    You can’t really argue that “God” gave everyone fair warning b/c the OT says so…when so many folks living during the time of the OT were living and thriving etc, and the vast majority had no idea about all those things you reference as “God warned everyone! There’s no excuse!”….when point of fact, there were huge cultures and huge people groups during that time and the Hebrews were a speck on the radar and a small Group…and those they interacted with and warred with represented a small part of the global population as well.

  382. Ricky Bobby says:

    the “hell” bible verse says they will be cast into the ‘eternal fire’ not that they will stay in that fire which is described as eternal.

    Basic reading comprehension.

  383. Mark says:

    RB your “situation” had nothing whatsover to do with the Bible. Or the Church. It had to do with a sinner who has not admitted his sin- and a victim who has not forgiven the one who sinned against him. Two men- both failing to follow eitehr the Bible or the Chruch teachings. Also- your concept of God is compeltely limited- it is NOT in line with sects, creeds, Scripture, or reality. You want God to live in your logical worldview. Guess what- HE DOESNT!!!

  384. Michael says:

    RB,

    You keep bringing up Jesus and I’m just showing you that Jesus said there is both a hell and eternal punishment.
    Hell and eternal punishment are part of the “Jesus narrative”.

  385. Ricky Bobby says:

    Mark, no. You’ve missed the forest from the trees.

    The abuse and Bob’s not admitting was merely a catalyst to much larger issues for me personally. It was working my way through the “church” and sitting with the Gurus and leaders and “specially anointed” and all the input and criticism and arguing and hateful words and comments from the CC supporters and my studying of the bible and of people and the religious dynamic that caused me to rethink my paradigm.

    After taking a huge step of faith and doing basically a form of Abraham and Isaac…and getting some undeserved mercy…I asked God for wisdom and to show me the truth.

    I think he/it answered that…and continues to. I see more truth today than ever before…unfortunately for the water-toting religious apologists, that truth tends to be realizing that much of the church and apologetic isn’t true…yet God is still there despite it all.

  386. Ricky Bobby says:

    Michael, Jesus does not say there is an eternal punishment…he says there is an eternal fire that some are tossed into.

    Also, we can’t really be sure which narratives attributed to “Jesus” are reliable or not due to man’s stink all over the selections of canon, the many translations and re-translations where the church has been caught changing words to fit their position better etc etc.

  387. RB, keeps talking the same line no matter how many verses he is shown that say the opposite of his view. Jesus said let him who has ears (which I take as the Holy Spirit) hear … RB does not have the Holy Spirit and cannot hear what the Lord has to show him.

  388. Michael says:

    In Matt 25 Jesus clearly states there is eternal punishment.
    If you don’t believe those are His words, that is your option, but if the Bible is that unreliable why would you believe it in any measure at all?

  389. Ricky Bobby says:

    MLD, you are as dogmatic as it comes and you regular ignore scripture and reason and logic that contradicts your position.

    Your prosthetic arms nonsense and your view of infant baptism are two examples that are completely laughable…yet you hold those ill-conceived views tightly.

  390. Ricky Bobby says:

    Incorrect, “aionos” does not mean eternal, it is clearly temporal in context….if we can even rely on the text to be an accurate representation of what Jesus actually may have stated.

  391. a pastor says:

    Lest anyone forgets, Ricky Bobby prays to the Dear Lord Baby Jesus.

  392. Ricky Bobby says:

    “perfect love casts out all fear”…yet you guys keep interjecting fear into your version of the Gospel.

    “Turn or BURN!!!! Ye heathens!!!!!”

  393. “your view of infant baptism are two examples that are completely laughable…yet you hold those ill-conceived views tightly.”

    The position of the Church up until the Anabaptists and by far still the majority position of the
    church … probably 80% of Christian churches baptize babies

    I will stick with my group and you can stick with your atheist buddies.

  394. Steve Wright says:

    A note about Thomas. Yes, he saw Jesus before he was convinced of the truth.

    However, that event took place before the pouring out of the Holy Spirit.

    Everyone today still, like Thomas, needs to be convinced of the truth by God. Instead of God appearing in bodily form (Jesus) as was the case for Thomas, that work is done by God through the Holy Spirit – now that Jesus has ascended and the Spirit has been sent

  395. Mark says:

    RB- sorry to see that what you think is God speaking is rally your own flesh or the enemy. You still have too much resentment and unforgiveness in your heart, as evidenced by your speech,to demonstrate a broken surrenered soul. Too much pride and arrogance. Until you can empty yourself- you cannot experince God in the sweet felowship He desires. The Chrisitan life is not about the chruch- its leaders, its rules, apologetics, etc. The true Christian life is, as Alan Redpath wrote, “reconciled through the blood of the cross, humbled at the foot of Calvary; let him be broken, coming to God guilty and hopelesss and needy; and at that momnet God takes hold of him and transforms him and uses all his gifts and qualities..but first that man must come down from his ladder of pride to the very foot of the cross.”

  396. Ricky Bobby says:

    kolasis is used in the context of pruning, correction.

    aionos is not “eternal” as you have mistranslated it and it doesn’t fit the context of the rest of the “Good God” rehabilitative bible narrative.

  397. “.if we can even rely on the text to be an accurate representation of what Jesus actually may have stated.”

    But you hang on to those “be nice” passages to be real Jesus writings.

    I say that perhaps the love your neighbor, feed the hungry, cloth the naked, take care of the orphans – may be fake Jesus teachings … right?

  398. Michael says:

    ““I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do.But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him!”
    (Luke 12:4–5 ESV)

    Jesus

  399. Ricky Bobby says:

    Again, MLD, b/c I do not peg Moral Absolutes and objective Truth on a contradictory ancient text that is rife with mistakes, caught in translations that were altered for the purposes of a particular church/sect and understanding man’s fallibility and propensity for error.

    Conscience and Reason applied to the limited knowledge and limited truths we can establish.

    There are some things we can Universally know as “good” and some things we can Universally know as “evil”

  400. Ricky Bobby says:

    Yes, Michael, another contradiction:

    “Perfect love casts out all fear”

    “God is love”

    Yet fear God who can nuke you.

  401. Michael says:

    Not a contradiction in the least.
    Two different groups being addressed.

  402. Ricky Bobby says:

    We can Universally know that commanding the slaughter of innocent women, children and infants who no longer pose a threat and are conquered is “evil”

    Does anyone believe that is “good”?

  403. Bob says:

    MLDs position on baptism is historic and appears in the 3 rd century after the break with Judaism was complete. It was taught that far back being baptized was akin to circumcision and there is saving grace administered upon baptism.

    But does it make it right and a correct practice just because it is historic?

    That is for the reader to decide.

