Head First: The Funny Thing About Seeds...

Saturday, June 17, 2006

The Funny Thing About Seeds...

...is that they're useless in your hands, and you have no control over them once they're scattered.

Sorry for the delay in getting this post up. Business has been, well, busy. On top of that, I started physical therapy on my shoulder this week (It's pretty torn up, but I've gained back over 30 degrees of range of motion in just 3 sessions. Woohoo!), so there hasn't been much time to write. Even so, I find myself at a bit of a loss for words to describe the day. But, as usual, I'm not going to let that stop me.

If you're just tuning in, my buddy, Mike, and I (and our wives, it turned out) went to the Philadelphia Pride Day event last Sunday and gave away a bunch of coffee-store gift cards in what was intended to be a token expression of kindness. In the cards, we identified ourselves as a couple straight Christians and apologized for our part in the religious system that has excoriated them so zealously for so long. There was no sales pitch, and there was no condemnation. After some debate, we decided to include an email address (in 6-point type, down in the corner), in case...well, just in case (You can take the boy out of evangelicalism, but it's tough to take evangelicalism out of the boy. We admit it).

There's been a fair amount of discussion about whether what we did was genuine, or if there was some element of agenda involved. Was this really kindness, or just stupid church people (or ex-church people) being stupid church people? Were we sincere about wanting to reach out in love to the GLBT community? I certainly believe so. But was this the right way to go about it? Well, to be honest, by the time we got there, I had no idea. But if we didn't do it, we were going to be stuck drinking a hell of a lot of coffee. And even if it was stupid, I wanted the people there to know that not every Christian thinks that God loves gay people less than others. In any event, as I said to someone recently, I felt very empty-handed as I stepped into that crowd, knowing that if they knew I profess Christ, they would likely assume that I hated them. The thought wounded me.

I wasn't sure what to expect, and I tried not to expect anything at all. We paid our admission and got our Bud Light wristbands. It was a little humiliating to wear the Bud Light logo on my wrist all day. I asked if they had any Yuengling or New Castle Brown Ale wristbands, but no dice (note to self: contact organizers and ask them to solicit a better beer sponsor for next year). Philadelphia's Penn's Landing is a very excellent location for an event like this--right there on the river, in full view of the Ben Franklin Bridge, several levels, with plenty of trees. It's also a beautiful (if crowded) place to see a concert or watch the holiday fireworks.

We wandered around for some time, just taking it all in. There were scores of exhibitors and vendors scattered throughout the various levels of the venue. This appeared to be a very well organized event (it has not always enjoyed such a reputation). We strolled to the far side of Penn's Landing just in time to catch the very end of the Pride Day Parade. As we approached, the float from the Metropolitan Community Church of Philadelphia stopped for a few minutes, with people dancing and singing some very infectious gospel music. As the medley transitioned into a kicking black-gospel rendition of "Jesus Loves Me," the people on the float held up signs as they marched in a circle. "I am gay," one sign said. "I am a mother," said another. "I am a friend," "I am a daughter," "I am a loyal employee," "I am loved." The imagery was powerful, making plain the humanity that we all share. As the last person rounded the back of the float, tears filled my eyes as I read his sign.

"I am a Christian!"

Bingo. I took a good look at that man holding the sign, and thought to myself, that's my brother up there. That guy loves Jesus, and he already knows the thing that brought us here.

So I reached into my pack and dug out a handful of cards. It was pretty straightforward, really, and rather uneventful. I just handed out cards to random passersby, saying nothing more than, "Hey, have some free coffee." I didn't try to engage anyone in conversation, nor did I stick around for feedback. I was just there to give a gift. Anonymously (I thought). There were plenty of guys handing out flyers for everything from the petition against the marriage amendment (I signed it), to the gay bikers' event in November (BTW, anyone want to go to jock strap night at the Bike Shop next week? Could be fun.). Whenever someone offered me a flyer, I said, "I'll trade you," and handed them a coffee card. At the table where we signed the petition against the marriage amendment, someone asked, "Is everyone registered to vote?" The guy next to me said "Yep, since 1971," to which I replied, "Sorry, I was only 8 then." He turned my way, and said, (in his best stereotypical gay tone) "Biiitch." We both laughed, and I said, "Sorry. Let me buy you a cup of coffee!" He accepted the card with good humor and said thanks, even after he read "This kindness is offered in the name of Jesus" on the cover.

Overall, we considered the experience positive. Most people said thanks, and accepted the cards, but not everyone was receptive. My wife found a few cards on the ground (with the gift cards still inside), and one guy walked back to Mike's wife and said, "In the name of Jesus, you can have this back." But a couple people came back to Mike and thanked him for the gift and the message inside. One lady turned out to be a priest. I don't know what church she was from, or if she was gay or straight, but she thanked Mike and told him she planned to use our message in her sermon this week. We were very encouraged by that.

After the cards were gone, we hung out for a little while (I still regret not stopping at the booth where the guys were selling kilts. They were cool. I still want one.). But our hunger was getting the best of us, and the lines at the festival were miles long (I still haven't heard exact attendance figures, but I'm guessing it had to be between 15-20,000 people). Just outside the exit, we saw the protesters. A bunch of people from Repent-America were there with flags, signs and a bullhorn. We stopped for a minute just to observe. Listening to the guy rail against homosexuals with such condemnation really made my heart hurt. It was a bad scene, and there's not much to say beyond that, except that police allowed a gay Christian to stand on a chair and argue with them. He did pretty well.

The next day, we had a couple messages in the email account we had set up. So far, we've received several messages and they've all been very positive (at least, I think so--there's one that I'm not 100% certain about--it's either sincere or a little sarcastic). It also turns out that one of us handed a card to Sarah Blazucki, a staff writer for the Philadelphia Gay News, who in turn, contacted us for an interview. I debated whether or not to call her (I mean, so much for anonymous), but after some thought and some good advice, I conceded. I spoke pretty freely with her for about forty minutes. She asked some very thoughtful questions and I did my best to answer them. I also asked about her response to being handed a gift card at the event. She told me that she wasn't offended at all, that she liked that we weren't in-your-face, and she was curious to know more about us. I was grateful to hear it. She wrote a very fair article about us which hit the street yesterday. I've been interviewed by reporters 4 times in my life for various things, and Sarah is the first journalist who has not significantly misrepresented me in some way. My hat's off to you, Sarah. And while we weren't mentioned specifically in the paper's editorial feature, I want to think that our activities at the event made some impression. You decide.

People at one end of the spectrum thought we were abandoning the faith in doing this, and some at the other end thought it was hollow, useless, even insulting. But most seem to fall somewhere in the middle. If you consider it (as we tried to) as a "seed-scattering" effort, then you'll understand that some seeds sprout and others don't. And I don't blame anyone who rejects us. God knows we've earned it, and five bucks certainly won't fix it. But I'm gratified to see the effect of our miniscule gesture multiplied as our message is repeated in the media to an even wider audience. I hope this will open the door to healing and relationship-building.

Imperfect? You bet. I don't really do perfect.

I'm still glad we went.

234 comments:

1 – 200 of 234   Newer›   Newest»
Zeke said...

I'm glad you went too, big D. Whether or not you hear another peep from anyone who attended, it was a good and lovely thing you guys did. And even if it was only you guys who were transformed, isn't it worth it still?

erik said...

So good. I love the Jesus you're living man.

Kate said...

good job with the "apology." any inspiration from donald miller? anyway, good idea, dude. I'm glad you weren't deterred by the criticism.

JimmyBob said...

Dorse and Mike, I salute you for what you did. The compassion you displayed and expressed is inspiring. Christ's love is shining through you.

So, Dorse, make no mistake in my support of your effort when you read what I'm about to say next. This is in response to your thoughts and conclusions, not your actions.

Dorse, you said, "Bingo. I took a good look at that man holding the sign, and thought to myself, that's my brother up there. That guy loves Jesus, and he already knows the thing that brought us here."

Now, I'm assuming that this man, who was on a float among homosexuals, was a homosexual himself.

My questions are these: Would he still be a "Christian" if Jesus asked him to give up his homosexual lifestyle and come follow Him?

Do you think that everyone who calls themselves Christians are indeed Christians? If not, then what criteria do you use to measure who has the right "version" of Christianity and who does not?

I only ask these questions because it seems to me you have come to believe that homosexuals can indeed be Christians and Christians can be homosexuals. And they as people not only deserve our love and respect, but Christians should also respect and embrace their lifestyle as legitimate in God's eyes.

Am I wrong to assume that when you went to the parade you were not only going to simply show kindness, but you were also there to say, "We think your lifestyle is legitimate in Christianity. It is not sinful as the traditionalists believe?"

Zeke said...

OK, I'm leaving now. I don't think I can tolerate the "do you really think gays can be Christian" conversation one more time, at least not for a while.

Zeke said...

OK, I lied. Jimmy Bob, in response to this statement:

Do you think that everyone who calls themselves Christians are indeed Christians? If not, then what criteria do you use to measure who has the right "version" of Christianity and who does not?

Matt 25:31-46.

There's your answer, amigo.

BruceD said...

Jimmy, would you still be considered a "Christian" is Jesus asked you to give up your "religion" and come follow Him?

Dorsey, I appreciate your initiative and vision. Even though I might disagree somewhat with the premise, you entered into it with a good heart and a strong sense of purpose. By the way, I like the note you attached to it. It offered hope, asking nothing in return.

I applaud your efforts to bridge the gap and promote healing.

Kudos!

Jim Jordan said...

Hi Dorsey
You are to be commended for your work. The seeds you planted will go far. The story about the Philadelphia Gay News reporter is a classic. When a Christian steps out a little, God uses other people and their resources to His cause with the effect of drawing Christians out into more fruitful service.

Before everybody gets into a melee, I'd like to point out that Jimmybob, Zeke, and Bruced all make great points.

Jimmybob's view is correct that if gays' sexuality is of such paramount importance that they are "proud" of it, then that is an obstacle to embracing Christ. Can anyone say that there is sex in heaven? I don't see how sexual orientation can be a fruit of the spirit.

Zeke's reference to Matthew 25 is also correct. God wants us to show His love in a tangible way. We have to let go of our own personal feelings (our ego) and see each person as the Father sees them. Each act that points to a love that can only come from above points to the Father by its very nature.

Bruced says that if Jesus asked you to give up your "religion" and follow Him, would you? Being that religion is in quotation marks it appears he means that each person's pre-conceived notion of "appropriate" religion (with its inherent flaws). The plain example is the people outside the event who's religion is simply to judge, or those whose religion is liberal or conservative, Episcopal, catholic, or Presbyterian or even New Age. Let's face it, we grasp the hand of Christ better on some days than we do on others. We are still a work in progress.

As we learned after the Resurrection, Christ always gets the last word. It's not one person's view or another's, but Christ's view that must lead us. That's why it can never hurt to show a little love and respect to even the most hardened gay pride person. Christ said, "Feed my sheep". Only He knows how to get them to digest it.
Great work, Dorsey and God bless.

ninjanun said...

Don't let the El Guapos of the world get you down, Dorse.


Also, can someone be rich and a Christian, especially in light of the fact that Jesus specifically asked one person to sell everything they had to the poor, and they refused?
Can someone be *proud* of being rich, and still be a Christian?

dorsey said...

"My questions are these: Would he still be a "Christian" if Jesus asked him to give up his homosexual lifestyle and come follow Him?

Do you think that everyone who calls themselves Christians are indeed Christians? If not, then what criteria do you use to measure who has the right "version" of Christianity and who does not?

I only ask these questions because it seems to me you have come to believe that homosexuals can indeed be Christians and Christians can be homosexuals. And they as people not only deserve our love and respect, but Christians should also respect and embrace their lifestyle as legitimate in God's eyes."


I need to first say that I do not claim to have anything figured out.

The answer to your first question is that I have no idea what that guy would choose. To be honest, I don't even know what I would choose if Jesus asked me to give up something that I considered at the core of my identity. I like to think I know what I'd do, but I don't. So I'm not going to speculate about that guy.

To your second question, I'd say I'm pretty sure that not everyone who wears the Christian nametag is a follower of Christ. I'll certainly go along with the scripture Zeke offered, but even then, only Christ is the judge of that. I'm not prepared to be the one to line people up and say yes, no, no, yes, yes, no, no, no, etc.

I'm going to point you to this post from Zeke. It really helped me get to the place where I am now with this issue.

JB, I understand where you're coming from, but it should be noted that, not being a pastor, I don't have a district office nor a congregation to answer to. As such, I have the luxury of being able to say I don't know the answers to these questions (and I don't). If being gay is a sin, then scripturally, it's no more of a sin than divorce/remarriage or masturbating. Yet we find a way to offer grace to those people (although we might be a little careful about whose hand we shake). I would rather, as Zeke says, err on the side of grace. And at the moment, I'm in the fortunate position to be able to do so.

ninjanun said...

Dorsey, are you implying that those in official ministery positions do not have the luxury to err on the side of grace?

dorsey said...

Ninjanun,

No, I did not intend to imply that. However, I think some ministers are constrained by the added dynamic of peer pressure and political expectations to take "hard stands" against sin. Some others are just conditioned to think that they must have all the answers (and that they must follow the party line). Still others have mortgages to pay. I know I'd think twice about bucking the status quo if my paycheck or status depended on it.

But it doesn't. And as a result, I'm more free to question my assumptions than I was before. Several people have tried to pin me down to a position, and I just don't think having a position on this is all that relevant to the task of showing love and grace to people.

JimmyBob said...

Zeke, sorry, but I have not been a part of that conversation with Dorsey before. Therefore, I simply don't know where he stands.

I haven't actually stated any of my positions. I just asked a couple of questions and stated what I thought Dorsey's position was, based on his post.

Ninjanun actually mentioned the passage I was thinking of when I asked the question about leaving something to follow Christ.

The rich young ruler wanted Jesus and was a follower of the commandments since he was a child. The only problem was that he wanted possessions more than Jesus and he could not be obedient to Christ's instruction. Therefore, he could not be a Christian, even though he thought he wanted to be.

Bruce, of course I would leave my "religion" behind if Jesus was telling me to. That is why I ask so many questions about church. I want to know what Jesus isn't pleased with and what he is pleased with. But, let's be real, you don't even believe in following the Bible, so you would have no basis in which to oppose any behaviors other than your own personal moral code. So, your question is really invalid, unless you have changed your position again.

Personally, I think that homosexuality is a sin. This is based on the Scriptures and historic interpretation. Only recently has "new" revelatory scholarship arisen trying to prove the Bible has been translated and interpreted incorrectly for all these years. This mocks so many Biblical scholars and Christians over the centuries that I find it laughable. Worse, I see it as another attempt by man to water down the Scriptures to make them politically correct.

The gay lifestyle is beyond acts of sin, it's a lifestyle that gays are proud of and want societal approval for. And there are some gay groups that want church approval too.

Sin that continues after having full knowledge of the truth cannot be covered by Christ's sacrifice. Those who proudly continue have "trampled on the Son of God and have treated the blood of the covenant as if it were common and unholy. Such people have insulted and enraged the Holy Spirit who brings God's mercy to his people." - Hebrews 10:29

These things apply to any types of sinners, not just homosexuals. But, they are certainly not exempt either. It's scary to think that Christians need to be afraid to call homosexuality sin because of the political atmosphere in this country. No matter what you say, if you believe this, you are labeled a gay-hater.

Dorsey, I just read your last post here. I started writing this before you posted, but have taken awhile to finish.

Anyway, OK. I love you man. I err on the side of grace all the time in actions and attitudes. I can see how you would do this with the issue of homosexuality too because you haven't figured it out yet.

But, I don't believe this because a District Office expects me too. Even before I was saved it was common sense that homosexuality was unnatural. And then, I read in the Bible when I was a teenager that it was sinful.

I'm not ready to line people up and judge them either, but Jesus will someday. And in light of that, I think we need to warn them before it happens!

I don't think we should give people the wrong impression that everything's OK if it isn't. Then, we become a false teacher and prophet. In this case, I would rather err on the side of silence than to create false security.

BruceD said...

JB, be careful about what you say you "believe". I know you think you have it all figured out right now. I thought I had it figured out for some 35 years. I used to think about things in a way very similar to you now. And I used to believe that "I would never change" because I had a grip on "the truth".

You can take cheap shots at me all you want, but if I have learned anything about life with God, it is that HE WILL CHANGE YOU! The problem is, when we get so indoctrinated that our doctrine becomes more important than the people in our lives, something is wrong. We can "stand firm" in what we believe, but when we see the harm that comes from our unloving attitudes because of our perception of God, it will begin to eat us up inside.

I know you're trying hard to do what you think God wants you to do. I don't mean to offend you, but I do hope to stir something within each of us... something that will cause us to re-examine the things that we believe, and re-assess the way we see God and other people.

By the way, I have a real hard time believing that you would leave religion for Jesus. I don't think you see yourself as a religious person. And that's certainly OK with me... you can be whatever you want to be. God's love and mercy shines upon you as much as anyone else. I thank God every day that His forgiveness extends far beyond my shortcomings.

jeff said...