  404. Steve Wright says:

    RB, serious question. Was the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings morally evil?

  405. Ricky Bobby says:

    “aionos” was used in that day and age not as “eternal” but as “lasting” or “enduring” and temporal. An “age”. A “time”. In fact, you’ll be hard pressed to find it used as forever with no end in Greek culture or Hebrew culture of that day.

  406. RB,
    You have absolutely no evidence for your #400 – all you do is pass on the lies of the atheists. Again, you comment is straight off their website.

    But assuming what you say were true – so how do you know there is a Jesus? How do you know he wants us to do the nice things?

    I know you won’t answer.

  407. Ricky Bobby says:

    More likely if there is any truth to the literal text in context it is that the those unsaved will go through some sort of age of correction/pruning and those who are saved or were good will skip that stage.

  408. Ricky Bobby says:

    MLD, no, didn’t get it from a website, you are sinning and in sin, repent ye heathen or face the eternal fires of hell! God “hates” liars.

  409. Ricky Bobby says:

    I warn you MLD, don’t touch God’s anointed, do his prophet no harm. I wouldn’t want to be in your shoes…

  410. Ricky Bobby says:

    All fear-based manipulation. No truth to it. It’s not like you guys present if God is truly good and truly love etc.

  411. Bob,
    I see baptism all over the NT – why would you say it was instituted in the 3rd century?

  412. RB,
    See I am a prophet – I said that you would not answer and I was right.

  413. Dusty says:

    why don’t you all stop entertaining him…put him in mod and let him go spread false teaching on his own blog? this is really sad. and seems pointless.

  414. Ricky Bobby says:

    You guys can scare and manipulate folks into thinking your version of “god” is some evil tyrant ready to torture them forever if they don’t sign on to your particular “correct gospel!” version from the 9,000 to 30,000 sects of Christianity*…but it isn’t true.

    God is probably there and probably big and probably not you and your apologetic and your feeble man-fear-based minds built upon layer after layer of other fallible men before you all with Agendas, all craving Power, all scaring folks for their own particular reasons…some sincere, many not.

  415. Michael says:

    In regard to the Greek in Matt 25;

    67.96 ἀί̈διος, ον; αἰώνιος, ον: pertaining to an unlimited duration of time—‘eternal.’
    ἀί̈διος: ἥ τε ἀί̈διος αὐτοῦ δύναμις καὶ θειότης ‘his eternal power and divine nature’ Ro 1:20.
    αἰώνιος: βληθῆναι εἰς τὸ πῦρ τὸ αἰώνιον ‘be thrown into the eternal fire’ Mt 18:8; τοῦ αἰωνίου θεοῦ ‘of the eternal God’ Ro 16:26.
    The most frequent use of αἰώνιος in the NT is with ζωή ‘life,’ for example, ἵνα πᾶς ὁ πιστεύων ἐν αὐτῷ ἔχῃ ζωὴν αἰώνιον ‘so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life’ Jn 3:15. In combination with ζωή there is evidently not only a temporal element, but also a qualitative distinction. In such contexts, αἰώνιος evidently carries certain implications associated with αἰώνιος in relationship to divine and supernatural attributes. If one translates ‘eternal life’ as simply ‘never dying,’ there may be serious misunderstandings, since persons may assume that ‘never dying’ refers only to physical existence rather than to ‘spiritual death.’ Accordingly, some translators have rendered ‘eternal life’ as ‘unending real life,’ so as to introduce a qualitative distinction.

    Louw, J. P., & Nida, E. A. (1996). Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament: based on semantic domains. New York: United Bible Societies.

    Contextually Jesus has to be speaking of eternal punishment as He contrasts it with eternal life.

    If one is temporal, contextually, the other must be as well.

  416. Ricky Bobby says:

    “why don’t you all stop entertaining him…put him in mod and let him go spread false teaching on his own blog? this is really sad. and seems pointless.”

    Yes, the ugly head of intolerance of difference of opinion and the typical Christian* attitude which is telling and sad and shows your fear and your fear-based approach in real time.

    Shame on you.

  417. Steve Wright says:

    We can Universally know that commanding the slaughter of innocent women, children and infants who no longer pose a threat and are conquered is “evil”
    ———————————————————-
    The interesting thing to me is the qualification “who no longer pose a threat” – yet, the Bible is clear that Israel’s refusal to follow God’s command did harm them in later years, even to the risk of the entire nation being eliminated before the Messiah could come. (Look up Agag and the connection to the book of Esther). They did pose a threat…certainly a greater threat than the women and children in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

    I used a war example, and could use others. Was it evil for Ike to order the D-Day invasion when we knew with absolute certainty that the first wave would be slaughtered.

    Before criticizing some of God’s commands, it helps to recognize that this world is at war with God. One reason I think C.S. Lewis had some good insights is his connection to WWII and ability to weave illustrations with that war to the war on this earth against God by His creation.

  418. Ricky Bobby says:

    It is why fundamentalists are continuing to become more marginalized and losing their grip on the bible and religious narrative. At the core is a very scared, very fear-filled, very closed and even often times abusive mindset to silence and shun etc.

    That is the true heart of much of fundamentalism unfortunately. Love and peace goes out the window very quickly…

  419. Michael says:

    The Gospel is not “fear based” at all.
    The Gospel is the good news of what God has done in Christ for sinners.
    I only speak of hell when then passage I’m teaching demands it…but I talk about the Gospel all the time.

  420. Mark says:

    RB MY POST on brokenness must’ve hot a raw nerve as you’ve chosen to completely ignore it

  421. Ricky Bobby says:

    You rail on the gays for starting to do the same things you have done for centuries…and the same things you do when push comes to shove today.

    Live by the sword, die by the sword.

    Maybe God will teach you a lesson and allow the gays to have power over you and shut you up and show you some intolerance etc.

  422. Steve Wright says:

    if they don’t sign on to your particular “correct gospel!” version from the 9,000 to 30,000 sects of Christianity*
    ——————————————————
    This is dishonest. MLD, Michael and I would all be three different “sects” but we all declare the exact same gospel.

  423. Ricky Bobby says:

    Mark, I didn’t read it. I don’t find anything you write very compelling and worth reading. I think Michael adds a lot of value and I’m more focused on his push back.

  424. The god of RB is no god at all
    The Jesus of RB is no Jesus at all
    The Bible of RB is no Bible at all

    I take RB at his word … he does not believe a word of it. The closest he come is “if this, then maybe that” – but then he always knocks down his own “if this” which eliminates his “maybe that.”

    RB sets up and knocks down his own straw men in an effort to prove that he believes nothing – but his non belief comes wrapped in Christian language and images.

  425. Michael says:

    Let’s end this now.
    RB, you don’t believe in what the vast majority of our readers and myself do.
    That’s your right and prerogative.
    I respect your right to your beliefs, and we should receive equal respect to hold to ours.
    This has gone on long enough, everyone has had their say and there is no profit in continuing.

  426. Ricky Bobby says:

    Steve said, “MLD, Michael and I would all be three different “sects” but we all declare the exact same gospel.”

    That is dishonest. No you don’t. You have major differences.

  427. Ricky Bobby says:

    Then quit responding and don’t blame me. You guys ganged up. This is how it generally goes. I state an opinion, get ganged up on, then kicked off the blog for responding to everyone and defending my opinion.

    That’s wrong….and possibly ‘sin’.

    You might be going to hell for it, I’d repent quick if I were you 😉

  428. Michael says:

    We don’t have major differences on the basic Gospel.

    We agree on the birth, death, resurrection, ascension, and return of Christ and the work of Christ on behalf of sinners.

    The rest is mechanics…

  429. Steve Wright says:

    Maybe God will teach you a lesson and allow the gays to have power over you and shut you up and show you some intolerance etc.
    ——————————————————————
    You wrote something I agree with, and in fact most of us were saying yesterday.

    God is allowing something with all this homosexual activism and persecution of believers…and I know there will be plenty of lessons for us all as He uses such persecution for His good purpose in the lives of His children, for the spread of the gospel, for the separation of the wheat from the chaff, and for the goal of making us more Christlike.

    I’m not sure that is how you meant the expression “teach you a lesson”…but God is always teaching us.

  430. Michael says:

    RB,

    When you go on a conservative Christian site and espouse non conservative views the majority are going to oppose you.
    If I went on a Minuteman site and started arguing my views on immigration, most will oppose me.
    That’s not being ganged up on or persecution, that’s going somewhere where people have deep opposition to my views.
    Your views are going to meet with opposition here.
    If you want your views affirmed, this probably is the wrong place to look.

  431. Ricky Bobby says:

    Steve, I think there is some truth to that. I think that any of God’s discipline or pruning or correction is rehabilitative…even to his enemies…and not punitive or retributive.

    I think it would be good for the Fundies to get some humility and realize they are wrong and that their “persecution” is actually correction and discipline from God.

  432. Ricky Bobby says:

    Michael, Brian and G and many others don’t oppose my views and they are regulars here.

    I am picked on, it’s a fact. But, I can take it, you guys can’t.

  433. Ricky Bobby says:

    I am like a one-man army LOL. You guys always tuck tale and run.

  434. Michael says:

    That’s two people who read here and they post infrequently.
    You do not post infrequently and you want to argue us all into the ground.
    That’s why I rarely interact with you.
    Too much time and you are convinced of your truths.
    So are we.
    The point still stands…your views are not going to be embraced here.
    That’s doesn’t mean that you are bad, it means that this community has a very different belief system and will defend it.
    To expect otherwise makes no sense, to criticize people for holding strongly to their faith is grossly unfair.

  435. We agree on much more – we agree that you should be baptized, that you should participate in communion, we agree to prayer and to worship and praise to the Lord. We agree about giving to the Lord’s work, we agree that mission work should be done and we agree that Bible study is the way we know more about God.

    I am sure we could come up with hundreds of things we agree about.

  436. Ricky Bobby says:

    Michael, you’ve run some of the other theological liberals off, but there are more than just me, Brian and G. Do I have make a list?

    Are you stating that you are intolerant of the views of the Liberal end of the Christian* tent? Are we not just as much Christian* as you are?

    Care to stand by your remarks?

  437. Dusty says:

    Mark, for what it’s worth, I think you hit the target square!!!

  438. Ricky Bobby says:

    I still haven’t read Mark’s comment, probably won’t now just b/c you guys made such a big deal about it LOL

  439. Michael says:

    Nobody has tucked tail and run.
    Hours have been spent here answering you this morning and you’ve yet to answer any of the things I’ve said with any substance…your Matt 25 explanation went down in flames.
    The core of your argument is that you don’t believe what we do.
    Are we really supposed to engage your unbelief continually to satisfy you?

    I am quite at peace with what I believe and assume that you are as well.
    I don’t have any need to engage with those who disagree with me other than to make a clear representation of what I believe.

  440. Steve Wright says:

    I didn’t say it was God’s “discipline” (and neither did you when you first wrote it). That’s a different word. I am sure my brother in the Lord, Saeed, has been taught many things by the Lord during his time of persecution, but he is NOT receiving the discipline of the Lord for being “wrong” about his beliefs.

    MLD @436 – Amen.

  441. I don’t know how Michael will answer, but as I said earlier, the UCC, the Episcopal Church and the ELCA are apostate churches with apostate leadership. That does not mean that there are not fine christian people trapped in them.

  442. Ricky Bobby says:

    I’ll bow out for now, not b/c you ran me off…you aren’t nearly that powerful…but b/c I have some work to do to provide for my family.

    Thanks for the discussion even though as usual you guys do gang up and you do get nasty and you don’t nearly model the Good Jesus and you do affirm a position that the Gospel doesn’t transform you, it just makes you a sinner with a Get-out-of-Hell Free card (or so you believe).

  443. Michael says:

    RB,

    I have not judged the “Christian” standing of anyone.
    I have and will question many of the doctrines espoused.
    I am tolerant of some views of the liberal side and intolerant of others…but I try to be very tolerant of the people who hold both.

  444. For clarity – you can be liberal theologically without denying scripture and without saying “well, if Jesus existed…”

    When you deny parts of scripture and when you question the existence of Jesus – then you have moved from liberal to apostate

  445. Steve Wright says:

    On occasion RB points out something that is difficult, and though I disagree with how he uses these examples (like God ordering the death of the inhabitants of the land) and the conclusions he draws, I think there can be value for readers to be offered a little something on the topic. Thus posts like my #418

  446. Michael says:

    MLD,

    #436…that was good and we’ll make a project of that tomorrow.
    Great idea for an article!

  447. Michael says:

    Steve,

    #446…agreed.

  448. Steve Wright says:

    you do affirm a position that the Gospel doesn’t transform you,
    ———————————————————————–
    About half of my facebook friends are from my B.C. days and I am a total mystery to them, from the old Steve they once knew.

    Technically, the Holy Spirit changes us, and He indwells at the moment of belief in the gospel. If He is not indwelling, then the gospel has not been believed. There is no faith.

    But as Lewis wrote, the issue is not comparing Christian X to unbeliever Y…but to look at Christian X now, to unbeliever X before.

  449. Steve Wright says:

    Before I became a Christian, when I was just a couple years out of college – I was listening to goal-setting and so forth and made a list of my goals and desires for my future.