JB, be careful about what you say you "believe". I know you think you have it all figured out right now.
What's funny about this is that bruced, you seem to have it all 'figured out' as well. But because the view you've figured out sends everyone to heaven, it's definitely more 'blog-shic' than jb's view.

Granted, I don't always agree 100% with you or jimmybob. But I appreciate you both for having the stones to stand up and actually state what you believe.

Still, I just hate the whole "You think you've got it all figured out" argument, because it's a cheap ploy to make someone who HAS worked out THEIR salvation seem narrowminded, when in fact, we are all narrowminded when it comes to admitting that our views might not be 100% on point.

Bruced, when jimmybob stated that you do not believe the bible, that was hardly a cheap shot. It's a fact you've stated. Your universalist view cannot be fully supported unless scriptural integrity is debunked. It is what it is...

Jimmybob, deny it all you want, but you ARE stuck, smack-dab in the middle ofchurch hierarchical politicizing at it's best. I came out of the A/G church and for all it's faults, the political system is among the worst! It is what it is...

For me, jimmybob's arguments are more scripturally sound. But in my heart, I hope BruceD is right...

I love you guys!

BruceD said...

The gospel of redemption through the grace of God IS hard to "believe" isn't it?

When it is said to "believe in Christ", what exactly is it we are to believe? That He existed? That He taught us how to live correctly? That He came to bring us a new religion? ...Or that He WAS the Messiah foretold by the prophets of old? Personally, I think it's the latter. But sadly, not many people agree.

BTW, I should have been more specific... I thought the cheap shot was, "unless you have changed your position again". Granted, this journey to God IS a process. And growing into a process often involves change. I don't see it as a negative thing. But some people do. I think that those who are unwilling to consider change, are missing an important part of life with God.

If "life with God" is about quality, and not correctness, I'd rather listen to the voice of God speak to me through my heart over reading the history and opinions of a bunch of people who lived thousands of years ago. Besides, determining doctrine from the pages of the bible is subjective at best anyway. Sure, there are many great insights and valuable encouragements within the pages, but to see it as the all-inclusive authority on "who God is", in my opinion, is a bit of a stretch. The bible is like a fiddle, you can make it play any tune you want. Jesus spoke of the "scriptures" as the words of the OT. He claimed to have fulfilled the law, the psalms, and the prophets. Personally, I think He did. But, it seems that most people do not.

And just as I seem to "leave out" some verses of the bible to support my beliefs, those who believe traditionally have to leave portions out too. They say "that's the mystery". Or "that's the paradox". Uhh, ok then.

But, the church conveniently omits a lot of great teaching and understanding so it can makes its doctrine work. An honest look at what they teach doesn't add up for a reasonable person. You have to have a lot of "faith" in something to buy into it. I think more people have faith in their faith, than they do in God.

Sorry to get off track.

ninjanun said...

t's scary to think that Christians need to be afraid to call homosexuality sin because of the political atmosphere in this country.

Jimmybob, you say it's hard in this "political atmosphere" to call homosexuality a sin, but have you ever considered that there is a "political atmosphere" at work in your church that makes it practically a sin to say anything BUT 'homosexuality is a sin?'

In light of the passage in which Jesus asks the rich young ruler to give away all he has, I wonder if you've ever spoken out as vehemently about greed, materialism, and the consumeristic atmosphere that is so prevelant in American churches (which does far more harm on a global scale than same-sex attraction does)?

Read Ron Sider's Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger and let me know how you can stand to see so-called Christians flaunt their wealth in the face of starvation and massive civil rights violations in places like Dafur.

So I ask again, can someone be proud of their wealth and still be a Christian, especially in light of the fact that Sudanese children are dying every day from starvation, due to America's (and other countries) policies and "lifestyle" of consuming more than our fair share of the world's resources?

jeff said...

If "life with God" is about quality, and not correctness, I'd rather listen to the voice of God speak to me through my heart over reading the history and opinions of a bunch of people who lived thousands of years ago.
Why does it have to be either/or? How do you identify the 'voice of God' versus your own thoughts or indigestion?? Can't the "word of God" serve as a plumb line for those kinds of measures?

The bible is like a fiddle, you can make it play any tune you want.
Ha! That's great!! That's the reason we have so many damn-ominations...

Conversely, the bible has the potential to be a book in which the same passage can speak two entirely different but pertinent messages to different people. That's one of the qualities I love most about scripture.

Still, when I read your writings, bruced, I find my heart longing for your view to be right, just because that's the way God should be, in my mind.

But when I consider the teachings of Jesus... and then the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus, the rejection of such a sacrifice seems deserving of true judgement.

It's tough. But I still hope you're the one who's right, bruce!!

KnowNoTone said...

Folks,

First of all, my hat is off to Dorsey and Mike for their desire to reveal Christ and present a ministry of reconcilliation to the Gay Community. This took a lot of courage, humility, and a desire to tread where few "modern Americans Christians" dare to go.

That being said, my heart is in quite a quandary over "the whole" of this issue. In the first place, I'm a divorced/remarried (D&R) Christian and I've certainly experienced the piercing/unrelenting condemnation that comes from trying to "measure up" to to the "evangelical standard" that surrounds this volatile issue. I spent nearly two decades consternating over this with 100's of hour studying the Scriptures/Commentaries, and all things D&R in the Hebrew & Greek, plus a fair amount of how D&R has played out in Church History.

My conclusion, I can only trust in Christ mercies. Thankfully my first marriage did not produce any children (I'm a child of D&R too, so I know the devastation involved with this).

Fortunately, as reprehensible as D&R to much of Christ's Church, I'm still a straight guy who remarried simply because "it's not good for man to be alone" AND "it's better to marry than to burn". In other words, most "evanjelly" Christians will kind of side-step D&R Christians like me because I simply wanted what God already prescribed for me - as a straight Christ-confessing guy whose first marriage "blew up" because it did not operate on Scriptural grounds - i.e. "two were decidedly NOT one flesh". Ok, enough said and as a gentle forwarning, I categorically refuse to engage in a war over the various D&R positions within Christendom :)

Now, we also know there are PLENY of Christian men (and probably some women) who lust regularly and even leer at the opposite (same?) sex to fulfill their own carnal desires. Beyond this there is the whole masturbation/porn complex that 1000's of Christ-professing and by all outward observations "Godly" Christians are involved with secretly.

Many of these folks, like most D&R's I suspect - are basically "off the Chruch's radar". These things are done in secret, and while they produce varying levels of condemnation and conviction they are "forgiveable" and they don't tend to have an associated glaring outward stigma.

Then there are the so-called "flaming homosexuals" - those who relish the flamboyant, in-your-face, I'm out and proud of it, etc. These, more than probably any singular identity group are "on the radar" of virtually every conservative Christian group, ministry, or Chruch. Problem is, how does the group differ, in God's eyes, from "off-the-radar Christians" who practice masturbation while viewing pornography - or even the occassional "slip-up" where the neigbhor's wife gets undue attention?

Frankly, as little as I can personally identity with the "flamboyant homosexual" group of folks and even though in some sense they could be called "an enemy", Christ commands ME to love them - even if it as an enemy. What Dorse and Mike did last weekend was exactly that! Can we all be challenged to practice this at some level? For example, I'm very challenged to consider how to volunteer at the local AIDS hospice. Could it be that attending the bedside of a lonely gay man dying with AIDS would help me understand how to reveal Christ to those many in the Chruch considers their sworn enemy?

Now, what about gays who seeminly eschew being "I'm the-fag-in-your-face" and for following Christ? Some subset of these folks would even concede that they are willing to remain "single" and on their own deal with the impulses their orientation produces (in reality the similar to the very impulses that motivate any straight person to want marriage, sexual intimacy, etc. - just focused on the same sex), to be part of Christ's Church in "good standing."

Can we a followers of Jesus Christ offer them the same mercy we give ourselves when we lust after our co-worker, our neighbor's wife, or look upon pornography?

There is NOT one Christian who can lay claim to any righteousness apart from Christ's mercy.

Luke 18:13-14 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

We are that dear publican friends.

JimmyBob said...

Ninjanun, I'll come back later with more comments, but I did want to say that you have good points about greed and materialism, etc. My answer is "No." You cannot serve both God and money. And yes, I have preached about greed and money.

I would like to know which words I used that were vehement about homosexuality, however.

It is possible that our church has a political atmosphere that is how you described. Maybe there are some who think differently and are afraid to say anything. But, I think that the average Christians in our congregation would definitely see homosexuality as sin.

Bruce, it was not my intention to throw a cheap shot at you at all. Jeff's comments explained my thoughts exactly. My statetement about changing your position again wasn't meant to imply you change all the time, but simply that you once had a view that changed, and if you thought differently now, it would be another change. That's all. I didn't want to assume you still held the same view about the Scriptures.

Finally, I want to once again reiterate that I love what Dorsey and Mike did. If I could have been there I would have joined them.

DCMetalJr said...

Dorsey,

I think what you did was really great. Some people wait to be "led by the spirit" to reach out to those in need. I am glad to see someone leading by following Jesus. I, too, wish I could have gone for many reasons, but I really think Penn's Landing is a cool place to visit (though I have only been there a few times on weekday mornings when almost noone was there).

I have a simple question for everyone. Is it possible to sin?

If it is possible to sin, do we all sin? How is sin defined? Does God love AND forgive unconditionally? Will God forgive us of a sin if we don't confess it? What if we don't admit it? What if we promote it?

I don't think that anything we do here will change truth. Facts change all the time. Today is sunday, and that's a fact. That won't be the fact tomorrow. Truth never changes.

Why do we need Jesus if we don't need to be forgiven? Is it wrong to be rich? Well, if it is or isn't would that make a difference of whether it is wrong to commit sexual sin? Is it worse to masturbate, fool around with your neighbor, or practice homosexuality? If they are all sins then they are all bad.

Satan is an expert at making sin look righteous. He'd love for us to eat poison directly, but he has to put the poison in candy for us to want it. Right now Satan is involved in a campaign to make all christians look bad. To destroy the credibility of christians. If he can get christians to accept homosexuality, what is next? Will homosexual christians support another's right to be a nazi Jew hater who thinks non-whites are not human? NO WAY!

One thing is for certain, most christians nowadays would rather bash other christians for disliking sin rather than recognizing the sin and attempting to bring reconciliation through Christ.

KnowNoTone said...

... some good points above

After over 30 years of 20th-21st Century Christian experience I'm convinced of one thing ... disliking sin does not improve my ability to sin less, it simply makes me more occupied with myself and my own "performance".

To quote Derek Webb:

"I am a whore, I must confess I put You (Christ) on like a wedding dress, and run down the isle, run down the isle

Christians can "take stands" and pontificate 24-7 and that's not gonna change much. Only, the power of Christ working in people can do this.

At the risk of drawing fire, does anyone really think there own piety, personal autonomy, or even ultimate decision got them saved? The Scriptures I read don't support that - it's the power and mercy of Christ! If it's anything else then your salvation is NOT a miracle wrought by God's grace alone. This being true, neither is sanctification - it's a lifelong process where "Christ works in us, to will and to work according to HIS good pleasure". Of course we cooperate in this process.

Of course the preaching of the Word of God is essential to the Christ's Church. However, there is entirely too much Christian rhetoric being bandied about these days in the name of supporting "ministries" and "Christian celebrities" that are attempting to save America from the scourge of various sinful plaques.

I don't think the message many of us advocate here is that God is OK with the overt homosexual lifestyle promoted by many radical gays.

I do believe that many (from diverese doctrinal backrounds and Christian experiences) simply believe it's time for us to speak and act toward everyone (including all "camps" in the homosexual community) from the same mercy and overwhelming grace that Christ miraculously saved us with!

We've been given the gift of Christ's righteousness, even so we sin because we are presently still sinners (saved only by grace):

Simul Iustus et Peccator

"At the same time righteous and a sinner.

DCMetalJr said...

"I don't think the message many of us advocate here is that God is OK with the overt homosexual lifestyle promoted by many radical gays."

My question is: Is God okay with any homosexual lifestyle promoted by anyone, gay or not, radical or not, christian or not?

Is there sin and is it wrong?

Steve said...

DC....

If he can get christians to accept homosexuality, what is next? Will homosexual christians support another's right to be a nazi Jew hater who thinks non-whites are not human? NO WAY!

You make some good arguments without going slippery slope on us. That type of rhetoric weakens the rest of your arguments in my opinion. It's like those that say - if we allow homosexuals to marry, what about people marrying animals.... that's a ridiculous argument.

Right now Satan is involved in a campaign to make all christians look bad.

I think Christians look bad because they have free will and behave badly. The devil doesn't make them or anyone else do it... they do it to themselves.

JB and others who use this argument: The gay lifestyle is beyond acts of sin, it's a lifestyle that gays are proud of and want societal approval for.

So what is this "lifestyle" you refer to?? Aren't we just talking about the sex act that is a sin in your opinion. Their lives are just like your life...except for having sex with a same-gender person. They work, shop, pay bills and taxes, have sadness and disappointments...

So JB and DC... if it was discovered that a homosexual attended your church would you ask them to leave?

Dorse... masturbation is a sin??

JimmyBob said...

Steve, I guess I use the word lifestyle because I am referring to a person who is living that way all the time. I have heard of people experimenting with being gay.

I would not kick anyone out of my church unless they were being innapropriate and disruptive.

I had a student removed for one youth service who was being very disrespectful and disobedient. I asked a student to leave for 30 days because he was propositioning girls with foul language.

And, in 11 years of full-time service, I have only seen one person actually excommunicated. He was a married youth leader of mine who was having a secret relationship with one of our students. It all came out and he was told to leave.

Steve said...

Living what way? In what way are gay people "living" that would preclude them from being Christians?

In what areas of my life as a straight person would I be living that would preclude me from being a Christian in your opinion?

JimmyBob said...

Steve, gay people have embraced their lust for the same sex and allow that to lead to sexual acts.

I think that no matter how much time we spend explaining our views, it will boil down to either believing homosexuality is sin or believing it's not a sin.

My point is that anyone who takes what is sinful and embraces it as if it is not sin, is living a lifestyle that will preclude them from being a Christian.

So, if straight people have sex outside of marriage and embrace their promiscuity as if it were not sinful, then I think that would preclude them from being Christians too.

Imagine this prayer to Christ. "Jesus, I want to follow you for the rest of my life. Please forgive my sins. What Lord? You forgive all my sins, including when I killed those Jews who became Christians? But, I had every right to kill them. You can't say I did anything wrong, so what's there to forgive? I'll do it again if given the chance. Huh? What do you mean that makes no sense? How can I follow you and continue to kill converted Jews? Well, I thought you'd just accept me the way I am. Why do I have to change anything? You're giving me your holiness and placing your ways in me? But, I don't want to change. I guess I don't want to follow you after all, if that's the way it's going to be."

KnowNoTone said...

ya know what,

When Jesus truly peforms a work of regeneration in someone they (even if it's takes some time to bear fruit) WANT to follow Jesus.

JB, the problem I'm hearing in some of your argments is that you seem to be saying that a sinful man (or woman) who the Scriptures declare to be spiritually dead can effect this regeneration because they want to and/or have been sufficently "challenged" by the Christian message.

If we then apply this to the homosexual issue, or any issue of "sexual sin" (including straight Christian men who wank whilst thinking about their sexy neighbor) then it would seem we are left somewhere between a human effort that meets an evanjelly/holiness "repentance ritual/altar call".

I say it clearly. I don't believe the true regerative work of the Holy Spirit produces someone who will utlimately want the gay lifestyle or consider continual masturbation as a Scriptural alternative to a healthy marriage.

At the same time, human sexuality is rooted so deeply in who we are that the struggle, which may include periodic failure, will no doubt be present in many many gay and straight folk who walk with Jesus Christ.

The proof positiive in all of this is number of allegedly "mature" Christian leaders, music celebs, Preachers, and "visionaries" who get "caught with their knickers down (in one form or another)" even decades after they became Christians.

Examples:

Jim Bakker
Jimmy Swaggart
Paul Crouch?
Aimee Semple McPherson
Amy Grant
Clay Crosse
Carl H. Stevens - aged leader of the evanjelly cult "Greater Grace World Outreach (Read testimony from his former secretary)
... and I'm sure many more names could be added

That's just the "tip of the iceberg". People sin because they are sinners. Yes, the consequences are horrible. The lack of peace, the sick feelings of perversion and impurity that flood the soul and cloud the mind. The overwhelming urge to "do it one last time" to gratify the flesh.

This the common experience of anyone who has been transformed by the miracle of Christ's regeneration and understands that He IS Lord (we don't make Him such - He IS).

So, what's the answer? David's inspried Psalm gives it to us:

Psalms 51:1-6 ¶ Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. 3 For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. 4 Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are proved right when you speak and justified when you judge. 5 Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. 6 Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place.

jeff said...

So, if straight people have sex outside of marriage and embrace their promiscuity as if it were not sinful, then I think that would preclude them from being Christians too.
I was reading along, just waiting for this point to be brought out.

This is the reason christians want gay marriage banned. If marriage between homosexuals is not a recognized union then, no matter how we say we feel about the homosexual act, any physicality between non-married gays still falls back into the safety zone of garden-variety adultery.