    I stumbled across that list in some old stuff several years after I became a Christian, after I had gone to India, to ministry school, was serving the Lord in different ways – I could not recognize the person who wrote that list. It was remarkable how different my goals, values and beliefs had become.

    Maybe that is the only advantage of not being saved until later adulthood, you realize more clearly just how vain the world is without Christ. And just how much you have done that needs the forgiveness of Jesus.

    And he who is forgiven much, loves much.

  450. Michael says:

    Lets use proper terminology.
    I believe in sanctification.
    Sanctification is the process where in the indwelling Holy Spirit is transforming us into the image of God and enabling us to bear fruit worthy of our calling.
    The key word is “process”…and as Steve spoke well, it is not a process of comparing one to anybody but Christ.

  451. Dusty says:

    Michael said, “8. The answer to the issues I addressed in # 1-4 is not more political advocacy. It’s living and speaking the Gospel everywhere and at all times to all people.”

    I applaud SteveW, Michael, MLD, and Mark for all taking on the challenge of the day. Bravo and well spoken each of you.

  452. Steve Wright says:

    Michael, Agreed. Here’s what I teach from the pulpit to keep it simple.

    Justification – Was saved from penalty of my sins. Moment of salvation
    Sanctification – Being saved from the power of sin to control my life. Lifelong process
    Glorification – Will be saved from the presence of sin. When my life on this earth ends.

    The three verb tenses of salvation as to sin. Past, present, future…all three of which are found in the Bible in different contexts. Penalty, power, presence

    The theological terminology to each is more easily understood (I think)

  453. Michael says:

    Steve,

    Agreed.
    I hate the “transformation” label…it’s unbiblical and confuses the real process.
    Final transformation happens on the way home.

  454. To G,
    “…each and every time, without fail?”
    Sorry, but I didn’t say every time and every person.
    Some people overcome because of other factors.
    I just think that much like most environmental factors affect us, so does this one.
    There are contradictory studies on this, but I think they are mainly contradictory due to the fact that people are afraid to anger a powerful lobby by pointing out a fact.
    I would merely say that the chances are higher for this group for that to happen than others.
    _______________
    I can’t believe that you can post scripture that has both eternal fire and eternal punishment in it and it is still denied. Matthew 25:41-46
    RB knows nothing more than what he reads by Rob Bell in “Love Wins” on the meaning of “eternal”.
    Last I saw Rob Bell was not a Greek scholar, but we have people on here that actually do know their Koine Greek.

    Mark made a lot of sense.

  455. gomergirl says:

    caught my eye and reminded me of some of the conversation here about being PC and accepting of sinful lifestyles vs. what we are called to stand up for in the name of righteousness. When the Catholic church says it is going to be tough, you know something is coming.

    http://dailycaller.com/2014/05/13/catholic-leaders-sound-alarm-at-prayer-breakfast-the-days-of-acceptable-christianity-are-over/

  456. gomer,
    Great article. We stand because we are not ashamed of the gospel

    Others – not so much.

  457. Derek,
    Thanks for responding to my question.

    I’ll give your post some thought and respond after I knock out 3 more projects.
    It’s great to have work!

    And, yes, I totally enjoy Rob Bell and highly encourage anyone interested to visit his Tumblr
    http://robbellcom.tumblr.com/

  458. Rob Murphy says:

    RB way back at 293, you said:
    Atheist friend after atheist friend answers the same way. I ask them that if they die and stand before “God” and find out the Christians* were right, would they believe and try to make peace with that “God”…to a person the answer is always yes in some capacity.

    Ideas and ideals reveal character. An athiest / agnostic / anti-theist who answers in the way you’ve stated puzzles me.
    I spend a lifetime opposed to the ideas and ideals presented to me about God. In one meet and greet, a lifetime of opposition to God’s standards, ideas and ideals are suddenly washed away? A lifetime of defiance and denial? Ideals that were reprehensible to me for a lifetime, I just shrug off and go “Okay, you got me, you’re real.”?

    I don’t see it. “Without faith it is impossible to please God.” I would add “or be pleased by God”. It is appointed for man once to die then face judgment. How did I live toward the ideals of God for my 70-80+ years? If I hated God’s ideals for this whole life, if I engineered my life away from the tiniest shred of likelihood that God is and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him, then accept that my life’s ambition, work and belief was for naught and I’m going to shrug that off and walk into eternity with God? Really?

    I don’t see that. It’s pure theory and anecdotal, but I can’t see that . Do you really think that’s an honest answer from your atheist friends?

  459. Rob Murphy says:

    I have never had that response from my atheist family or friends. Not even remotely close. I’m intrigued at your encounter.

  460. The biggest flaw in the whole argument for “eternal” or “everlasting” meaning something else, especially in Matthew 25:41-46, is that the greek word is used three times there.

    If you take away the eternal fire and eternal punishment, then you also take away the eternal life.

  461. What did you think of Bell & “Love Wins”?

  462. I read the book to see what all the uproar was about.
    I wasn’t all that impressed by it. I mean I knew going in that I probably wouldn’t agree with his theology, but that is not what really turned me off about the book.
    It was the writing style. I found it simple and annoying.
    That kind of thing may be good if you are trying to write a conversation, like on here.
    It was far too simple for all the dire threats people saw in it.

  463. Glad you read it Derek.

    I find the writing style & typographic layout refreshing, very much like Bell’s NOOMAs only in print form.

    The study guide is particularly refreshing, very thought provoking.

    My friend Dave Brisbin went to Bell’s recent workshop in Laguna Beach, treated by one of his staff members to attend.

  464. Derek,
    I’m really not interested in being at odds with you.
    We have vastly different preferences stylistically.
    Yeah, I’m a theological liberal, but I love Jesus and love people. I have my issues and I sometimes show up and rant, blow off steam, cry out in anger and weep. From here on, just know that I wish you no ill will and if I do something stupid that hurts you, I apologize in advance.

  465. Bob says:

    MLD

    I didn’t say it was instituted in the 3 rd century I said it was generally accepted amongst the church as a means of regeneration by the 3 rd century.

  466. Not to get into a baptism debate but the Bible speaks of both baptism saving and baptism causing you to receive the Holy Spirit … that is 2st century.

    You don’t have to agree, just don;t make up false historical references.

  467. Bob says:

    MLD

    it’s not a false historical reference. If you’d do some study beyond where you stopped you would see observe the various debates, factions and doctrines which built this church. Michael has tried to get some interest but most seem to want to debate marriage and homosexuality.

    Not everything you think is true was agreed upon. However you missed that I’m just stating a fact that baptismal regeneration was one of the most early agreed upon doctrines.

    The most debated are the nature of Jesus and original sin, with Jesus coming in on the top.