It's really pretty slick, if you ask me. Personally, I believe that to maintain the integrity of the argument of homosexuality's scriptural validity, it should be discussed within the parameters of its own theological implications, not some fall-back argument that is politically motivated to begin with.

In other words, if someone believes it's sin, then it's sin. And I would suggest they do not participate in it. If they have friends who are gay, and feel impressed to share scripture (within the dynamic of the friend-relationship), only the level of friendship will bear-out if that is the right thing to do.

Where we miss it is all this yelling and screaming that only makes idiotic christians look more like idiots...

DCMetalJr said...

nonotone,

I agree with most of what you have said. Our change is more like a regenerative process. But it is one that can be resisted. We have a free will, therefore we can choose not to be healed/changed/etc...

It appears to me that the gay and lesbian community doesn't have any desire to be changed, including those calling themselves christians. They want to enact change in everyone else. If their lifestyle or acts are sin then they need to recognize their sin, just like I had to recognize my sin of listening to Barry Mannilow. They then can confess their sins and allow the healing works to begin. It won't happen overnight, and they may fall at times (sometimes I just can't resist the beat of Copacabana) but there is no time in which we, as christians, should accept the lifestyle that they must be changed from.

For me, this isn't about homosexuals needing to change. This is about christians, in an attempt to show love, accepting the sin with the sinner. That just encourages the sinner to follow the sin.

Is there sin and is it wrong? Everyone dances aroung this question, but is homosexuality or even promiscuity a sin? Yes or no?

KnowNoTone said...

dcmeta...

You might have also picked up that I'm not real strong on the "free will" argument. We may have a "free will" do a lot of things, I agree (including cooperate with the Holy Spirit's process of sancification ONCE we are saved), but I don't believe that until Christ sovereignly regenerates a person that entering into and walking in the Christian life is one of them (this may be an unpopular stance with many readers - but it is the prevailing doctrine of "evanglical" Christianity until the Second Great Awakening and Finney came along).

Therefore, while the Scriptures categorically decry ALL forms of sexual expression outside of the man/wife marriage bed as sin (see I agreed with you), I don't expect the unregenerate to have the same convictions about sin as the regenerate.

A genuine mircale of Christian conversion will produce an ongoing desire for growth. That being said, there are plenty of us with decades as adult Christians who have experienced being "side-lined" in this growth process for long periods of time.

That my friend, is why I'm soooo glad that Jesus Christ "is a friend of sinners".

Steve said...

JimmyBob.... How can I follow you and continue to kill converted Jews?

Well thank you for the real world example. I understand you are equating that sin is sin is sin....

So it isn't just sexual sin that's the problem then. So let's use your slippery slope and work backwards then. Sin is sin is sin..... all sin is equal right?

So you do not believe in the security of the believer? What about lying? What about lust in your heart? Masturbation? They are all sins? How does one know when they are in or not by your standards....

DCMetalJr said...

"Therefore, while the Scriptures categorically decry ALL forms of sexual expression outside of the man/wife marriage bed as sin (see I agreed with you), I don't expect the unregenerate to have the same convictions about sin as the regenerate.

A genuine mircale of Christian conversion will produce an ongoing desire for growth. That being said, there are plenty of us with decades as adult Christians who have experienced being "side-lined" in this growth process for long periods of time."

In this instance are the "unregenerate" people that you mention already christians? When does the "miracle of Christian conversion" take place? If it does "produce an ongoing desire for growth" then can we assume that the "christians" who practice and promote homosexuality (which you do qualify as sin) are "unregenerate" and have not experienced the "miracle of Christrian conversion"?

Steve said...

DC... just like I had to recognize my sin of listening to Barry Mannilow....(sometimes I just can't resist the beat of Copacabana)

This is the best thing I have ever read... I am laughing so hard right now I can't stand it...

But actually I feel really sad for you. It does help me understand you more and get into your mindset. Someone who claims to have excepted God's grace that thinks this way. I just said a pray for you that you will discover how deep and wide and wonderful the love of God is.

I know you hate me (which I don't get) and don't want me even addressing you... but I feel sad for people who have bought the religious line that it's the things they do or don't do that establishes their righteousness in Christ.

Recovering said...

Dorsey,
Having worked in public relations/media/marketing for a while now, I am impressed with the coverage you got in a GLBT paper! Both those articles were great!

I am encouraged and challenged by your willingness to put yourself out there! You really made yourself vulnerable and I thought the message and delivery was loving and it seems obvious you had an impact on a number of people.

If you every do this again, you can count me in for a donation or whatever help I can give from the Midwest.

Bravo!

ninjanun said...

I think if Christians stopped focusing on others' sins (and why the preoccupation with sexual sin, especially?) and started focusing on how they can live for Christ by serving others, we'd all be a lot better off.

It seems that many Christians who are against the "gay lifestyle" spend more time thinking about gay sex than gay people do!

JimmyBob said...

Everyone! Go back and read my last post carefully! We're getting off on the wrong track.

If I thought for one moment that we will live sin free, then I would be a heretic. That's why we need a savior!

So, 1 million points to the first person who can pick up what I really said about what precludes anyone from being a Christian. (Sorry, I just came back from a week of youth camp!) So far, I think DC is the closest.

Zeke said...

JB, I'm not surprised you feel misunderstood. You are taking an emotionally-charged issue that has serious impact on real people's lives and you're drawing absolutist analogies that reveal how little you understand or appreciate what it means to be gay and Christian. I can't speak from first hand experience but at least, like Dorsey, I'm trying to understand.

But understanding other people means you must stop judging them. God doesn't need you or me to police his flock, JB. You can stand on a few (a very very few) Scriptures about church discipline and take them on as if they're your responsibility, or you could chill out and just learn what it might mean to walk in another person's shoes.

Fact is, the evangelical church has, through its thoughtless handling of gays, caused an enormous amount of pain in people's lives. I have decided not to participate in heaping on any more of that. Instead, I want to give gays a hearing for no other purpose than to better understand them and the pains and struggles and joys that they in their unique capacity.

Neither you nor I can fully appreciate, practically or spiritually, what it means to be gay. But if you want to try to understand you have to stop taking responsibility for "taking a stand" on something that you have no control over.

Jim Jordan said...

Jimmybob is simply saying that embracing your sins is equal to having an unrepentant attitude. It's the truth, and it applies to all of us. Now, a homosexual who doesn't want to change and instead preaches "gay pride" is unrepentant and does not want Jesus to lead them, at least not yet. I don't think we help gays by saying God accepts their homosexuality. If God accepted us just the way we are, then we wouldn't have needed Christ.

I like to think that He looks at us the way He made us, which is wonderfully, and even though we have fallen, He stills loves His wonderful creation. That's the feeling I got when I first felt the presence of God. He revealed Himself and at the same time, He revealed my "true self", as Thomas Merton called it. There is nothing like communion with God, and there's nothing good enough (or lasting enough) in this world to risk that reunion with Him. That should be our message I think.

Zeke,
Aren't you forgetting the Great Commission (Acts 1:8)? We are called to be witnesses for Christ. Look what He did for all of mankind, and for me, changing my life! etc. You want JB to focus on the goodness of god rather than the badness of sin, perhaps. But the Word is still the Word, and Christians shouldn't fight over public relations. Or at least say "this is a public relations issue" and deal with it that way. Furthermore, if it's no good to judge, then why are you judging JB?
Take care

Steve said...

Zeke... wish I could write like that sometimes... good stuff.

JB.... I got your point earlier about what precludes a person from being a Christian...

Sin is a gray issue and the church (and church people) likes to come in and dictate what is sin and isn't. The Bible teaches many things that were once allowed that now we consider culturally unacceptable. it also forbids or discourages things that we routinely accept.

I don't think masturbation is a sin. I think teaching that it is might be. Doing so can heap unmitigated guilt on the heads of teenagers struggling mightily to understand their sexuality.

I don't think homosexuality is a sin. Nor do I think listening to Barry Manilow is a sin (at least not for the same reasons DC does).

So what is sin for one person isn't viewed as sin for another... and to say you have decided what precludes someone from being a Christian is a judgement on your part (as Zeke points out). Again I am not saying sin is relative, because I am certain it isn't in God's eyes, but I think it has less to do with our external trappings and works (which are easy to judge) and more to do with the inner workings of our hearts and who we are becoming (or truly are).

I don't know who is in or out.... and no one does... only God does and he's not telling.

JimmyBob said...

Blogging is tough. You can't read tones or see faces.

Zeke and Steve, if you knew me, you may respond differently.

Everything I have said makes Scriptural sense to me and that's why I stand by it. I have also used the words "I think" to leave room for responses that say, "I think differently."

I don't see how it makes me a judge (in a negative sense) to say that if you refuse to recognize your sins, embrace them, be proud of them, etc., you cannot follow Christ. This is what Christ taught. I can't state what Jesus says without being judgmental?

I guess the ultimate conclusion I come to based on your responses is that I should throw away the New Testament. But, I cannot do that and still believe in Jesus. Atleast not the Jesus that walked with real men and started Christianity.

The other thing is that just because we are having this discussion doesn't mean I am preoccupied with the subject, it's the most important thing facing America, or any of that. It just happens to be the topic at hand. I wanted to address Dorsey's conclusions.

The subject of sin is paramount, however, or the Holy Spirit would not have impressed the New Testament writers to speak of it so much.

Zeke said...

JB, how do you treat divorced couples in your church? Do they all divorce only for sexual immorality, and never remarry? And if they divorce for reasons other than sexual immorality and if they do get remarried, why do you tolerate their adultery?

Steve said...

JB... couldn't agree more about blogging in the sense of its limits... however, it's a great forum for the discussion of ideas, principles and formulating our own thoughts together.

I don't know how knowing you would cause me to respond differently to you. I don't think I have said anything personally towards you.

And I don't disagree with what you say Christ taught... but he taught that it goes beyond externals.

I don't think you should throw out the NT. I think you should read it with a more critical approach (in light of historical, cultural and textural conditions).... as should I.

Also, Jesus didn't start Christianity. His followers did... I personally don't know if this (Christianity, especially the American Evnagelical kind) was what he had in mind.

Jim Jordan said...

Steve,
Do you do research?

Also, Jesus didn't start Christianity.

(reality) Check, please!

Steve said...

Show me that he did.... where did he say he came to establish a new religion called Christianity or any other religion for that matter. Christianity was the religion founded by his followers... not by Christ. You do the research and please, by all means, prove me wrong.

BruceD said...

We want "religion" so badly, don't we? We look right past the incredible work of mercy demonstrated by the cross, and focus on our desire for rules and guidelines for life. We want so desperately to win God's favor, when we won't allow ourselves to realize that He can't favor us any more than He already does. He favored us enough to die for us! What more can anyone do to prove their love?

We don't want Christ, nor do we trust that He is who He said He was and rely on His work to connect us to God. Like the young rich ruler, we want think we can find salvation through our own efforts. We want to be in control of ours, and other people's, destiny. Why? Because we don't trust God. And, more than anything else, that's what the cross was all about. God showed us that death has no grip on us. Just as the Son trusted the Father with his life, we can too! But no... we'd rather trust in our own abilities to work our way to God by doing things "right". I think God says, "you cannot come to me, because I have already come to you." But, still we try...

JimmyBob said...

Zeke, what do you mean by how my church "treats" divorced people? We sometimes have a divorce care group that meets weekly (depending on the need) that includes divorced people from the community as well as the church. We try to understand their situations and give them the support they need. I have never heard of one person who "embraced" their divorce like it was something to be proud of. These are hurting people.

Scripture leaves room for interpretation when it talks about marital unfaithfulness as a reason for divorce. But, as someone once pointed out to me (DC), God's ultimate desire is reconciliation rather than divorce. But, Jesus did leave it open.

Remarriage, on the other hand, is the sticking point. Jesus was very clear on this in regards to adultery. I think we've missed the boat here in society. I don't think it is God's desire that there should be remarriages when the other spouse is still living, based on Jesus' statements. But, we do it anyway. My mom and dad did it (although they did not know Christ at the time). How else should we take Jesus?

I think that after you marry, it should be permanent (even if it is a remarriage). It becomes God's will that you stay together. God forgives you and uses you to touch other people.

In the church I attend, this may preclude you from being a deacon, depending on when you remarried (before or after conversion). But, as far as everything else goes, it is never an issue.

I guess I see adultery as an act, not as a permanent state in regards to marriage. What's done is done and you go on from there.

Recovering said...

Oh my God, jimmybob makes my head explode. And that is on a patient day.

I don't necessarily disagree with a whole lot of what you are saying but we as bloggers spend a lot of time typing out this stuff knowing that no one is going to change their mind about any of this...

Zeke said...

In the church I attend, this may preclude you from being a deacon, depending on when you remarried (before or after conversion). But, as far as everything else goes, it is never an issue.

I guess I see adultery as an act, not as a permanent state in regards to marriage. What's done is done and you go on from there.


In other words, you and your church have found ways to minister to and accept people who do what you admit is circumscribed by some Scripture. And you rationalize it by saying that it is a one time event, not a lifestyle. However, there are plenty of Christians that divorce and remarry with full knowledge of these Scriptures. You didn't mention personal examples but you know they're all over the place.

As for the "pride" issue, you try getting crapped on by society and religion over and over again and see if, in response, you decide to accept what you are openly and publicly and you reject what others think they know and understand about you. Maybe you'll decide to march in a parade or put a bumpersticker on your car as a way of saying, "you've told me there's something wrong with me all my life... but I'm the one who has to live in my skin, not you, so bugger off and mind your own beeswax!"

And there's the rub, JB--they are the ones who have to live their lives in their skins. Not you or me. You and I have no idea what it's like to live as a gay person, although it seems as if some of us are more willing to make an effort than others to try and understand.

But making that effort is meaningless if you start with the premise that they just need to be made un-gay. You've made them wrong, and nobody who's aware that you think they're wrong in the head or wrong in the soul will give you the stink off their poop for your efforts to "get to understand" them.

What I'm saying isn't that complicated, JB. All I'm suggesting is that you give it a rest and let these people work out their salvation without quoting the same Scriptures over and over again. Stop preaching and start listening, maybe. I dunno.

Or you can "take a stand" for the Bible and Scripture and Jesus or whatever, and get the same results the church has been getting for decades. Which ain't much.

Zeke said...

we as bloggers spend a lot of time typing out this stuff knowing that no one is going to change their mind about any of this...

I haven't found that to be the case at all. I have been changed by these blog exchanges, and I know I've had a personal influence on others. This stuff matters. It's life.

Steve said...

JB says.... Remarriage, on the other hand, is the sticking point. Jesus was very clear on this in regards to adultery.... I don't think it is God's desire that there should be remarriages when the other spouse is still living, based on Jesus' statements. But, we do it anyway.... I guess I see adultery as an act, not as a permanent state in regards to marriage. What's done is done and you go on from there.

BINGO! So divorced people (even professing Christians) that remarry while the spouse is still living are in a "lifestyle" of sin and embracing sin as if it is not sin.... wouldn't this preclude them from being Christians also JimmyBob? That's a logical conclusion that I make from your statements.

Yet because they are heterosexual it is an act, not a permanent state. When does it begin to not be a permanent state of sin in your opinion? Is there a point in time when it ceases to be adulterous and begins to be accepted so everyone can "move on from there"?

Kris said...

Good job Dorsey!
Why do you always upset the rulers? You know you have much to learn, I can't believe you would pass out coffee cards to sinners, much less eat and drink with them. LOL

To JimmyBob, I know many have been critical of your comments here, but would please read my comments?
JB said this:
"The rich young ruler wanted Jesus and was a follower of the commandments since he was a child. The only problem was that he wanted possessions more than Jesus and he could not be obedient to Christ's instruction. Therefore, he could not be a Christian, even though he thought he wanted to be."

NO JB, the rich ruler was stumbling over the stumbling stone of Christ. The ruler's unbelief was still blinding him to works based salvation. The disciples didn't say 'oh well, he won't give it up, too bad for him', they were amazed, they even asked the Lord "then who can be saved?"

Do you think you are saved because you have sold everything and followed Christ? Do you think anyone is saved eternally by giving something up to be righteous before God? The only thing we give up is our own righteousness for Christ's.

Here is something else you said that is I think is a mis-interpretation of scripture:

"Sin that continues after having full knowledge of the truth cannot be covered by Christ's sacrifice. Those who proudly continue have "trampled on the Son of God and have treated the blood of the covenant as if it were common and unholy. Such people have insulted and enraged the Holy Spirit who brings God's mercy to his people." - Hebrews 10:29"

This sin in Hebrews is the sin of unbelief in Christ atonement, not a sin against the Law of God. There is only one sin that keeps a person from the book of life, that is the sin of unbelief in Christ.(John 16:8-11) Read it in context and in context of the whole book of Hebrews.

I wrote a post on this. Please look at it and see if this interpretation could be right.
http://okie-dokies.blogspot.com/

jeff said...

Okay... forgive me but I must interrupt.

Zeke said:
and nobody who's aware that you think they're wrong in the head or wrong in the soul will give you the stink off their poop for your efforts to "get to understand" them.


Stink off their poop?!? HAHAHAHA!!! That's funny!!

Okay, sorry about that. Please resume, gay-lovers and gay-haters.

JimmyBob said...

Listen guys, I've never been in an anti-gay rally, I've never protested at a parade, Dorsey did not upset me, I support him and would do the same. Just take a calm look at my statements.

Recovering, if I make your head explode, it doesn't take much. We have a class for that too. I almost had to attend it myself after a night of blogging.

Jeff, I miss your blog and I want to know how your 30 days is going. Also, I want to know how much weight you've gained.

Steve, so what do you do with Jesus' teaching? Zeke says, "Or you can "take a stand" for the Bible and Scripture and Jesus or whatever, and get the same results the church has been getting for decades. Which ain't much."

Kris, I respectfully disagree with your conclusions about the rich young ruler. You said, "Do you think you are saved because you have sold everything and followed Christ? Do you think anyone is saved eternally by giving something up to be righteous before God? The only thing we give up is our own righteousness for Christ's."

Here is the difference in our viewpoints, I think. You make that bolded statement and think, this has nothing to do with the way I live my life. I can make that same statement and think it has everything with the way I live, because how I live is proof of what I believe. The rich young ruler obeyed all the commandments in his own righteousness. When Jesus wanted to give him His righteousness by telling him to sell his stuff and give the money to the poor, he didn't want to. If he had been willing to be obedient to Christ, then it would have proved that he now had the righteousness of Christ, because who would do such a thing on their own? That is why the disciples were astounded. Don't forget, it was Peter a couple of verses later that asked, "We have given up everything to follow you. What will we get out of it?"

As a side note, it is interesting to see what Jesus said about marriage in Matthew 19 (the same chapter as this story).

So, to recap my main statements that seem to have Recovering about to explode:

1. If you refuse to recognize your own sins, you can't be saved.

2. I believe the Bible makes it clear that homosexuality is a sin. *Even Jesus recognized marriage as between a man and a woman!

3. I believe that remarriage while a former spouse is living is an act of adultery, but once you are married you must stay together (or commit further sins).

Steve, you have at least stated your position that you don't believe homosexuality to be a sin. Therefore, you and I simply dissagree on the issue and I can understand why everything I say on this topic will be counter to your beliefs. This might be a topic of a whole other discussion, but if you are right, then what do you do with locker rooms, for example, especially in High School?

Zeke, honestly, we haven't had many homosexuals who wanted help. They usually feel that who they are and what they do is OK. I have talked with Christians who are struggling with gay thoughts and desires, however. I am always open to that. But, there really isn't much you can say to a person who sees no sin, unless you think it's your job to fix them.

KnowNoTone said...

Man it just comforts my soul to no end to see folks spout the dim-witted evanjelly/fundy party line on D&R.

We need to stop being so obsessed with this, with masturbation, and with trying to figure out where on the "conversion timeline" folks sins ocurred.

Damit, we are all sinners, and in God's eyes one little spec'O'lust is eanough to declare any and all of us filthy sexual sinners fit for judgement - but that fact AIN'T the Gospel.

Being rengerate gives us the ability to grow in the "grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ" - no matter how long that takes - He promise NOT to give up on those whom He purchased and redeemed.

The so-called path to "Christian Perferection" is a fucking (I have to use that word sometimes) lie. We live in an eff'd up, fallen world where shat (I mean sin) happens because despite our best efforts to be "holy", we funking can't do it!

A whole bunch of us (some are may even be in the midst of it) have suffered divorce. The whole of Fundamentalist and Pentecostal Christianity has done more to fuck up peoples's lives over this one issue than just about anything else in modern america (I went to college very near the shadow of the AOG "Vatican" so I'm not ignorant of these things).

How in the hell is Christ's church ever gonna learn how to lay our lives down to reach out in Christ's love and mercy to gays (many who continue to die slow, merciless deaths) if we don't start learning how to be ALL OF CHRIST (DUH, like John 4 & 8) to divorced folks.

BruceD said...

JB said, because how I live is proof of what I believe.

Who are you trying to prove it to? Other people? God? Yourself?

Just curious.

If you "believe", why is it necessary to PROVE anything? Will it will you favor with others? Or with God? ...or does it hope to satisfy your doubt in your own beliefs? Either you believe, or you don't.

ninjanun said...

Returning to something Jimmybob said earlier:

Personally, I think that homosexuality is a sin. This is based on the Scriptures and historic interpretation. Only recently has "new" revelatory scholarship arisen trying to prove the Bible has been translated and interpreted incorrectly for all these years. This mocks so many Biblical scholars and Christians over the centuries that I find it laughable. Worse, I see it as another attempt by man to water down the Scriptures to make them politically correct.

You know, it's really hard to take this statement seriously from you, Jimmybob, in light of the fact that you didn't address the valid arguments made about this very thing over on the Eddies blog. It sounds to me like you gave the evidence a cursory reading, and then made this perfunctory and dismissive statement based on nothing more than your own (uninformed) opinion. Care to back up what you say from a historical and textual criticism perspective? You have yet to address the arguments in any sort of convincing, logical way from a scriptural, psychological, or scientific viewpoint. Any evidence about gays that doesn't fit your inerrent-scripture worldview just gets dismissed or ignored. Hardly what I'd call being open-minded and willing to take a hard look at all the evidence.

And when someone comes out of the closet right in front of you, you give them the "I hope you find Jesus" brush-off. But then again, that seems to be the standard MO of people who hold your worldview.

Recovering said...

Zeke,
I don't disagree that many blogs and comments have been challenging and even lifechanging. Yours and Dorsey's blogs on this subject, for example, have been very thought provoking.

I just get frustrated with comment discussions like this where there have been 90+ comments and little sign of any chance of consensus. I think my frustration gets compounded when I read jimmybob comments here and then go over to Josh's blog and ready Tulsaboy's comments. I need an Aspirin...

JimmyBob said...

Bruce, if you said you loved me as a friend, but then kept trying to set my house on fire, flatten my tires, and curse my name to everyone you saw, should I believe you when you say, "I love you?"

If you asked me to forgive you and I said yes, would you really continue to do those things proudly and still expect me to believe that you love me?

What if you never asked me to forgive you, should I just believe you love me in spite of your actions?

Ah, but now we're back to a theological separation. Does our love toward God even matter? Bruce, if you are right, and God's love toward us is ALL that matters, then EVERYONE is saved by the Cross! Throw out the Bible and every ounce of religion! Something very wrong happened in history when the Scriptures were written. Man messed up the true message of Christ.

I can easily see how this is a FREEING experience when you dive into it and let it wash over you.

But, this is not my position. I think that things are much more complicated than that. Even though I have been through many painful situations and made some major mistakes, I have never blamed Christianity for the guilt I feel. I blame myself. I take responsibility for my actions. I don't try to move the sin marker to make me feel better. I allow Christ and His love to wash me and restore me. He is amazing!

So, Bruce, if you're right, we all win. Who could be dissappointed in that?

But, if you're wrong, who loses out? How about those who weren't warned of the coming judgement?

What if I'm wrong? Tell me the real damage I'm doing if everyone wins? Will God think any less of us for trying to please Him (even if He does not expect us to)?

But, what if I'm right. No one loses but those who refused to listen. Some will be saved because the message was spread. The warnings were given.

ninjanun said...

strawman arguments

BruceD said...

Your right, JB. It's not about who's right and who's wrong. But, it's shocking to me that you keep missing my point completely.

It's about trusting God.

Whenever someone "accepts" God within the rules of your religion, they will ALWAYS doubt that they have done it well enough, correctly enough, completely enough. Deep down, we know that we cannot be responsible for our own redemption/salvation. We are human, and we will screw up everything we do. Doubt is the great robber of freedom. Christ came to set the world free from doubt, fear, guilt and shame... and the bondage that comes from attempting to live life through the process of "measuring up". Doubt will eat you alive.

I like you. I think you are seeking something more than the religion that captivates your heart. I think you want real life, and I think you long to enjoy God. All I hope for you is that you be set free to trust God THAT completely. That level of trust isn't something that we can conjure up, but it is a natural reaction to God's love when we can finally realize how incredible it is.

You'll spend your days trying to win God's favor through all your self-imposed obligations. You'll strive to the point of exhaustion, trying to impress God. And you'll drag yourself through life trying to prove to YOURSELF that you love God. Why? Because you doubt.

I know you'll disagree with me. When someone first told me these things, I was in a position similar to yours, and fought those ideas tooth and nail. I also "knew" that I loved God (because I worked so hard to prove it to Him). But, you know what? I grew weary of trying to please God. I burnt out, bigtime.

You're young. You've got a way to go before all this hits you. That's OK, though. God can wait. I only hope to kindle that spark of life in you that seeks more. And maybe I can get you thinking about what it really means to trust God.

I don't mean to harrass you. I will gladly leave you alone if you wish. I'm sorry that I sometimes seem offensive to you. But, because of my love for you, I consider it more important to speak the truth, than worry about being offensive. The truth IS offensive. It shatters all that we know and love.

Like usual, I'm probably saying too much, too soon. But, I believe that everybody deserves to hear the good news of Jesus Christ, and I never tire of sharing the work He has done on our behalf. I will honor your request though. If you would rather not hear these things, I will cease.

I'll leave you with this...

When we know that we are redeemed to the Father though Christ, we will be set free to believe and trust. In that freedom, we will find salvation from ourselves, and our plague of doubts, fears, guilt, and shame. In that salvation, we will know that we are at Peace with our Creator. And Peace is the goal. Redemption brings Peace. This is the gospel of Christ... the Work of the Cross.

Call me crazy if you want. It doesn't bother me at all. In fact, I take it as a compliment.

Great love,

Bruce - the crazyman

JimmyBob said...

Bruce, you can always keep sharing. I'm not offended at all.

Ninjanun, please show me how my arguments with Bruce are strongman arguments. I know what a strongman argument is, but I don't think I've done that. What a waste of time to argue using false representations! I thought I was asking thought provoking questions.

On the other hand, I think you grossly mischaracterized my conversation on the blog you referenced. There is so much more I would like say, but I have to go for now.

One thing's for sure in this blog circle...if you're gonna stick to Scripture, be ready to offend.

Steve said...

JB.... do you think we are not calm since some of us disagree with you?

What do I do with which one of Jesus's teaching?

And as for this.... but if you are right, then what do you do with locker rooms, for example, especially in High School? Huh? I don't even know how this is relevant? Please I can't wait to hear this one.

DCMetalJr said...

Steve,

I apologize. I was wrong to act and say what I did. Will you forgive me?

Steve said...

JB says: I know what a strongman argument is, but I don't think I've done that. OK JB (I say this calmly)... cmon now you have to let us laugh at this one.... you used the wrong word not once but twice...

You have made use of STRAWMAN arguments often here (as does your disciple DC). Earlier we are talking about this issue of homosexuality and you both jump and equate the arguments presented with "Nazi Jew haters (DC)" and the "killing of converted Jews (JB)".

One thing's for sure in this blog circle...if you're gonna stick to Scripture, be ready to offend. That's is if you are gonna stick to your interpretation and application of Scripture.

I am not saying I expect to agree with you... that's not the goal at all times... but solid debate and discussion without consistently resorting to logical fallacies is pretty important.

DCMetalJr said...

As for the locker rooms, what I think JB means is that currently we separate girls from boys for the sake of privacy from onlookers and to keep interested parties separated while disrobed. Should we now make locker rooms to separate gays and straights as well? How do we separate the interested gays from the disinterested gays? I think this could become a right to privacy issue.

Zeke said...

One thing's for sure in this blog circle...if you're gonna stick to Scripture, be ready to offend.

Puh-leeze. Tell me that wasn't a holier-than-thou comment.

Anyhoo... JB, I do respect your desire to be faithful to Scripture. But what do you really know of the verses on homosexuality? Do you know the vigorous debates about the original Greek? Have you given honest mind time to alternative perspectives? Given the stakes at hand, have you taken the time to question the teaching that you've been handed down?

It's way, way too easy to just assume that since our modern translations say "homosexual" that the original Scriptures meant what you and those who taught you think they mean. I don't think that's what they mean. I don't think you've inherited a faithful teaching on homosexuality. That's at issue here, not a desire to throw away Scripture.

Steve said...

DC: Of course I do (I forgave you before you asked)... I have been trying to converse with you not out of spite but to let you know there are no hard feelings... it's all a part of this blogging process. It's not an easy format... but I think it's an honest format...sometimes too honest huh?

And as for the Barry Manilow thing... I am not making fun of you... it just struck me as funny.... and I do feel bad that simple pleasures like some music might make you feel sinful...

I don't pretend to be better than you in this regard. I undertsand your thought process on this, because I was right there with you at one time. I trashed all my "secular" music once to keep myself from "sinning".

You are on your journey as I am on mine... I look forward to learning more from each other.

Steve said...

(I forgave you before you asked)

Sorry that sounded condescending... it wasn't meant that way. What I meant is that I let it go once that little "fray" was over awhile ago.

JimmyBob said...

Steve,

do you think we are not calm since some of us disagree with you?
Not at all. I used the word calm because Recovering said, "Oh my God, jimmybob makes my head explode. And that is on a patient day."

What do I do with which one of Jesus's teaching?
The one on remarriage being adultery.

And as for this.... but if you are right, then what do you do with locker rooms, for example, especially in High School? Huh? I don't even know how this is relevant? Please I can't wait to hear this one.
Well, here's how my thoughts went down with this question. If we separate girls and boys locker rooms because of their genders, mainly for privacy and because we understand that if you put guys and girls in the same changing area, it would definitely be a problem for sexual reasons. Now, if it were generally accepted that homosexuality was normal and common, wouldn't that pose a problem with same gender students and sexual attraction in locker rooms where they are changing? We would have to go to private booths or something. If this seems like a "homophobic" thought, then why don't we just stick guys and girls in the same locker room now? Because what we're really saying is that gender doesn't matter. Right?

DCMetalJr said...

Thanks, Steve.

Actually, I trashed all of my secular music a long time ago as well. I do have some more of it, though. The Barry Mannilow thing was just to get a laugh. (It seems more of a sin to listen to him than any other music.)

I am not afraid of listening to any music (try to defend christian metal to your Church of God pastor in 1986), I am not afraid of watching movies (though I find some of it more offensive than others, that is just choice), and I am not afraid of eating animals that have been sacrificed to idols (though I find that Dick Cheyney's meat is a little tough when sacrificed to the liberals).

JimmyBob said...

Alright, Steve, you can laugh. I am too! What a slip, twice.

You have made use of STRAWMAN arguments often here (as does your disciple DC). Earlier we are talking about this issue of homosexuality and you both jump and equate the arguments presented with "Nazi Jew haters (DC)" and the "killing of converted Jews (JB)".
Actually, I was thinking of the apostle Paul and imagined if he had said those things to Christ. My point was that it would be ridiculous to think he could continue to sin by murdering converts and be a convert himself.

Please explain how that is a strawman argument and why it is to be immediately dismissed without any consideration.

Zeke, It wasn't meant to be a holier-than-thou statement, but one of simple fact. I suppose I could have qualified it more. How many in this circle like fundamentalists in regards to the infallibility of Scripture?

It's way, way too easy to just assume that since our modern translations say "homosexual" that the original Scriptures meant what you and those who taught you think they mean. I don't think that's what they mean. I don't think you've inherited a faithful teaching on homosexuality.
First of all, yes, I have heard those arguments from Ninjanun, etc. I commented on this briefly at the beginning of this post. I said, Personally, I think that homosexuality is a sin. This is based on the Scriptures and historic interpretation. Only recently has "new" revelatory scholarship arisen trying to prove the Bible has been translated and interpreted incorrectly for all these years. This mocks so many Biblical scholars and Christians over the centuries that I find it laughable. Worse, I see it as another attempt by man to water down the Scriptures to make them politically correct."

If homosexuality was OK for Christ and the disciples (like Bishop Spong would want us all to believe), then why does that NOT line up with accepted behaviors historically. If the new Greek findings are such a revelation and accurate, then why do Bible translators refuse to change the words and rephrase passages?

It would be interesting to know how those passages are translated into other languages and how those cultures interpret them. I am going on a quest to find out, soon.

Steve said...

JB... I will answer question after I give it some thought... but you sound like this is a gray area for even you...

I believe that remarriage while a former spouse is living is an act of adultery, but once you are married you must stay together (or commit further sins).

And earlier... I guess I see adultery as an act, not as a permanent state in regards to marriage. What's done is done and you go on from there.

So I will ask again.... Yet because they are heterosexual it is an act, not a permanent state. When does it begin to not be a permanent state of sin in your opinion? Don't they enter into a permanent act of sin once they remarry... isn't remarrying what makes it adultery? I am really confused by your stance. If remarrying is a sin... how does it stop being a sin... wouldn't these people go to hell based on your beliefs.

I don't mean to get to personal, but you brought up your parents. Is it possible that you have come to this position to make sense of the situation close to you... that of your parents? (Except you give the qualifier of them not knowing Christ... which I don't think Jesus qualified his teaching did he?)

My point being here is that sometimes our life situations and experiences help us to see and experience scripture differently.... it helps make sense and live with the inconsistencies between our faith, beliefs and life experiences.

(with thanks to the irreverent reverend for that last idea).

Steve said...

DC....