    The early church writings are fascinating and worthy of study. Many of RB’s issues were also issues of the day.

    I thought you’d appreciate the support?

  468. Bob says:

    MLD

    Just a reminder 1st century is 0-100, 2nd 100-200 3rd is 200-300 and so on. of course maybe I’m wrong

    I am pretty stupid on these things.

  469. Bob,
    I was typing in a darkened room. When I hit 2st it was meant to be 1st. I know how to number centuries.

    By your logic, the trinity is not biblical but a 4th century matter. This also is not so.

    Just one other issue, I don’t think I am talking baptismal regeneration, which I think is a false Roman Catholic doctrine and different that what I see as God using means to save.

  470. London says:

    I’d rather listen to or read Dave Brisbin than Rob Bell any day of the week. FAR more substantive and meaningful.
    Rob Bell should go to a Dave Brisbin seminar instead!
    Seriously.

  471. brian says:

    Let me try it this way, I relent God hates me, personally I am a sinner, I rejected His Law and I continue in rebellion suppressing His Law and I should go to hell. I should go to double hell. I could go on, but I could care less, I know I should rot in hell forever and that would be grace. I get that, I hate myself that much in a strange kind of way after some 32 years in the industry. There are a few times I lean or even incline my view to the hope you folks talk to but I repent of such emotionalism almost the second I hope for it. I am a vessel of wrath because I am a human being I get that. I really do. But I still want to do good which makes me even more prelude of a vessel of wrath because of my fake filthy works righteousness. Wow and people call me crazy, I dont hold a candle to the psychos that buy into that line of claptrap. You want to hear something pathetic, and it is pathetic, when I first became a “Christian” which I did not, I longed to serve Jesus, which I would not, no wonder people go nutz.

    Oh and to the anti evolution, young age of the Earth / Universe, belly up to the bar, I may be a heretic but we are correct on those issues. Just a thought.

  472. London,
    Definitely enjoy DaveB!

    Dave’s rewrite is near completion. I saw his cover.
    WOW!

  473. London says:

    I carried the first version back and forth every week. It was my airplane read. I loved it. My own space (yes, on a plane) where I could just really absorb the words and images.
    Excited to read version two.

  474. Bob says:

    MLD

    The council was in the 4th century attempting to put a cap on the issue, but the fight began long before that. Additionally while the council made a statement and eventually a creed it did not end the arguments and proponents of the non trinitarian positions.

    Correct if I’m wrong but isn’t Lutheran a later revolt or off- shoot from the Roman Catholic Church? Isn’t fair to say it has roots and response to RCC doctrines and practice?

  475. Bob, good morning,
    Because there is a fight does not mean that the correct doctrine is not right on the pages of the scriptures. Look at us today, every mention of homosexuality in the Bible is in a negative context, yet some today, even some on this blog say “No! homosexuality is to be celebrated,”

    Yes Lutheran is from the RCC. But the view should be that Lutheranism is the correct catholic position since Rome had hijacked true orthodoxy and corrupted it. Luther tried to take it back – the only reason we are not all RCC is Luther was kicked out.

  476. Bob says:

    MLD

    I would almost agree about all being RCC , but I think Xenia would disagree.

    Overall I believe the church history substantiates one of RBs arguments about scripture interpretation, it is often relevant to the interpreters. Of course I also believe it was intended to be that way by God so the believer’s reliance would not be on a text of hard set rules.

  477. Bob, are you saying that God’s preference was that people rely on church councils instead of the book?

  478. Bob says:

    MLD:

    I’m giving you a smile! 😉 Or should it be a 🙁

    No that’s not the point at all.

    God wants us to be an Abraham and rely and trust He will work things fairly, in time and completely just. He gives us just enough and provides all the tools, intelligence and ability to take the raw materials of both the written and unwritten (see Romans 1) and do something with them.

    It is up to us to interpret them and live in His light.

    Now councils are a part of the process, but considering councils are often made up of fallen, wicked and self seeking men I would say they are prone to getting it wrong almost as often as they get it right. Of course it is all that we have and even when wrong are a part of the design of God.

    Look at Samson, a man of faith according to tradition (Hebrews), I can’t think of one part of his story where he showed any redeeming quality, accept that he had faith in the one and only God. Even his death is marked with a request that God would revenge what they did to his eyes.

    If there’s hope for a loser like Samson then there’s more than enough hope for the rest of us.

    I enjoy church history because so far I haven’t found one church “father” who did it right, accept for one thing, they believed.

    Take a look at the differences between those early “fathers” who lived in Alexandria verse Antioch. Whewww.

    Ok I’ll give you a

    🙂

  479. Bob says:

    MLD

    Here’s what I really, ok generally, dislike about councils and church governments; they often do more to stifle people’s relationships with God rather than develop it.

    What I mean is they encourage conformity to their interpretations, often harshly punishing those who disagree with them and rarely encourage others to seek God outside their tenants or practice.

    It’s not a free for all!

    I do want to be careful in saying such things because God does have limits and that is where each person should be encouraged to know the scriptures and not just the church interpretations. I believe it was a Duet law that the king had to personally write his own copy of the Torah and keep it with him as a reference and study for decision making.

  480. Bob,
    I accept your 🙂 and I raise you 2 🙂 🙂

    I go back to what I said this morning – “Because there is a fight does not mean that the correct doctrine is not right on the pages of the scriptures.”

    Scripture is clear and I do believe in the perspicuity of Scripture (did I spell that right?) – God doesn’t stutter, he wants his word understood. Councils are for untangling baggage people carry with them.

    As I mentioned this morning – I think the Bible is very clear about homosexuality. Do we need a council?? No, but sometime in the future we will probably end up with one.

  481. RiBo says:

    Steve, thanks for your #446, I don’t expect agreement from many, but I do appreciate the opportunity to broach some issues form angles that are not normally discussed in the typical Christian discussions.

    Derek said, “RB knows nothing more than what he reads by Rob Bell in “Love Wins” on the meaning of “eternal””

    No, incorrect. I’ve looked at a lot of sources on the issue of “aionos”…that Rob Bell has drawn some similar conclusions is coincidence and probably the result of similar studies into the issue.

  482. RiBo says:

    Derek, here’s one of many many good rationales (and others are similar, some more nuanced, some more technical, but this is a good starter that demonstrates another view in a reasoned manner that appeals to the literal scripture):

    http://www.willamette.edu/~ttalbott/Matthew%2025-46.html

  483. So then, you still haven’t said how “your interpretation” affects eternal life.

    In #290 you assert we are eternal beings.
    By #378 you start to assert that eternal isn’t what it seems.
    By #397 you redefine eternal.

    Now, look at #416 and #461 and see how your “interpretation” affects Matthew 25:41-46.