I was thinking today that you might have meant the Barry Manilow statement as a joke... so I guess I jumped the gun in thinking you were being serious.

For all of those who say I can't admit when I am wrong... I was wrong.... and totally missed the joke.

It was funny.... and you are right.. Manilow is a sin... but dancing to Copacabana might be the unpardonable.

JimmyBob said...

resorting to logical fallacies
Steve, what logical fallacies have I resorted to? I'm not sure I understand your point here. Please explain further. I am missing it, admittedly.

Did you mean logic with the remarriage issue being an adulterous lifestyle versus being an act and yet homosexuality being a lifestyle?

I don't think that is illogical at all. Complicated maybe, but it makes sense. When a man a woman marry they become one flesh. They cannot reverse it. So, they are to remain as one, even if it is their second marriage or beyond.

The opposites can be true too. One can commit homosexual acts and live an adulterous lifestyle. But, I did say that denial of these sins is what precludes us from being Christians. God's Grace is marvelous to those who need Him.

Joshua Sager said...

Honestly ...

I just love the fact that you are wearing a revolution ministry t-shirt.

I LOVE THEM!!!!!

Steve said...

A strawman argument is a logical fallacy... that was my point and what I was referring to in that comment.

I think that is my last post here on this issue.... I have run out of gas... I have some things to reconsider and evaluate and I have gained some insights.

It's been enjoyable and I am sure we will tackle this one somewhere else at another time...

Thanks everyone for the spirited and respectful debate....

JimmyBob said...

Thanks Steve. And I want to agree with Zeke that I think this is definitely worth it. I have learned so much by blogging. I've gotten some great book recommends (especially from Ninjanun), read so many articles, and have heard the views of other people. Views, that quite frankly, I don't hear everyday.

The only thing that would make this better is a face to face roundtable discussion (or I'd settle for couches).

Anyway, I am thankful for having this opportunity. Thanks Dorse, for letting me continue in this, even though you refrained. I love you and I'll see you soon!

Hey, Jeff! When can you give us that update?

KnowNoTone said...

JB,

Do you for one minute see the hyprocrisy of publicly brow-beating divorced folk who remarry, when the very Christians and Preachers that do this can secretly lust?

I left Church for 4 years after my divorce because I got eff'ing tired of dealing the D&R rhetoric.

For starters, until you've taken many years to learn enough about the ancient near-Easteren cultures and the Hebrew Language, you'll not even begin to see the usus loquendithat informs Mathew 19:3-9.

A good place to start is with
David Instone-Brewer's "Divorce & Remarriage in the Bible, the Social and Literary Context"

Don't assume just because you're read some popular Fundy/Pentecostal "exegetes" on this subject that they get it either.

The biggest problem with your view is that you're not addressing marriage as a covenant. In the Scriptures, Marriage is *not* an unconditional covenant. There is more to being "one-flesh" than simply participating in some ritual (i.e. exchanging vows that you won't even find explicitly in the Scriptures) and consumating 1-N times.

The fact is that most marriages end because one or both parties are breaking covenant in the marriage. Would you suggest that this can continue, unrepentant, for years and years and the covenant still be inforce?

Here's an excellent scholarly treatise on this from a covenantal angle

BTW - the author of this, the late Dr. Greg Bahnsen (who was the victim of an adulterous spouse who abandon him and her 4 children) supported remarriage in the case where the marriage covenant was broken for Biblical reasons (i.e. adultery, abandonment, physical abuse, and consistent refusal of sex).

In closing, I simply cannot see HOW the Fundy church can continue to lay such a heavy rap on divorced folk who desire remarriage (DUH, because created most of us to need marriage), and differential it from lust, anger, or anything else that Christ's perfect expostion of God's Law condemns.

And believe me my friend, I understand these things better than you'll probably ever know. I'm a child (13 at the time) of a marriage that was ripped apart by an affair AND have been divorced myself after years in a sex-less marriage.

jeff said...

Hey, Jeff! When can you give us that update?
So I shut down my own site, right? Then I start getting emails and comments from all these lurkers, telling me how much they miss my site. But I really hate blogger, and the fact that they always seem to want to do "rouotine maintenance" when I have something REALLY important to say...

So I have resurrected demerging.com. It is now a humble wordpress site. But it still has access to the chat room, if you guys ever want to schedule that roundtable discussion... (good idea???)

Anyway, I'm back up (for now). I hope you like it. (I think I have serioous issues...)

dorsey said...

Holy crap! I come back from a day in the city with friends and have fourteen jillion comments to read.

On one hand, I'm glad for the extremity of opinions here, because all the differences in our opinions and perceptions get highlighted. On the other hand, I lament the difficulty we have in finding common ground.

In all the talk about what is a sin and what isn't a sin, I keep thinking of the reference in Romans (14, I think) that says whatever is not of faith, is sin (or something like that). I don't know if this is a correct application, but I'm of a mind that anything we do that puts self first is sinful. Therefore, most of what we do is sinful.

I tend to lean towards the mindset that sinning doesn't make one sinful. This would suggest that by ceasing to sin, we can make ourselves sinless. The popular misconception is that Jesus wipes the slate clean, now it's up to us to keep it so (let me know how that works out for you). One is already sinful. That is why he sins. It is in our nature to be selfish. The sooner we understand that we are all in the same boat, the sooner we will be persuaded that grace, not correctness, is of paramount significance in our treatment of each other.

What if we began to scatter grace as seeds? In much the same way as we had no control over what happened with the coffee cards, is it possible that by treating each other with grace, the Holy Spirit can work, fixing what HE thinks needs fixing? Our lack of grace is fueled by our need to control outcomes and to judge results, instead of abandoning them to God and what HE wants to do. The thought that we have the authority to approve or disapprove is its own brand of selfishness.

We have a hell of a time keeping ourselves off that throne, don't we? I know I do.

see-through faith said...

You were Jesus at that meeting. He probably drank a lot of coffee that day too - with those you reached out to!

JimmyBob said...

nonotone,

Thanks for the articles. I'm sorry I gave you the impression that I was that harsh about remarriage. I was just struggling with the Scriptures on this.

I want to say that I have never preached on remarriage or even said anything to anyone about this, except in minister's meetings where we have discussed credentialing, etc. In fact, it was just this morning I asked staff friends here at my church what they thought.

We looked up Matthew 19 and took a fresh look and exchanged ideas. One of the thoughts that came up was that it seems Jesus was saying that remarriage was OK in cases where divorce happened because of unfaithfulness. This makes more sense to me. It also leaves a wide interpretation range of which I don't think anyone can truly judge (unless someone obviously divorces for frivolous reasons).

As far as real life experiences, I said that my mom and dad are both divorced and remarried persons. I have friends in ministry who are divorced and remarried. I would never condemn them or even think about their relationship as sinful. So, I'm not the jerk you think I am. Actually, this whole subject is really an aside to the topic of homosexuality and how we treat sins in the church.

Do you for one minute see the hyprocrisy of publicly brow-beating divorced folk who remarry, when the very Christians and Preachers that do this can secretly lust?
Of course I see the hypocrisy in that. God must be angered by it.

And believe me my friend, I understand these things better than you'll probably ever know.
Just be careful with these kind of statements. I know I'll probably never know you that well, but we all have painful experiences. My dad told me when I was 18 years old that he didn't know if he was my real father. My mother was young (17), an alcoholic, and having sex with other men while my father was in the Air Force stationed in Japan. I was less than a year old and my sister was almost 2 when my mother left us in the house alone all day, while she went out and partied. My uncle found us and took us. Dad came home on emergency leave. They divorced and my dad got custody of my sister and me. When I was 4 years old my dad fell in love with my "Mom." He married her and I gained two new brothers. I love her so much. They have been together ever since and are serving Jesus today. Through them I gained another sister who I love very much and thank God for.

Anyway, I hear your pain. Sorry if I caused you grief by the way I have communicated. I need to learn to be more aware of emotion in blogging. It's very difficult.

Dorsey, you know I don't sit myself up as a judmental person. You've seen me in real life. Ideas and thoughts are one thing, but how they play out tells the real story of a person's character.

Jesus spoke about sin, but he did not condemn. He said that the world is condemned already. He came to seek and save and bring life. He would heal and say "Go and sin no more!"

The acts of the sinful nature are obvious, the Scripture says. We should recognize them, instead of deny them, and receive the mercy of God through Jesus Christ. We're gonna mess up, but He is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

KnowNoTone said...

JB,

Thanks for the kind admonitions. I had no idea about your past (having not read all that many of your blog entries). I'm truly sorry for the loss of your "family of origin" but especially for my initial impression that you were an "AOG flyboy".

Peace in Christ!

DCMetalJr said...

The following article:
http://www.christiancourier.com/archives/
adulteryDefined.htm
discusses the usus loquendi regarding the passage in Matthew 19 regarding adultery and divorce/remarriage.

I am a married man. I, too, bound myself to my wife with vows. At no time during the exchange of vows was it implied or specifically addressed that my adherence to those vows depended on my wife's adherence to her vows. The only time the vows become unbinding are when death parts us.

We know how easily people bring themselves to twist literal scripture so that they are justified in their sin. So let's go the other route: wisdom vs foolishness. (We know God's wisdom is foolishness to the world.) The pro gay people will love this, it's right up their alley of grace.

Is there anything in the words, attitudes, or actions of Jesus that leads us to any other conclusion, when being wronged, than to turn the other cheek? We know this is a short life. We know that bad things will happen to us. We know we'll do many bad things ourselves. So what can our spouse do to us that we cannot forgive?

Let us look at another angle. If we are the bride of Jesus, would He so easily put us away for breaking our vows to him? Everytime we sin we are breaking our vows to Him. Some people do this habitually for years and years. Most people would agree that Jesus would still want to be reconciled to us and us to Him even after our adultery against him.

Based on that, can anybody justify that Jesus, the one who'll forgive His bride 70 x 7 times everyday, will condone and/or excuse an individual from their vows because of neglect, abuse, etc...? The person out there who has been abused by their spouse worse than any other person in the history of the world has still done worse to Jesus, and can be forgiven.

I don't think the bible could be clearer about this or any type of forgiveness when Jesus speaks of the parable in Matthew 18:23-35. In this parable a King forgives his servant of an absolutely huge debt, but the servant then punishes someone who owes him a pittance. The king then punishes the servant for not forgiving the small debt.

How will God judge all of these people who sue for divorce after being wronged? Now, how will God judge all of the christians who told them it was alright and just to divorce? Or is it possible that I am wrong because in this case the abused spouse has more to forgive than being forgiven by Jesus? No way!

We want an easy life. We think it is owed to us. We don't want to be overcomers, we want to be served our justification, righteousness, and forgiveness by a spiritual waiter and we want the whole meal on the house!

It is simple. Jesus lived righteously and died horribly. We are told not to expect anything easier. If we have to endure 80 years of torture before we get to join Jesus for eternity it still wouldn't begin to compare to the unjustified agony Jesus went through for us. We would still be getting off easy.

jeff said...

Having read (most of) these comments, I'm still a little puzzled...

Which is more righteous, a guy who loves boobies, but rejects the concept of Christ as the Son of God, or a dude who plays with other men's ding-dongs, but DOES name the name of Christ??

KnowNoTone said...

DcMetaDude,

I'm glad you can summarize your theology on this issue so succiently and clearly.

I give up. I'll take Christ's mercy. I guess I'm just not worthy to tie your sandals.

BruceD said...

I'm confused... if we can live free of sin, what do we need Jesus for? I think I need to find a new religion, or something. Or like nonotone, maybe I'll just rest and trust Christ's finished work to, once and for all, redeem me to the Father.

Zeke said...

It is simple. Jesus lived righteously and died horribly. We are told not to expect anything easier. If we have to endure 80 years of torture before we get to join Jesus for eternity it still wouldn't begin to compare to the unjustified agony Jesus went through for us. We would still be getting off easy.

When evangelical doctrine is summed up so succinctly and clearly, it makes it easy for me to remember why I'm so fed up with it. Maybe I should go tell my wife that she needs to go honor her original covenant with her first husband, a ne'er do well who last we heard was living in a trailer in Florida and hadn't contacted his daughter--who I've raised as my own--for years.

It's easy to stay on doctrinal point until life catches up with you and deals you a massive shitburger. Then, if you're lucky, life might intervene into your religion and give you its gracious gift of wisdom and compassion. Until then, it's really easy to leave comments like the one you posted.

DCMetalJr said...

To those who replied to me, do you think I am rich? Do you think I am successful? Do you think I have never felt pain, or loss, or regret, or anything else? Or, more to the point, are you such martyrs that you are special? Have we finally found something new under the sun?

Regardless of what "life" has dealt to you (and I work a minimum of 55 hours a week and support a wife and 2 kids while living in a trailer in FLORIDA!) it is all bearable. Nothing will be worse than we can handle, and nothing we are "dealt" will be worse than what we deserve. You have no idea where I come from and the life I have lived. You don't know of my losses (which are considerable) and you don't know the pain I have dealt with. So complaining about what I said will not change truth.

Do you think anybody will be able to stand before Jesus and successfully argue that they were wrongly dealt a bad life? Live for yourself and your flesh and give it a try. Grace isn't obtaining permission. Grace is being forgiven in the midst of sin. If you are a remarried christian I believe you have grace and forgiveness, but don't go and tell others to do the same and ignore God's command to forgive.

This is so similar to the homosexual argument. Instead of recognizing the sin and wanting to be changed (we are a new creation, after all) homosexual christians (oxymoron) want to change truth to excuse sin. And so many people out there will help them. Those people are accountable to God for encouraging sin.

Is there sin? Is there accountability? If we become a new creation then why be surprised that there needs to be change? If the definition of "repent" means to turn 180 degrees, what do we have to repent from?

But don't lay on me the issues you have with truth. Talk to Jesus.

DCMetalJr said...

Senor jefe,

Neither are righteous at all. Or they are equally unrighteous.

mark said...

Dorsey - What awesome action. Please do this again. I'm in Philly six to eight times a year - I'd love to buy you a beer and hear more about this sometime. Peace to you, man.

Steve said...

Sorry I just have one more question/statment....

DC:
You say a homosexual christian is an oxymoron... but why isn't a remarried christian and oxymoron. It seems like you believe grace is extended to that which Christ said was clearly wrong (remarriage) yet grace isn't extended which Christ didn't even mention.

OH... and to plug... everyone come on over to SCP and download the Tony and Peggy Campolo messages... good stuff on this issue for both sides. But please read my post first before you comment... there are a couple of requested guidelines. Thanks....ok I am done.

Zeke said...

But don't lay on me the issues you have with truth. Talk to Jesus.

Like I said, thanks for making it clear why I am fed up with evangefundie-ism.

I told my wife today that I didn't like how ungracious I'd been on this thread. But I don't mind telling you straight off that I'm glad I don't move in churchly circles with people who talk and think like you do.

eddie{F} said...

This is so similar to the homosexual argument. Instead of recognizing the sin and wanting to be changed (we are a new creation, after all) homosexual christians (oxymoron) want to change truth to excuse sin.
Tell me, you have actually lived through the experience of changing your sexual orientation using “Jesus” as the tool? Have you? Do you know the relapse rate of people attempting to change their sexual orientation? Do you?

If you haven’t, then I am afraid to tell you that you have no argument, and no understanding, thus your words is mere hollow fundamentalist rhetoric. I understand – I WAS there once myself.

The real oxymoron is you peddling what you think is “true” according to your interpretation of Scripture.

But DO tell how a homosexual is supposed to be changed. Give it your best shot with all the supporting evidence. Cannot wait ...

KnowNoTone said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
JimmyBob said...

Eddie(f), wouldn't the relapse rate for any tendency or desire be about the same? I mean, if that's what you really crave, it would be hard to counsel you out of it, no matter what. Like for me it would be pasta! Mmmm. Doctor Atkins convinced me to give up the carbs for a little while. But, one day I tried it again and I fell hard. I think the only thing that could cure me would be a heart attack (maybe) or I loose my ability to swallow. Even then I'd probably look at the stuff and wish it was mine to have...

Or God would have to take the craving away.

That last part is what I'm counting on for a friend from Bible College 11 years ago. I told that story in a post on StupidChurchPeople under "A Fresher Perspective."

I'm praying that my friend, who is happily married (I hope), doesn't have to go through a painful relapse. All the statistics and statements against counseling scare me to death. That means alot of pain.

You, Eddie(f), are a lucky man! Not everyone has the kind of love your wife has shown you. I don't remember if you expressed this or not, but maybe even you didn't expect her level of understanding.

Are you fooling with us all? Were you really a jerk to her or something and she's like glad to see you go? I mean, two girls can fight pretty nasty, and she's already got other boyfriends.

I'm just kidding around!

Hey, I've got the same question for you that I had for Steve. What would you do with High School locker rooms? Do you think we should put guys and girls together?

KnowNoTone said...

Folks,

I'll also point out that DC's above above reference to : http://www.christiancourier.com/archives/
adulteryDefined.htm
(discusses the usus loquendi regarding the passage in Matthew 19 regarding adultery and divorce/remarriage)

is from a fundamentalist sect (The Church of Christ) who historicaly has been very intolerant toward other Churches - often believing that they the ONLY true Church. While this sect is not uniform in its application of Scripture (local assemblies retain absolute autonomy and like all parts of Christendom splits over different Biblical interpretations occur) they place little emphasis on the richness of Old Testament Hebrew and the Rabbinical traditions that informed many of the issues that Jesus (and later the Apostles) addressed in the New Testament.

The aforementioned article by all appearances is "scholarly", however it is very light in its of address the usus loquendi surronding adultery, etc. during the EARLY FIRST CENTURY - when Christ actually addressed the Pharisees and spoke the words in Matthew 19.


Dr. David Instone-Brewer on the other hand is one of the formest Scholars in the world on pre-AD 70 Rabbinical Tradition.

His work on Divorce and Remarriage is comprehensive and VERY thorough covering the entire range of Scritpural, Culture, and Linguistic evidence from the early centries B.C. on.

Instone-Brew is not advocating divorce or remarriage for that matter. He simply exposting all available "points of data" in the hope of bring help to suffering Christians.

And for anyone who may be confused, I'm no advocate of Divorce either, but I am for suffering people who have been exploited by the oft well-intentioned fundamentists whose astigmatic views on the subject have further damaged already desperately wonded people with their rhetoric.

KnowNoTone said...

... as an additional point of clarification, the statement in my last post:

The aforementioned article by all appearances is "scholarly", however it is very light in its of address the usus loquendi surronding adultery, etc. during ...

should include "the any-matter divorce" as in:

... in its of address the usus loquendi surronding "the any-matter divorce", adultery, etc. during ...

The "any-matter divorce" frames the context for what Christ is discussing in answer to the Pharisees question. This is where Instone-Brewer goes into great depth on the pre-AD 70 Rabbinical Traditional that informed the usus loquendi of the divorce/remarriage words and concepts present at the time of Christ.

By largely reducing the intpretation of Matthew 19:3-9 to the meaning of the word adultery this context, which is critical to understanding the porition of text is obscured, and as we have seen gives rise to some very absolutist statements about the nature and acceptability of remarriage.

DCMetalJr said...

Nonotone,

One still needs to reconcile the idea that it is okay to ask forgiveness for our sins, yet we are somehow excused from having to forgive. Ultimately, by divorcing, we are not just freeing ourselves from a life prison, but we are punishing a half of ourselves for sin. Jesus makes it clear that it is a messy thing to split a person in half. A spouse, like it or lump it, is a half of a whole person.

People do whatever they want, and they'll justify it to make themselves feel good. They cannot change truth.

People will sin against you and you can forgive or you can react. We are told numerous times to forgive. We are told to forgive no matter what. We are told that justice and judgement are the Lord's. Go and divorce. That's between you and God. But we will meet Him and we will be accountable for our actions.

Is the goal here to help each other understand the simple truth of God's word, or is it to have our ears tickled so we can feel better about ourselves?

BruceD said...

I like that... "we are told to forgive, no matter what."

It's too bad we don't believe God feels the same way about us. Wouldn't that be "freeing"? Sadly, we don't want to be free from all that binds us. We would rather follow a rules-based religion, trying to earn our way into God's favor.

News flash --- God favors us! That's what the cross was all about! Why do so few people understand, or even care about, this?

When will we finally get tired of trying to "do" it ourselves, and trust that Christ has already "done" it?

God cannot be disillusioned with us because He has no illusions of us in the first place! He made us, He knows who we are and what we're made of... and He's OK with that!

When will we let go of our religious mindsets, and simply enjoy life with God?

Christ's love has moved me to such extremes. His love has the first and last word in everything we do. Our firm decision is to work from this focused center: One man died for everyone. That puts everyone in the same boat. He included everyone in his death so that everyone could also be included in his life, a resurrection life, a far better life than people ever lived on their own. Because of this decision we don't evaluate people by what they have or how they look. We looked at the Messiah that way once and got it all wrong, as you know. We certainly don't look at him that way anymore.
(2Co 5:14-16)


Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united (ed: who is united with Christ? Through the work of the cross, we all are! - see previous verses) with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new. The old life is gone; a new life burgeons! Look at it! All this comes from the God who settled the relationship between us and him, and then called us to settle our relationships with each other. God put the world square with himself through the Messiah, giving the world a fresh start by offering forgiveness of sins. God has given us the task of telling everyone what he is doing. We're Christ's representatives. God uses us to persuade men and women to drop their differences and enter into God's work of making things right between them. We're speaking for Christ himself now: Become friends with God; he's already a friend with you.
(2Co 5:17-20 MSG)

Steve said...

Can't seem to get a clear answer to my question:

DC... please answer...

You say a homosexual christian is an oxymoron... but why isn't a remarried christian an oxymoron. It seems like you believe grace is extended to that which Christ said was clearly wrong (remarriage) yet grace isn't extended to that which Christ didn't even mention (homosexuals).

It just seems you are justifying one over the other as well. You said earlier remarried christians are covered by God's grace.

JB: Tell me you just didn't compare homosexuality to a craving you have for pasta. This is the simple crux of it for you... you see gay people as one day just craving a new flavor of sex and going for it. You think that they are like a heterosexual male who just one day are so fallen away from God and led by their lusts that they have to have another man... so they crave for it. They choose it. Let me ask you... do you crave another man? Does that sound appealing to you to have sex with another man? As a purely heterosexual male, I can tell you I have absolutely no desire for other men....and never will no matter if I loved God or not. Could God take away your orientation to be straight?

And to answer your question.... it seems you see homosexuality as a perversion so that sharing a room with a gay person might cause them to lure, or look or try to persuade you to "join their team". Because men have the same parts as men (relatively speaking that is), why should I care if a gay guy sees me naked. If it would bother you to change clothes in front of a gay man, then you are the one with the problem not him.

Sorry everyone.. I can't stay away from commenting over here... I try but I guess I just crave it to much.

jeff said...

I must say, with his 100+ comments to this thread, my brother has now reached demi-god status, although he already told me he will not die for anyone's sins.

Beyond all that, I must say that I don't think any of you in this discussion will EVER find common ground. That's because anytime a mortal human tries to determine what is sin in someone else's life, they miss the point.

Isn't it Paul who says, "Work out your OWN salvation with fear and trembling. Beyond that, shut the hell up and leave everyone else alone!!!"

While Jesus never spoke of homosexuality, He did tell us not to judge others. So, we can conclude that the Messiah had more love for 'fags' than He did for those who called them 'fags'.

dorsey said...

Die for your sins? No way.

The most I would be willing to do is get a nasty papercut for your sins, but only if I could have a couple days off to recuperate, drink beer, and watch movies.

Steve said...

As for me, who said I am trying to find common ground?? Now what would the fun in that be...

I am just looking for consistencies within the inconsistent...

DCMetalJr said...

Read 1 Corinthians chapter 7. Paul makes it plain. We shouldn't marry at all. If we do marry we should expect the responsibilities that come with it. We are not to remarry. We are not to leave our spouses. If our spouses are unsaved and want to leave us, fine, but we need to remain faithful to them in case they get saved they can return.

So, Steve, yes, I think it is a sin to remarry when your first wife is still alive. I think to stay in the new marriage is a continuation of adultery. So I guess, under those guidelines, remarried christian (when referring to a divorce - not death) is an oxymoron, too.

Bring on the pain.

Steve said...

Not gonna bring any pain... Appreciate you bringing it into line for me so succinctly... I agree with you that this is the only way one can view it, if one holds to your Biblical interpretation.

DCMetalJr said...

Steve, with all of that having been said, I was wrong to say that homosexual christian is an oxymoron. It is also wrong to say a remarried christian is an oxymoron. Though I believe both to be sins, I am not in the dying-for-your-sins business. I am merely enjoying the benefits of Jesus going before me and taking my place on the cross.

It is not my job to judge salvation. We are more than encouraged to judge fruit. We are also warned against following those who encourage sin and who teach a watered down gospel to tickle our ears. My goal is to show the dissonance between biblical truth and the lies people attempt to push for the purpose of justification. I am hoping someone who is anonymously reading these posts will not accept the lie that it is better to get forgiveness than permission.

DCMetalJr said...

I think JB will now fire me as his disciple. LOL

Steve said...

DC....It is not my job to judge salvation.

Mine either...

See Jeff... common ground! Who said it couldn't be done!

dorsey said...

I hate to interrupt this brief moment of peace, but...

"I am hoping someone who is anonymously reading these posts will not accept the lie that it is better to get forgiveness than permission."

...it's this line of thinking that I find disquieting to my sense of the completeness of Christ's work. There is no permission, really. The only thing there is to get is forgiveness. And once forgiveness is obtained, that's it. As a child, I believed that forgiveness was like a game of Hot Potato. You had to ask forgiveness for all your sins every time you committed one. If I said "G*ddammit" and Jesus came back two seconds before I could ask forgiveness for saying it, then you could color my ass Left Behind.

Clearly, my Sunday School teachers had not really gotten do deep into the topic of grace, probably because they figured, "give 'em an inch, they'll take a mile." That's the mentality that seems to underlie your premise. We can't get too goofy about grace because someone might take advantage of it.

I'll say it again. We sure do like that judge's seat.

DC, you also said "We are more than encouraged to judge fruit." I hope you're able to distinguish the judgment of fruit from the judgement of sin. Most are not. And I hope that you'll concede the fact that there are homosexuals and liberals and plenty of others with whom you'd have fundamental disagreements who exhibit love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. Conversely, there are MANY conservative evangelical Christians who do not so much as give nod to those fruits in their "defense" of the faith.

JimmyBob said...

DC, you belong to Christ, not me, so I can't fire you!

Steve, come on. The pasta thing was supposed to be humorous.

However, whether you call it a craving or orientation, what is the difference? Homosexual orientation is to crave the same sex to fulfill romantic affections. NO, like you, I don't have the taste for that. But, I won't be so arrogant to say that if I lent myself to it, I would be somehow immune to it's lure because of my natural orientation. Sex is addictive and powerful.

Didn't you crave the love of a woman? Whether you acted upon it or suppressed it, doesn't mean you didn't crave it, and it doesn't mean you felt that way about every woman either. Something attracts you and causes desire/craving.

Here's where I think one of the biggest tragedies has occured when it comes to this issue. Two guys ought to be able to have a friendship that is better than romance without being labeled gay. Things go haywire when sex acts are involved. Girls often have these deep friendships, without the sex, and without the labels.

And to answer your question.... it seems you see homosexuality as a perversion so that sharing a room with a gay person might cause them to lure, or look or try to persuade you to "join their team". Because men have the same parts as men (relatively speaking that is), why should I care if a gay guy sees me naked. If it would bother you to change clothes in front of a gay man, then you are the one with the problem not him.
You've avoided the question and didn't understand me. Let me try again. Let's suppose that homosexuality is acceptable and common. Can you see that it might pose a problem in locker rooms for the same reasons that we separate guys and girls now? If not, do you think that we should put them together now? I mean, if a guy lusts after a girl because he sees her changing or showering, is that her problem? You sound as if you think there are NO perverted homosexuals.

Lastly, I think Tony Campolo explained things well when he talks about choosing. It helped me. Notice he never said God created people that way either. He just said that nobody knows how homosexuality starts in general, but that it is a mistake to say they outright chose it. I think he would agree that people do choose to act upon their desires/cravings.

DCMetalJr said...

I have met many homosexuals, and of them there have been quite a few who have exhibited the attributes commonly referred to as the fruits of the spirit. I think that doesn't really matter. If you don't know Jesus is God and have not confessed it with your mouth and believed with your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you won't be saved. If you are not a child of God all the good works in the world won't save you from destruction.

Risking the accusation of the "strawman" argument I'll simply state that there are muderers, rapists, armed felons, and liberals (jk) that also love their children, give to charity, stop at stoplights, and eat all of their greens. They may display many of the same actions as the fruits of the spirit. They can't be fruits of the spirit if they don't come from the Holy Spirit. They are just really nice attributes.

Again, my point isn't to point out who is and isn't saved. I am tired of Christians promoting the idea that you can do anything you want once you are saved. Accepting Jesus is the beginning of righteousness. You don't take a shower to prepare yourself for a bath. Noone can make themselves perfect. We come to Jesus dirty, and ask Him to cleanse us. We are constantly getting dirty after that and He is faithful to forgive us and cleanse us.

What I am tired of is people going out of their way telling others that they are allowed to play in the dirt. Are we to stop sinning or not? We'll never truly stop, because it is our nature to sin, but are we supposed to at least attempt to refrain from sin? If we can do whatever we want and still go to heaven, then the apostles and every other christian who has been martyred since Jesus died have been ripped off.

There is no way to biblically justify an all grace, no sacrifice, no change christianity.

If it is wrong, you don't do it. If it is wrong to do it, then it is just as wrong to promote it or justify it.

DCMetalJr said...

JB, the pasta thing was funny.

Zeke said...

There is no way to biblically justify an all grace, no sacrifice, no change christianity.

If we can do whatever we want and still go to heaven, then the apostles and every other christian who has been martyred since Jesus died have been ripped off.

I am tired of Christians promoting the idea that you can do anything you want once you are saved.

I just reposted some of your routinely absolutist comments, DJ. I know I won't dissuade you of them, but like I said before the more you talk the more relieved I am not to have to deal with that every week.

BruceD said...

Are we to stop sinning or not? We'll never truly stop, because it is our nature to sin, but are we supposed to at least attempt to refrain from sin?

So, it's not a matter of stopping? It's just a matter of "trying hard enough" to make the appearance of stopping? Then, how do we know what is "hard enough"? How can we ever be free of doubting that we have worked at it hard enough to impress God? There is no certainly in that kind of religion... there is only bondage to fear, and slavery to works. That, my friend, is exactly what Jesus came to set us free from... the burden of religion!

Sadly, not many believe that the work of the Christ is powerful enough to free us from ourselves and our silly notions of being able to "measure up". It's too bad that they'll keep missing that mark of "freedom in Christ" and the peace it brings. It's too bad that they don't trust Jesus enough to rest in His arms and accept the work He has done on our behalf.

I think it's time for me to move on from here... HEY, did I just hear cheers and clapping? hehehe

DCMetalJr said...

Bruced,

If we aren't to stop sinning are we to at least not promote it?

DCMetalJr said...

zeke,

Is it okay to intentionally sin? Is it okay to tell someone else that they can intentionally sin? What bible do you read?

(It's DC)

dorsey said...

"You don't take a shower to prepare yourself for a bath... We are constantly getting dirty after that and He is faithful to forgive us and cleanse us.

What I am tired of is people going out of their way telling others that they are allowed to play in the dirt."


I'm trying not to get pissed off here, but you're not even trying to understand the arguments being presented for your consideration. It appears that you're only reading these comments with an eye on how to refute them. That's the reason for the GIANT strawman, I guess.

When I spoke of the people who exhibit the fruit of the Spirit, thought it was obvious that I was referring to those who name Christ, not just every guy who stands and offers his bus seat to an old lady, as you suggested.

I don't think anyone here is endorsing the abolition of sin. I certainly haven't encouraged anyone to go do whatever they want, and I'll thank you to stop making such mischaracterizations. Nor have I heard the endorsement a no change, no sacrifice Christianity. There were some things that changed instantly when I believed. Other things took years. And I'm guessing, during those years, you would have questioned my Christianity. There are things that remain to be changed in me. I cannot change them, nor am I even aware of all of them. I must wait on Christ.

What I'm tired of is religious bigots who have the nerve to tell people in the dirt that they're not allowed into the shower in the first place. Do you not see the utter hypocrisy of that? You keep saying that you're no one's judge, but in the rest of your comments, that's exactly what you do.

Why don't you give God enough grace to do His thing in people? And if it doesn't happen according to your sin chart/timetable (or ever!), what is it to you?

BruceD said...

DC, don't ya love it when someone answers a question with a question? It's OK, I love ya anyway, man! You said:

If we aren't to stop sinning are we to at least not promote it?

I would rather promote the unconditional love of God, as demonstrated through Christ, and let the rest sort out for itself. We so drastically underestimate the power of God's love in people's lives. That's why man has evolved away from God's love, into a rules-based religious system. We simply don't trust Him to be able to reconnect with us in a meaningful way, and lead us into His incredible peace. We don't believe He can do it. We only trust ourselves and our ability to change our lives. We think we can change ourselves into something God will find pleasing. What a huge waste of time! God already finds us pleasing! What do you think that whole "Jesus" thing was all about? He didn't come to start a new religion... He came to abolish it!

But, until we can understand what the Cross accomplished, and what it means to our relationships with our Creator, none of this will make any sense.

God's will is love. Love Him (because He loves us), and love each other (because He loves us). It's not complicated (as JB thinks). It's probably too simple for most of us, who want a book of rules to live by. There are no rules! Jesus said either you follow Him (freedom from the law), or you follow Moses (the law). Choose one! You can't have both! But so many of us want both. We want the security of Jesus, but we want the law as "insurance". Satin is not the counter to Jesus, Moses is!

BruceD said...

Dorse... maybe it's time to start a new thread?

dorsey said...

Nah, I really don't have anything to say.

LOL!!!

Zeke said...