    Not very consistent are you?

  484. Answer the question about how your interpretation affects eternal life?
    In fact show us in a sentence what your translation of Matthew 25:41-46 would be?
    Cause your definition in #378 is a bit nebulous.
    Works better if we all see it used in a sentence.

  485. RiBo says:

    “When the father creator saw the creature which he had made moving and living, the created image of the eternal gods, he rejoiced, and in his joy determined to make the copy still more like the original; and as this was eternal, he sought to make the universe eternal, so far as might be. Now the nature of the ideal being was everlasting, but to bestow this attribute in its fulness upon a creature was impossible. Wherefore he resolved to have a moving image of eternity, and when he set in order the heaven, he made this image eternal but moving according to number, while eternity itself rests in unity; and this image we call time. For there were no days and nights and months and years before the heaven was created, but when he constructed the heaven he created them also. They are all parts of time, and the past and future are created species of time, which we unconsciously but wrongly transfer to the eternal essence”

  486. RiBo says:

    “But then o my friends, he said, if the soul is really immortal, what care should be taken of her, not only in respect of the portion of time which is called life, but of eternity! And the danger of neglecting her from this point of view does indeed appear to be awful. If death had only been the end of all, the wicked would have had a good bargain in dying, for they would have been happily quit not only of their body, but of their own evil together with their souls. But now, as the soul plainly appears to be immortal, there is no release or salvation from evil except the attainment of the highest virtue and wisdom. For the soul when on her progress to the world below takes nothing with her but nurture and education; which are indeed said greatly to benefit or greatly to injure the departed, at the very beginning of its pilgrimage in the other world.”

  487. The least you could do is tell us who you cut & pasted from in those last 2 posts.

  488. Like Derek, I too would like to see the Matt 25 passage in your own words using your new found definitions.

  489. RiBo says:

    “Now liberty is the coming up to a state which owns no master and is self-regulating ; it is that with which we were gifted by God at the beginning, but which has been obscured by the feeling of shame arising from indebtedness. Liberty too is in all cases one and the same essentially; it has a natural attraction to itself. It follows, then, that as everything that is free will be united with its like, and as virtue is a thing that has no master, that is, is free, everything that is free will be united with virtue. But, further, the Divine Being is the fountain of all virtue. Therefore, those who have parted with evil will be united with Him; and so, as the Apostle says (I Cor. 15.28), God will be “all in all “; for this utterance seems to me plainly to confirm the opinion we have already arrived at, for it means that God will be instead of all other things, and in all.”

  490. RiBo says:

    Two considerations for you for Matt.25 verse above:

    1. It plainly says the fire is aionion and not necessarily the punishment/correction.

    2. the literal greek states “fire aionion” …which could and probably simply means the fire that exists outside of our realm, outside of our man-time our fixed time, our dimension…of the “eternal realm”

    3. aionion also refers to “an age” in the greek many times. Could be fire “for an age” not necessarily “eternal” as you view God as eternal

    If the fire were truly “eternal” it would have a character of “God” himself having not been created, therefore the fire would be a God, something eternal with no beginning, non-created and no end.

    If the “fire” is truly “eternal” as you say God is eternal, then the fire is like God with no beginning, it was always in existence, like God…and that doesn’t square with your thesis about God being the only truly “eternal” as you say God is the “creator”…which means the fire was created, which means it isn’t truly “eternal” like God…therefore it probably isn’t “eternal” like you assume

  491. RiBo says:

    If “heaven” is “eternal” and hell is “eternal” like you assume is the same “eternal” as God…then you have major problem…it means heaven and hell weren’t created.

  492. Look are you gonna interpret Matthew 25:41-46 or are you gonna hem and haw around it for 20 more comments?
    We are waiting.

  493. RiBo says:

    …good luck explaining that one away 😉

    And, that’s original content. That is my conclusion based on studying the issue. You have a major problem with your definition of “eternal” and you have a problem you can’t get around with your definition.

    Thanks to Steve W. for sparking this line of reasoning when he challenged my use of “eternal” for souls…Steve pushed back, rightly, that souls are not truly “eternal” b/c they were created…they may be immortal, but they aren’t “eternal” like God…which is correct.

    Same for heaven and hell…they can’t be “eternal” in the sense you assume. It must mean “age long” or a fire that is in the realm of “the” eternal…a punishment/correction that exists in the Realm of God, which is not our finite realm.

  494. RiBo says:

    Derek, I answered you clearly above. In fact, I gave you several considerations which all rebut your assumption very well.

  495. RiBo says:

    Derek, were heaven and hell “created”? If so, they can’t be truly “eternal”…the use of aionion and aionios must be one of the choices I listed above. They can’t be God, they are either references to things in the Realm of the Eternal….or “an age” etc.

  496. No, you did not.
    Use it in a sentence, which is best done by providing the interpretation I wanted.
    Otherwise, it just looks like evasion as usual.

  497. RiBo says:

    Derek, #491 answered your question…I said 2 considerations, but listed a third in that response.

  498. This is par for the course though.
    You usually evade when you can’t or don’t want to answer.

    I had a simple request which you fail to provide a satisfying answer to.
    No one wants to hear the philosophical ramifications of your ideas.

  499. RiBo says:

    “fire aionion” is either a reference to a fire in the eternal realm of God or a reference if you take aionion which is an adjective to be more literal, it is “age long” or “of an age”

    It cannot be an “eternal” fire as you define eternal, as it was created by God, which means it had a beginning and was once not in existence, making it not “eternal”

  500. RiBo says:

    Derek, I’ve answered you several times now. You are playing games.

  501. A consideration is not an interpretation.
    You sir, did not answer.

  502. RiBo says:

    I’m not going to respond to you any longer if you are going to play games, I’ll focus on someone else’s comments or questions.

  503. No, you are the one playing on this blog as you always do.
    I ask for an interpretation not your cut and paste answers.
    Pretty simple request. Just replace eternal in the verses every time it appears with your version.
    I guess it was a bit too much to ask of you.

  504. You have no interpretation then.
    You could have just said that.

  505. RiBo says:

    NT: “In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.”

    OT: “Then the LORD rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah–from the LORD out of the heavens.”

    “eternal fire” does not mean the fire is still burning in Sodom and Gomorrah, it means the fire was a fire from the eternal realm of the eternal God that nuked them.

  506. RiBo says:

    Annihilation could be a possibility, but doubtful. If God is “good” and “love” his correction is rehabilitative not punitive or retributive.

    Jesus supposedly went to hades and preached and set those dead souls free after they lived and died and didn’t obey the warning given by Noah, which shows a biblical example of God redeeming already dead sinners after-the-fact.