Is it okay to intentionally sin? Is it okay to tell someone else that they can intentionally sin? What bible do you read?

It better be okay, because I do it all the time. So did Paul (I don't do the things I know I should...). None of us have an excuse. Difference is, you see sin as less pervasive than I do, I think. The Bible (yeah, that Bible) says that all that is not of faith is sin. Also, Jesus said that all the law and the prophets is summed up by "love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and love your neighbor as yourself." Jesus said "do that and you will live."

I don't know about you, but I don't know that I can ever fully claim to loving my neighbor as myself let alone loving God with ALL (not most!) my heart, ALL my soul, ALL my mind, and ALL my strength. Therefore, I figure I'm sinning 99.999% of the time (allowing .001% for when I might, for some fleeting moment, actually fully obey).

Where we will probably differ is in what it means to love God and our neighbor. But you would be on weak legs if you argued it were possible to fully obey. So here we are, one sinner to another, both depending upon grace. Me, for what I might not stop others from doing; you for maybe putting burdens on others that were never theirs to carry.

DCMetalJr said...

Please explain my strawman argument?

dorsey said...

I thought I had, but let me try again:

I mentioned believers who are of a different stripe than yourself (homosexuals, liberals, democrats, Anglicans, etc.) who exhibit the fruits of the Spirit and contrasted them with the self-proclaimed possessors of the truth who do not.

In response you subverted the argument by equating the fruits of those people with those of armed felons, rapists and murders. You argued against a premise that I did not offer, but your comment, nonetheless, assumed. Or do you believe that Christian democrat is an oxymoron, too?

Curious for your opinion, though. When an unbeliever does something good, what is the source of the goodness? (be careful)

KnowNoTone said...

DC,

Zeke, Steve, and Dorsey have pretty much said what I would say in response to your last volley of sorties. I guarantee I HATE divorce my friend and fought long and hard to avoid it. That's all I'll say in my own defense the rest is history.

There's plenty that I could comment on in what you have said, but it really comes down to our presuppoitions. Yours and mine differ signifcantly on what constititutes proper methodology for understanding the Scriptures, so I'll sign off, trusting that we love the same Jesus.

Peace,

nonotone

Steve said...

So much for common ground...

Heh...

:-)

jeff said...

told ya...

;)

SocietyVs said...

I loved the endeavor, keep up the great work for the kingdom. God loves us all and even of some refuse to believe that, doesn't mean you have to. I appreciate your honesty and the way you 'stuck' yourself out for people that are ostracized and picketed against. Stand in their shoes and be amongst them, ain't nothing wrong with making friends.
Love the way you are bringing the gospel man, have a cup on me someday.

DCMetalJr said...

Dorsey, my point was that lots of people show attitudes and actions very similar to the fruits of the spirit. Just because you show love, joy, peace, etc... doesn't mean that they come from the Holy Spirit. Therefore those actions/attitudes are not fruits of the spirit, just part of that persons makeup. Fruits of the Spirit are the result of the change initiated in a person after receiving the indwelling of the holy spirit.

My intention was to show that yes, I have met homosexuals who display those attributes, but others also display those attributes. The attributes don't make you saved, being saved will produce fruit.

I equate the word good with righteous. So by that definition an unbeliever cannot do good. According to 3 John 1:11 "Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. The one who does good is of God; the one who does evil has not seen God."

Based on this passage those who do good are of God. But we know that 1 Corinthians 12:3 says "Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God says, 'Jesus is accursed'; and no one can say, 'Jesus is Lord,' except by the Holy Spirit."

It would make the bible contradict itself to then say an unbeliever did something good.

Zeke said...

It would make the bible contradict itself to then say an unbeliever did something good.

Straight outta the mouth of religion. Can we have our Bible back, please?

dorsey said...

DC, I thought you'd say that.

I understood your point. Repeating it doesn't make it more salient.

MY point was that if a homosexual or a liberal or a clockmaker name Christ and exhibit the fruits of the Spirit, then you have no basis to deny their Christianity. In fact, according to scripture, you're calling down judgement on your own head by doing so. Enjoy.

Meanwhile, the trademarks of conservative evangelicalism are generally not those qualites, but their adamant defense of "family values," which is simply code that means little more than "no abortions and no fags."

eddie{F} said...

nonotone
Thanks for sharing your “story” – and I really don’t grasp why fundy-jellies need to twist the story until it make sense for them. Beats me!

Eddie(f), wouldn't the relapse rate for any tendency or desire be about the same?
No, because there are many areas in which people can be helped psychologically, for which there is not such a high relapse rate. You really aren’t comparing apples with apples in your analogy as Steve pointed out.

Or God would have to take the craving away.
But God didn’t for most of the people in the study. If he did, then we would have evidence to the contrary.

I'm praying that my friend, who is happily married (I hope), doesn't have to go through a painful relapse.
Few Christians trapped in the circular psychological maze of Christianity are really honest about what they feel. I counseled people out of their “lifestyle” – but sadly I know more people that lied to themselves than were being honest about what they really experience. After all, that what the religious game expects.


You, Eddie(f), are a lucky man! Not everyone has the kind of love your wife has shown you. I don't remember if you expressed this or not, but maybe even you didn't expect her level of understanding.
She is one of the most amazing human beings I know – I am all too aware of what a gift she is to my life.

Are you fooling with us all? Were you really a jerk to her or something and she's like glad to see you go? I mean, two girls can fight pretty nasty, and she's already got other boyfriends.
No, we still have a very deep symbiotic connection, deeply care for each other, and always will – we just know that trying to make a “marriage” work under false pretenses is emotionally unhealthy. She hopes to find someone as amazing as me (ha!) but I know both of us will search very hard. Perhaps someone that deconverted and that went through the same experience will help. It gets tiring explaining all this shit to people still “into” religion.

What would you do with High School locker rooms? Do you think we should put guys and girls together?
Of course, then they can make out as much as they want! No, just kidding. I fail to see the “relevance” of this to the issue, and sadly, there are many stereotypical assumptions about gay men in locker rooms. I find 99.9% of them grossly unattractive at my gym. You all think it’s about the sex, but for me it’s about stuff much, much deeper than that. Something I had/has with my wife. A connection that defies words and rules. I don’t wear a badge that screams “I am gay” – I hope to relate to people just like you – because they are people – and not because of who they go to bed with. This part of the arguments gets so tiring – the preconceived ideas of what I want, how I MUST react around other guys, what I might feel, experience, and that I supposedly only have “sex” on the brain. I sure hope I am much deeper than that. No, scrap that – I know I am!

JimmyBob – re some further comments from what you said to Steve:
You would be SHOCKED to know how many guys “lust” in the locker room that you assume totally “straight” – and you really have to separate “sex” from what the average gay guy wants from his partner, and or how he perceive other men in the locker room. Closeted “straight” gay have more sex on the brain than people that live honestly about their sexuality.
It’s not all about SEX, and unfortunately when you cast it that way, then you sound like the average bigoted heterosexual Christian male. I think you devalue yourself by coming off as someone who assumes that about the gay “lifestyle.” There is NO difference between what the average gay person wants out of life from what you want out of life – save that they want to be with someone from the same sex. What is so hard to understand about that? Why do you have such an overbearing NEED to place it in any other category? Gay people think about their sexuality on average as much as you do. Come one man – get a new argument. I already refuted this one.

JimmyBob said...

It’s not all about SEX, and unfortunately when you cast it that way, then you sound like the average bigoted heterosexual Christian male.
So what then are we really talking about? Explain your feelings. Don't assume that guys like me can't listen to your heart. I mean, I claim to know a God that isn't afraid to listen to me about anything I think or feel. I understand that there are lots of bigoted people (some of them Christians), but I hope I'm not one of them. Even if I think that same gender sex and romance is ultimately sinful in God's eyes, that does not mean that I can't be compassionate and decent in my relationship with you.

If gay means that two people of the same gender share a deep bond and friendship that surpasses romance and sex, then I'm marching in the Gay Pride parade next year on one of those floats! I hate the fact that people (some of them Christians) have made it dirty for men to have these kinds of relationships. When you have that kind of love, you don't need marriage either.

I loved my best friend in college. I have never known any other person who can make me laugh like he does. I would do anything for him. I loved being with him, staying up late with him and talking until morning. In fact, we shared our rooms in the dorm. Each of us had separate rooms, but we often would sleep together on the mattress on the floor in his room. It was bigger and cooler in that room. We didn't care what anyone thought of us. We traveled together and spent holidays together. We had everything most dating couples have and more, but we didn't have sex. I never once was arroused by him, nor he by me. I miss him alot. Everytime I call him, we jump back into things as if we've always been together. He's a great looking guy too!

Anyway, how do you know your gay?

eddie{F} said...

So what then are we really talking about?
We are talking about your stereotypical assumptions about what gay people experience – stuff that reverberates through conservative talk radio. So, let me be blunt – your opinions are more politically motivated than they are religiously substantiated.

Explain your feelings.
About what? Why should I need to explain my “feelings” any more than you should? Why is the burden on ME to explain anything? Why is it so hard for you to see me as just another human being irrespective?

I understand that there are lots of bigoted people (some of them Christians), but I hope I'm not one of them.
Then do some research before you just mouth off your boilerplate arguments. I respect your religious convictions, even if I don’t share them, but when you twist my “reality” so that it can fit your theological convictions, then I think you come off a little bigoted.

Even if I think that same gender sex and romance is ultimately sinful in God's eyes, that does not mean that I can't be compassionate and decent in my relationship with you.
But what you consider “sin” is immaterial to the reality and practical way that same sex gendered people live out their lives. You have made plenty of assumptions about the gay “lifestyle” which you cannot back up with hard evidence – even on my blog. Christianity doesn't have a monopoly on people being decent to one another.

If gay means that two people of the same gender share a deep bond and friendship that surpasses romance and sex, then I'm marching in the Gay Pride parade next year on one of those floats!
See you there – because there are more that share that point of view than you have been led to believe.

I hate the fact that people (some of them Christians) have made it dirty for men to have these kinds of relationships. When you have that kind of love, you don't need marriage either.
Finally, we are on the same page. I don’t want anything else. I would gladly not have intimacy until I can get “married” – but sadly I am precluded from having that in your Christian country where you would like a constitutional amendment on “gay marriage.”

I never once was arroused by him, nor he by me.
And I don’t get aroused by my friends either. I am quite capable of separating romance from friendship. See, we are not that different after all.

Anyway, how do you know your gay?
LOL – I don’t consider that a serious question, but let’s say that the same way you get turned on by your wife is how I get turned on by a male partner – after a lot of dating, courting, getting to know each other, etc. It works no different than it works in your world. Capice?

JimmyBob said...

Why should I need to explain my “feelings” any more than you should? Why is the burden on ME to explain anything? Why is it so hard for you to see me as just another human being irrespective?
Saying, "Explain your feelings" was an honest plea for conversation, not a demand. I do see you as a human being and I am genuinely interested in knowing what makes you feel that you're gay, if it's not about sex.

This has been real eyeopening to me. Most people can't get past the word homosexual without thinking of sex. You're saying that being gay isn't ALL about sex, but can it be homosexuality without sex?

Actually, it didn't take me long to get turned on by my wife. I was definitely attracted to her after a couple of meetings in the student center at college. It was tough to hold back until we married.

By the way, I don't get involved in politics over marriage. I'm leaning toward the idea that governments should leave the sanctioning of marriage up to religious or private institutions, etc. I know that there are certain legal rights tied to marriage, especially protections, but something just seems off the way things are. I need more information.

JimmyBob said...

By the way, I should note that Dorsey makes me laugh almost as good as my best friend from college, and DC almost as good as Dorse. That is just a truthful statement and shouldn't be read as an order of friendship, etc. Don't get all jealous fellas, there's room in my heart for each of you! I love you! Pucker up!

OK, I really got to get to bed now. I'm getting drunk tired, if you understand my meaning.

eddie{F} said...

Well JimmyBob

To be honest, you have a tendency to rub me the wrong way (nothing sexual intended) when you say things a certain way. And when you do that, then I hear the same story I hear from some other people, and then I know where it’s heading.

For instance: what makes you feel gay. Now maybe I misread you, and maybe your word choices are just bad in real life too, but I think I have explained to you before on my blog that you have a lot of ideas about homosexuality that is just plain rubbish. Because, I don’t FEEL gay – I AM gay. Fact is, I don’t FEEL gay anymore than you FEEL heterosexual. Had you asked me what makes me THINK I am gay, then I would have felt different about the innuendo in your question.

Let me remind you again of what my friend Steve had to say, because it explain all too well what it feels like to live in my world:

My experience of caring for and loving my gay, lesbian and bisexual friends has taught me how simple and straightforward it is to be born straight....mainly because nobody spends any time trying to figure me out based solely on who I sleep with, noone tries to "help me" to try and change my sexual attractions, noone tries to say that I am the one destroying the fabric of America, noone looks at me strangely if I am walking down the street holding the hand of the person I care about....I am not treated as abnormal because of a desire (or even a choice if you want) to be with someone that I love.

So, I am not against chatting to you, but dude, you have to drop the attitude and preconceived ideas. I think I have proven to you that I CAN have a civil conversation with you, but if you throw me crap then expect it right back. Sorry for the rant, but I had to get that off my chest.

Most people can't get past the word homosexual without thinking of sex.
Yeah, so it seems.

You're saying that being gay isn't ALL about sex, but can it be homosexuality without sex?
I will try again. It’s not ALL about sex anymore than heterosexuality is ALL about sex. There are people that can restrain their sexual desires until they get a partner. The gay community has as many sub cultures as the straight community.

Actually, it didn't take me long to get turned on by my wife. I was definitely attracted to her after a couple of meetings in the student center at college. It was tough to hold back until we married.
So see, it works that way for me too. Except, there is no “marriage” line for me to draw, thanks to some political stupidity of the right. But I can assure you, I have definite rules about when I go physical, and I make it very clear when meeting anyone.

JimmyBob said...

Eddie(f), I had already asked you how you know you're gay. So, I was just searching for more of an emotional answer.

But, I'll be more careful with word choice. I could answer how I feel heterosexual. It has to do with hormones and emotions when I'm with the opposite sex.

Like I've said, blogging is hard, because you can't see faces and hear tones. Come to think of it, I have a good amount of deaf friends that use email. They are very abrupt with each other and it's kind of weird at first. I guess they have learned not to assume attitudes and just communicate. If they are mad, they just say it. Otherwise they just chat on.

Oh, by the way, in these blogs, I rub lots of people the wrong way. You're not alone. I'm not very good at rubbing, but I'm trying.

eddie{F} said...

Eddie(f), I had already asked you how you know you're gay. So, I was just searching for more of an emotional answer.
JimmyBob, please imprint this into your brain for future reference:
I know it the same way you know and I feel it the same way that you do. It’s not a mystery.

But, I'll be more careful with word choice. I could answer how I feel heterosexual. It has to do with hormones and emotions when I'm with the opposite sex.
The chemical process in my brain is no different – I have the same rush of dopamine that you have when attracted.

Oh, by the way, in these blogs, I rub lots of people the wrong way. You're not alone. I'm not very good at rubbing, but I'm trying.
No trust me, you are good at rubbing – admittedly not as skilled as SableChicken.

Anonymous said...

Shit, I'm exhausted. How the hell did showing someone kindness in Jesus' name turn into an argument about what is and isn't sin and who is and isn't beyond redemption? This just wears me out. And that's why I left the church and began living out my faith to include "seed-scattering" efforts like what Dorse and his friend did.

If for no other reason, the Philly Pride outreach was needed to cause some gay people to reconsider the Jesus whom they (probably entirely) associate with shitheads who condemn them, ostracize them, and rally for unequal rights in his name?

Hats off to Dorse and the gang. They stepped out of their comfort zone, investing their own time and money to reach out...all without expecting anything in return. Rock on!

Sandy J.

Sable Chicken said...

Thanks Eddie...I think? I am totally unskilled in my writing, and because of what God has blessed me with...I don't think I will get any better at it...but I try.

Zeke said...

Great to hear from Sandy Johns, who with her friends started the In the Name of Jesus MIN-uh-STRAY (heh heh). Thanks again Sandy for your inspirational works.

Now, we can't go as far as to call them "good" since they're heathen perversions of the ONE AND TRUE not-for-practicing-queers gospel so I guess we'll have to settle for "nice".

Jada's Gigi said...

Definitely don't want to get into this discussion...:) but I'm glad you went...He would go...

dufflehead said...

i heard a phrase today that i would like to use for this:

"It would make the bible contradict itself to then say an unbeliever did something good."

dc, did you get this through rectal extraction? trying to use the two verses you did to come to the above quoted conclusion seems like forcing a square peg into a round hole.

dufflehead said...

oh, i see where i missed it.

you just don't know the definition of the word good.

nevermind, then.

Kitty Cheng said...

I am sooooo touched by your going there! I am sure God is smiling and pleased with your love to the gay people. I totally agree that Jesus loves them no less than anyone else.

Kitty Cheng said...

I also want to add that Jesus hates sin, but He loves sinners. Although the gay lifestyle is not God's will, and surely is a sin like any other sisn, we Christians really shouldn't condemn them as we are all sinners and fall short of the glory of God. Jesus is the only judge!