  507. It never says the fire was eternal in Sodom and Gomorrah.
    Can you seriously not see that?

    It is hard to hold a conversation with someone who ignores or does not understand what a sentence says.

  508. Do you understand what example means?

    1. a thing characteristic of its kind or illustrating a general rule.

    That does not mean equivalence.

  509. RiBo says:

    The fire is not “eternal” it can’t be…only God is eternal. The fire was created, as was heaven and life.

  510. RiBo says:

    Clearly it has to mean life in God who is eternal and punishment/correction in God who is eternal. Fire and heaven and life cannot be “eternal” b/c only God is eternal.

    Or, you assert that God is not unique and that heaven, and life and hell are all eternal like God and were not created things.

  511. RiBo says:

    Pretty simple, really. Surprised it took me so long to notice that.

  512. RiBo says:

    BTW, Derek, I am not responding to you, this is just a stream of thought from the macro discussion.

  513. No matter.
    I saw how serious you actually weren’t when you refuse to present an interpretation of your “novel” thoughts.
    Please continue to talk to yourself.

  514. RB,
    Your stuff is minor league versions of William Barclay’s stuff and he never convinced anyone… well maybe you and Tom Talbot.

  515. Serious question for RB. When you are doing all this arguing for the time limits on the fire – you do realize that there is no fire in hell and it is just imagery? Please tell me you know that much.

  516. RiBo says:

    MLD, I agree the bible is mostly imagery and idea and not literal. We can’t know and understand the realities and complexities of much of the universe and multi-verse and the dimensions we can’t see with our human eyes.

  517. RiBo says:

    That’s part of what I’m pointing out BTW….

  518. RiBo says:

    That is a good reason why “fire eternal” is not a fiery hell where folks burn forever in torture…as you rightly point out. It’s imagery, it’s literary device to express some sort of correction that we can’t nearly understand or put literal human terms to.

  519. RiBo says:

    MLD said correctly, “you do realize that there is no fire in hell and it is just imagery? Please tell me you know that much.”

    I know it, but I think Derek and some others might disagree with you LOL

  520. No you are not – otherwise after a couple of days you would have mentioned it.

    And only some of the Bible is imagery and it is very obvious when it is.

    If you knew the fie was imagery, you would not have posted any of the posts and qutes that you diid as none of them point to imagery.

    You need to raise the white flag.

  521. RiBo says:

    MLD, yes, that is the point. You are the first to connect one of the dots.

  522. RB,
    But it is probably worse than you think and not mitigated as you espouse.

    The punishment, whatever it’s nature I am sure is greater than can be described by the fire and screams.

    Just as I am sure that heaven is greater than the imagery of streets of gold.

  523. RiBo says:

    I don’t believe there is a fiery hell or I wouldn’t be arguing against a fiery hell. Your comment about me not mentioning it is hilarious. Why would I argue against a fiery hell…if I really believed there is a literal fiery hell? You are confused.

  524. RiBo says:

    MLD, I have no idea if it is worse or better than I “think”…I simply acknowledge the limited facts we can glean…and one of those facts is it is clearly imagery and not a literal “fire” and not “without beginning or end” as is the definition of “eternal” or there is something that is “eternal” besides God. It would mean there is something that God did not create.

  525. RiBo says:

    I can’t necessarily tell you what it is…but I can certainly tell you what it is not…if “eternal” means “without beginning or end” and I can certainly tell you that a literal “fire” as we know fire on earth is also not likely.

  526. RB,
    nelieve me, I did not connect any dots from you – you are dotless..

    No, you argued that the fire was not eternal – you did NOT argue that the fire was non existent.

    Just admit the weakness of your position. It’s not like it’s your first time.

  527. RiBo says:

    MLD said, “The punishment, whatever it’s nature I am sure is greater than can be described by the fire and screams.

    Just as I am sure that heaven is greater than the imagery of streets of gold.”

    Those are your subjective assumptions based on imagery…and not on the Nature of the Eternal God.

    I think it wiser to base assumptions on what God is and isn’t vs. some ancient text with very fallible human imagery as substitute for what is reality.

    If God is “good” and if God is “love”…then filter your assumptions off of those attributes.

  528. RiBo says:

    MLD said, “No, you argued that the fire was not eternal – you did NOT argue that the fire was non existent.”

    Nonsense. The “fire” is some sort of corrective punishment, I think it silly that it would be considered like a bonfire of wood or similar fire and never asserted such. The “fire” or punishment “kolasis” cannot be “eternal” because that would make it w/o beginning.

    It is assumed the “fire” is imagery for punishment and if it is assumed the fire is literally a fire like a house fire or a bon-fire as some believe, I disagree, I believe it to be imagery as you stated.

  529. “I think it wiser to base assumptions on what God is and isn’t vs. some ancient text with very fallible human imagery as substitute for what is reality.

    If God is “good” and if God is “love”…then filter your assumptions off of those attributes.”

    So, without using “some ancient text with very fallible human imagery as substitute for what is reality.” Tell me how you know anything about this God.

    Remember – no Bible.

  530. RiBo says:

    We can know concepts like “good” and “love” much more than we can know imagery like a “fire” in another realm we cannot see or “streets of gold” as you mention in a dimension we cannot see.

    Love and good are essences, while fire and streets of gold are literal tangible physical things.

  531. Without using “some ancient text with very fallible human imagery as substitute for what is reality.” can you show me how you know that the “fire” is corrective?

    Remember – no Bible.

  532. RiBo says:

    Plato and Aristotle knew a lot about “God” w/o an ancient text. The Native Americans knew a lot about “God” w/o a text.

  533. RiBo says:

    MLD, how did the authors of the bible who wrote it know about “God” before they wrote the bible?

  534. your 8:40 said nothing about God. See, this is your problem – you make all of this up in your head.
    I assume you think God id a reality and you believe the Bible is anti reality so your God is 100% made up.

  535. RiBo says:

    MLD said, “can you show me how you know that the “fire” is corrective?”

    Is God “good”? Is God “love”?

  536. RiBo says:

    MLD, did those who wrote the bible have the bible before they wrote it? How did they know about God?

  537. MLD,
    I swear, don’t engage him, just let him talk to himself.
    He never answers questions, just hems and haws around for the whole thread.
    How many times have I seen you ask a question and watched evasion and sidetracks.
    He can’t even give an interpretation of Matthew 25:41-46.
    He just claims he does without really doing so.

  538. RiBo says:

    I know God is “good” and God is “love” the same way. God somehow reveals himself to humankind in some capacity.

  539. If Plato, Aristotle or the Native Americans know the God you know – they made him up too. Plato and Aristotle had craved out gods and mythical gods … like you.

  540. RiBo says:

    Incorrect, Plato and Aristotle knew things about God that the Church Fathers co-opted and used in forming their Theologies and doctrines which have replaced “God”

  541. RiBo says:

    MLD, how did Noah know God?

  542. I know God is “good” and God is “love” the same way. God somehow reveals himself to humankind in some capacity.

    In nature God has revealed himself in a mean creation of volcanos and earthquake.

    Nature reveals a god who is powerful and pissed and that is it.

  543. Show me one place where Plato or Aristotle called god the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit and I would believe you. I can show you hundreds of places that the Fathers described God that way.

    Because they used Aristotelian thought to describe god does not mean that Aristotle had any concept of God like that.

    Now you are making up a fantasy Plato and a fantasy Aristotle just like you have made up a fantasy God.

    Give it up.

  544. “MLD, how did Noah know God?”

    Verbally and directly. If you are saying that god is speaking to you that way, well I guess I can’t argue with that. 🙂

  545. My goodness RB, it can’t possibly take you that long to google up a reply and do a copy / paste.

  546. Ricky Bobby says:

    My comments are getting modded MLD. I can’t have a fair discussion. You’ll have to respond nonsensically and illogically to someone else.

    Mike, I’d appreciate a heads up if you’re going to mod me so I don’t waste the time trying to post comments. Seems a fair request.

    G’nite.

    One last remark: We covered how much the Church Fathers leaned on Platonist and Neo-Platonist ideas/concepts to develop the concept of the “Trinity”. It’s all there, you can do your own research if you want to learn some truth.

  547. Michael says:

    RB,

    I haven’t changed anything.
    You are under moderation, but obviously have one computer that isn’t.
    I haven’t bothered to look it up and change that.
    I am going to bed soon, however.

  548. Ricky Bobby says:

    Weird, I thought I was out of mod, then comments stopped posting. I assumed you re-modded me, when in fact I was still in mod LOL.

    Well, either way, it’s too much a pain and no one is really open minded on here. It’s illustrative of why dogmatics and others go to war and kill each other. “You’re a heretic!” “No, you are!” …and then comes the piles of wood and the oil and the fire LOL.

  549. ‘We covered how much the Church Fathers leaned on Platonist and Neo-Platonist ideas/concepts to develop the concept of the “Trinity””

    We didn’t cover anything of the sort – you did a whole day of copy / paste from very poor sources from your atheist web pages. It was a one sided deaf conversation.

  550. Ricky Bobby says:

    MLD, it’s sad that you ruined a friendship with G over your buffoonery. It doesn’t bother me, more entertainment, but I think it reflects poorly on you and demonstrates your soul.

  551. Why is open minded a virtue? God tells us all over scripture to protect our mind and our thoughts.

    I have often wondered and I don’t know why just because some crack pot has said something that you think it is a worthy position.

    Why aren’t you open minded to the thought that God’s word is true just as it is and if you find fault, that is probably because of some human limitation?

    Now that would show that you were open minded.

  552. RB @ 9:35 – ouch – what a misdirect from the conversation. Not as good as throwing in a derog Luther remark, but it does take the light off your theological impotence.

  553. But that’s OK, I don’t want to piss off Michael while he tries to sleep. Bye

  554. Bob says:

    I may have missed it, but how come in all this discussion on Matthew 25 it has not been mentioned the judgement here is talking about those whom are in the field together, I.e. Those who say they know Jesus.

    BTW

    I also noticed in spite of all the discussion on eternal the facts are the statements are at the end of the age, it is judgement and consequences, the fire was designed for the devil and his angels, not the people of the earth yet they are being compared with them. Why are so many concerned about seeing the people judged and eternally tortured? If you find pleasure in that idea doesn’t that place you amongst the goats and not the sheep in Jesus I illustration?

    Like all scripture there’s so much more to the story than eternal fire.

  555. Bob,
    I think you have it wrong. No one is taking joy in the judged – in fact just the opposite. I want to warn folks about the consequence of rejecting Jesus, which I see as pretty stern and irreversible.

    Along come guys like G and RB who say “don’t worry, be happy – judgment is reversible.
    1.) in the end, all people go to heaven
    2.) the ‘flames’ are corrective not punitive, then you go to heaven
    3,) the flames die out and you can get rid of your asbestos underwear.

    Besides, I see everyone all ready in the paddy wagon on their way to hell, I am just trying to reach in and grab some out.

  556. Bob says:

    MLD:

    Good.

    But don’t you sense many want to see some sort of revenge or “get em God” mentality.

    Blessed are those who morn!

    The whole sermon on the mount stuff points at Matthew 25 and the sheep versus the goats.

    BTW I do agree, many are also looking for a loop hole about the exclusiveness of Christianity and whether or not the fire is an image or real the message is living life has a result and it doesn’t end when a person is returned to the earth. If we say we love Jesus then we will live like we love Jesus, “when did I feed them, clothe them and visit them?”

  557. “But don’t you sense many want to see some sort of revenge or “get em God” mentality.”
    Not in my church circles … perhaps your experience with the brethren is different.

  558. Andrew says:

    I must confess sometimes I do have a God get-em mentality but its usually when I hear a false gospel preached in a otherwise seemingly legitimate church. If people are being deceived basically I do ask that God remove the stumbling block so that people will hear the truth. I’m sure my own sin is in there too so I ask for forgiveness as well.

  559. Bob says:

    MLD:

    I live in a very big “church circle.” Because of the variety of things I have been called to do I interact with a very diverse group of Christians and unbelievers and I have heard from the podium such talk. I also find it right in the scriptures, both OT and NT:

    Example:

    Rev 6:9-11

    When the Lamb broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained; and they cried out with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O bLord, holy and true, will You refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” And there was given to each of them a white robe; and they were told that they should rest for a little while longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren who were to be killed even as they had been, would be completed also.

    Of course they may be referring to God’s promise in Joel 3:21 “And I will avenge their blood which I have not avenged,For the LORD dwells in Zion.”

    A teacher I know tells his students to ask this question as they read the scriptures, “where have I heard that before?” So maybe the call for vengeance by the martyred is a response to what God had said through the prophet Joel.

    The point is I hear this kind of stuff and it mainly comes from the more “charismatic” groups than others.

  560. Bob,
    Where did anyone on here say they want people to go to hell?
    Please find that for me, cause I am at a loss.

  561. MLD remains dishonest.

    “Along come guys like G and RB who say “don’t worry, be happy – judgment is reversible.”

    Such a dishonest statement. I do not nor have I ever said what MLD misrepresents.

    I believe that the entirety of judgment was taken by Jesus, for all humanity, past, present & future.

    :: It is irreversible ::

  562. RiBo,
    There are very few individuals in my brief