DCMetalJr said...

dufflehead,

I haven't made any personal attacks on anyone, but it sounds like you are making a personal attack on me. Is that your intent?

jeff said...

Interesting DC. I didn't think Pete was making a personal attack on you. He was just noting the fact that you do not understand the meaning of the word "good".

You said:
I equate the word good with righteous. So by that definition an unbeliever cannot do good.

You see, "doing good" and "righteousness" could not possibly be one in the same since righteousness is our inherited position in Christ without any works of our own. The Bible says that we've been made the righteousness of God in Christ. It has nothing to do with our actions...

"Doing good" denotes works and personal effort. Righteousness does not.

It wasn't a personal attack. It looked like an observation... with which I agree :)

JimmyBob said...

senore Jefe, Dufflehead said to DC, "did you get this through rectal extraction?"

That sounds like a personal insult to me. I mean, Dufflehead, I'm sure your point was exactly as senor Jefe explained, but you did say it with an edge.

[Sigh, deep breath] I'm getting tired of arguing over words. There's more twisting of words and meanings on this post than I've ever seen.

DCMetalJr said...

JB,

Thanks. I agree. As I said, people twist things to suit their own sin. The bible makes it clear that those who represent Jesus and His wisdom will be seen as fools. We are to expect ridicule. I can support my positions, all of them, scripturally. I have seen noone who has been attempting to ridicule me or my position offer any support from scriptures for their arguments.

Don't tell me your opinion anymore just show me scripture. Because the whole world thinks your wisdom is acceptible and right, and that should make you feel nervous.

Senor Jefe and Dufflehead, please explain 3 John 1:11 "Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. The one who does good is of God; the one who does evil has not seen God."

It is no strawman argument to ask "Does that mean anyone who does anything "good" is of God? ANYONE???? What can good mean then?

DCMetalJr said...

By the way, before you start to excuse yourself from my request, note that whenever Jesus was challenged by pharisees, religious leaders, and even Satan himself, He always started His reply with "The scriptures say...". If you can't defend your position starting with those words then don't tell me it is right.

jeff said...

Senor Jefe and Dufflehead, please explain 3 John 1:11 "Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. The one who does good is of God; the one who does evil has not seen God."
Good works are the evidence of a changed life. You seem to thing they are the prerequisite.

This verse says that the one who does good is from God. It does not say if he does good, he's from God. It simply identifies those who are from God do good. But identification with God is first.

If I could be good enough to be declared 'from God', then why would I need God in the first place.

No, I think Pete was right. You did interpret this using rectal extraction, because you've got the whole thing bass ackwards.

Without positional righteousness, we can never enter into experiential righteousness.

beyond all that, let's take a look at the verse you love to misinterpret in context...

I wrote something to the church; but Diotrephes, who loves to be first among them, does not accept what we say. For this reason, if I come, I will call attention to his deeds which he does, unjustly accusing us with wicked words; and not satisfied with this, he himself does not receive the brethren, either, and he forbids those who desire to do so and puts them out of the church. Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. The one who does good is of God; the one who does evil has not seen God.

This passage is talking about those who sit in judgement over other christians, attempting to tell them which of their works is bad and which is good... there's an element of spiritual pride here, as well as pharisaical manipulation... using the misgivings of others against them.

It's a shame you didn't see that in this verse, dc. It may have helped you in your approach to this entire discussion...

dorsey said...

Excellent, Jeff.

Guys like Diotrephes (and DC, it seems) like to condemn evil, so long as they can be the ones who decide what evil is. It's very convenient to overlook what scripture actually says in favor of a definition that suits them.

Thanks for supplying some context.

JimmyBob said...

Senor Jefe and Dorse. Be careful (you know what I mean). You may not have full context yourselves... And things could be reversed...

Check out the whole chapter.

Interestingly, I was once told there would be no need for teachers. Yet, under apostle authority, the churches were to accept them and help them.

Now, my opinion is that vs 11 does not mean that those who do not know God can't do good, but it does indicate that those who do evil prove they do not know God. Now that's the real controversy!

ninjanun said...

Don't tell me your opinion anymore just show me scripture. Because the whole world thinks your wisdom is acceptible and right, and that should make you feel nervous.

You know, this line of reasoning has been used by lots of religious whackos to defend their positions. "Well, the world thinks I'm a fool, so I must be right." I guess the Phelps clan should be patting themselves on the back right now, (and, in fact, I'm pretty sure they use that scripture to do just that), as well as every other cult that the world looks at and goes "WTF?" It's a logical fallacy, based on taking Jesus' words on the Sermon on the Mount out of context and applying them to how "believers" are treated no matter what. But Jesus says

"Blessed are you when men cast insults at you, and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely, on account of Me.
"Rejoice, and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you."

So if someone is misrepresenting what Christ is about, or is grossly misinterpreting scriptures, they don't fall under that "blessing."

But a 15-year-old girl who creates a video asking "What Would Jesus Do?" gets death threats--NOT from "the world," but from Dominionist Christians and other Right-wing fanatics.

dufflehead said...

the scriptures say. (met the DC requirement of discussion)

so, DC, you would have us quote scripture back and forth and come to the conclusion that the Bible presents more questions than it does answers?

"He always started His reply with "The scriptures say...". "
interesting fact: Jesus used what we now refer to as the old testament. therefore, according to your argument, we cannot use the new testament to "defend a position".

"Thanks. I agree. As I said, people twist things to suit their own sin."
hmm, looks like a personal attack to me. but it looks like you were the one doing the twisting.

rectal extraction . . . i just liked the phrase and thought it fit.

jb, how is that a controversy? evil has been done in the name of Christ for centuries and one of those evils is condemning the good works of those "outside the faith"

i believe that anyone who does good "participates in the divine".

as for seeds, good job Dorsey. i just wish i had been able to help. in an attempt to pull the conversation back . . .

can liars be Christians and vice versa? can overeaters be Christians and vice versa? can murderers be Chirstians and vice versa? what does the word Christain mean: like Christ? what does that mean? was Christ a Christian? i don't remember him saying the magic phrase.

Steve said...

Kum ba yah, my Lord, kum ba yah!
Kum ba yah, my Lord, kum ba yah!
Kum ba yah, my Lord, kum ba yah!
O Lord, kum ba yah!

Let's hold hands shall we....and sing it one more time.

Look at Steve.... being the peacemaker and all.

dorsey said...

Oh yeah, well I can be more humble than you!

Nyah!

dorsey said...

JB, I did read the whole chapter, but I'm not sure to what you were referring.

But I do think care is required in taking verse 11 as a hyper-literal catch-all statement, otherwise Paul's lament that he consciously does evil even though he doesn't want to would be an admission that he doesn't know God.

Trying not to read more into the verse than is there, it seems clear that his admonition to avoid imitating evil is a direct reference back to the actions of Diotrephes. Whereas his encouragement to imitate what is good is a direct reference to the contrast he then offers in verse 12 by mentioning Demetrius, who was spoken well of by everyone, "even the truth itself."

So a summary of 3 John might sound like: "Don't be judgemental and malicious, like Diotrephes. That's bad. He claims to hold the truth, but he doesn't even know God. Instead, be kind and loving, like brother Demetrius. He has a good reputation and clearly knows God."

What am I missing? Is that not the context of the chapter?

JimmyBob said...

Dorse, I like what you said, but I have more to add. I just don't have time right now.

Calling DC judmental, however, and like Demetrius is stretching it too far.

Demetrius did not recognize the authority of John or the apostles. He refused to listen and actually was building a case against them by his gossip and actions.

The biggest thing was he refused to support the traveling teachers in any way and forbid others in the church from doing so also.

DC hasn't done anything of the sort. This is just a discussion.

If anything, I hear much on these blogs that is reverse. People seem to oppose the apostles teachings and are judgmental toward authority.

Zeke said...

I can support my positions, all of them, scripturally. I have seen noone who has been attempting to ridicule me or my position offer any support from scriptures for their arguments.

I'm not sure if you were including me in the "ridicule" part, but I think I belong there. I genuinely think that your absolutist, narrow interpretation of scripture is worthy of ridicule due to the spiritual destruction those kinds of beliefs have caused in the lives of countless people for as long as there's been religion. The Pharisees were your ancestors... full of burdens to put upon others, full of head knowledge about scripture while all but missing the central point.

But don't say I didn't share scripture. In fact, I shared several scriptures:

1. In response to JimmyBob's question about who is a Christian and who isn't, I offered Matt 25: 31-46; the damned goats weren't the fags and divorcees. They were those who didn't demonstrate mercy and compassion in their lives.

2. In response to your question "is it okay to intentionally sin" I reminded you of Paul's lament in Romans 7. Okay or not, you're going to sin. Unless you think you've got it handled better than Paul.

3. And to underline that point, I reminded you that Jesus summed up all the law and all the prophets with this: Love the Lord your God with all of your heart, all of your soul, all of your mind, and all of your strength and love your neighbor as yourself. When we sin, this is what we violate. "For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God."

So let me turn it around and ask you: how often do you love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength? How often do you love your neighbor as yourself? How often do you acheive the Glory of God?

DC, you are a willful lawbreaker just like anybody. People like you who use religion to argue that some people do a more favorable job than others of working out their salvation are just putting yourselves in the Judgment Seat. It makes me sick in my soul.

Even if I assume that you say what you say out of a sincere motivation to serve God and your fellow man, that would still be judging your motives. So I won't do that. What you're hearing in my posts is my absolute frustration and fed-up-edness with people who use scripture to constrain grace and who presume to judge who is and who isn't in the Kingdom.

And I'll leave you with another Scripture that you and pretty much all the legalists like you abuse: the "you will know them by their fruits" in Matthew 7 deals with false prophets, not other believers. We are not to judge each other by our fruit or by any other measure. Read the first part of that chapter if you have any questions.

Thank God he's bigger than our religion.

ninjanun said...

If anything, I hear much on these blogs that is reverse. People seem to oppose the apostles teachings and are judgmental toward authority.


Who has done that?! Or is that just your interpretation based on the fact that we don't take every scripture at face-value, but consider the historical context, cross-scriptural references, textual criticism, etc?

Whose authority, exactly, have any of us been judgemental about? The Apostle's? Jesus's?

I am getting sick and tired of the argument that anyone who calls themselves a Christian here is trying to twist scriptures to make our case, or that we don't hold scripture in high regard, just because our interpretation is different from yours. I would thank you to quit it, post haste.

JimmyBob said...

Ninjanun, first let me repeat what I said, "If anything, I hear much on these blogs that is reverse." So, I wasn't just refering to this one blog. Admittedly, everyone has different circles, but in general I think Dorse and Jeff and I are all looking at the same few.

I'll humbly stand corrected if what you state is the case. But, I have been told that you should only see the Scriptures as a source of inspiration by some and not as infallible. Others say the Scriptures are confusing and cannot be followed. Others, including you have said, "We should take a drink each time the Scripture is quoted." I have been told that there is no need for teachers and pastors, etc. I have been told by some that my Bible and God is crap written by men from their own imaginations.

I wish I had my wife's memory. I don't have time to shuffle through all the back posts from various blogs to give you quotes. But, what am I supposed to think?

And you know what, it really bothers me when people cozy up to people they have warned others about. In that Scripture, John tells the church that the traveling teachers did not accept support from unbelievers and that Christians should give the support themselves in order to become partners in the truth.

I think it would be awesome if we who call ourselves Christians could debate without getting all bent out of shape. We need to learn to better support one another and quit gaining part of our support from unbelievers who only agree with us if we have a liberal social view, but would tear us down when we discuss theology and the Bible. We look like fools.

Ninjanun, quit being so snide. You said, Or is that just your interpretation based on the fact that we don't take every scripture at face-value, but consider the historical context, cross-scriptural references, textual criticism, etc? What the heck is that supposed to mean? That I don't consider those things and I take every Scripture literally no matter what? You have put me down intellectually several times. You act like I can't read and that I "surprise" you by how little I know. Is that of God? You act like an elitist with an elitist attitude and you lecture me.

I'm only here to discuss with friends some stuff that is important to me. I enjoy it most of the time, but when you talk to me, I feel really horrible. You must really have a low view of me and I see you as a snot-nosed, stuck up intellectual that thinks she knows everything.

Zeke said...

Wow... I love the Nun and I don't see her as any of those things. And reading over her comment it doesn't sound snide to me, JB.

On another matter, I have to respond to the implication that some of us here are trying to curry favor with liberals at our conservative brothers' expense. You may see it that way because it fits your world view (Christian=conservative, liberal=tickling ears) but it's just totally off base.

And as for all this scripture-searching, remember that like the Pharisees, we can be all up into scripture and miss the simple points. I think you're way more balanced than DC so this isn't a personal criticism.

eddie{F} said...

You act like I can't read and that I "surprise" you by how little I know. Is that of God? You act like an elitist with an elitist attitude and you lecture me.
To be honest, as an “outsider” it’s completely true. You often and conveniently ignore the cultural setting of the day, love to rip single verses out of context, and have very little understanding of the historical context of the matter. I say that based on my limited conversations with you. It would serve you well to study some more, especially since you are “leading” a flock. You act no more elitist than ninajanun when you peddle your “truth” as the absolute way to interpret scripture. At least she makes some valid historical points, whereas you revert to boilerplate fundamentalist talking points without investigating where she is coming from. Just an observation!

But on a side note, what is the “new covenant” all about? I ask in reference of you comment about “we will not need teachers.”

ninjanun said...

First, JimmyBob says:

I think it would be awesome if we who call ourselves Christians could debate without getting all bent out of shape. We need to learn to better support one another..

Then, he says:

You must really have a low view of me and I see you as a snot-nosed, stuck up intellectual that thinks she knows everything.

I think that's all I need to say. I hope I didn't take you out of context.

KnowNoTone said...

Check this treatise out

Personally, I think it is a little "lite" for many of the folks here, but it does make some pretty good and clear points.

I would, however, argue that the author seems to contradict his own rhetoric on one very salient point. He says:

"Divorce is strictly forbidden in both Testaments, as is
remarriage of anyone who has been divorced."

... but goes on to say much about (which I agree with) how the Scriptures have not been properly understood in their original historical/linquistic context.

Again, Instone-Brewer's work along with a other solid evangelical scholars make it clear that provisions for both divorce and remarriage ( what in the world is polygammy if not "marrying another" - which the O.T. definitely discoruages but God seems to tolerate ) are made in the Scriptures.

Steve said...

JB: LOL.... now this is funny....

You even take statements made on the blogs out of historical context. You said... Others, including you have said, "We should take a drink each time the Scripture is quoted." Do you think that this is a literal statement? Can you see what a literalist you are... (I am giving you a hard time here...). I just thought it was ironic in light of things.

That was a joke that came out of an SCP podcast where Josh and I were laughing at how little we quoted scripture on our blog and podcast. We said that we should start a new drinking game so that every time we quote scripture, we take a drink. It's an inside joke of sorts... so I understand you not knowing about it.

As to this...But, what am I supposed to think? My advice is to not think to much. Don't see yourself as the lone defender of the faith. Don't take all of this too seriously (you and DC both seem to have a good sense of humor when you let your hair down). Don't take yourself too seriously as a pastor (that'll burn you out my friend - I know). Of course I don't know you - these are just observations from the past few weeks online.

I remember when I first started blogging and would get off the blogs and tell my wife everything that was said, reliving each thing written, get my feelings hurt, feel insulted, dwell on it, stay up late writing and re-writing responses... man I was sick. To survive in the blog world you gotta be like a duck - let it all roll of of your back.

I just sense from you that you get really worked up about all of this. You want to "convince" others.... and that's not debate. The purpose of discussion is not to "win" people over to your side. It's to share your opinions on subjects and even what you believe to be "truth".... then leave it on the table - or in your venacular - leave the results to God.

Don't mean to lecture you... and I hope you don't take it that way. I think your opinion is worthwhile even if a majority of the time I disagree with your conclusions and sometimes the way you phrase things. But that's where I just have to let it roll off of my back too.

DCMetalJr said...

Steve,

Thanks for that post. I know you were writing to JB, but everything you said about rehashing the BLOG crap while offline is correct. When coupling your advice with some advice my brother has given me (being on a blog gives an imperfect impression. One would benefit more sincerely from a face to face discussion) it helps to put this all in perspective.

Again, I really would like to apologize for getting personal before. I think you have been the most objective person on this thread and I appreciate it. I see that you don't get personal, you merely challenge me to actually support what I am saying or see the cracks in the arguments.

dufflehead said...

I feel the need to defend my wife from the verbal attack, but she's done such a good job defending herself, I don't have much to add other than stop it with the name calling.

A funny thing I've noticed: some people get their questions answered but when those same people get asked a question they somehow avoid answering it. Anybody else notice that? Speaking of which, have I answered everything posed to me? Just checking. . .

eddie{F} said...

A funny thing I've noticed: some people get their questions answered but when those same people get asked a question they somehow avoid answering it. Anybody else notice that?
Yes, it absolutely frustrates me. I ask questions, because there is a purpose behind the question. And sorry to say, but let me beat on JimmyBob once more - he is infamous for avoiding my questions. Especially when the questions start dismantling his premise. I can deal with "I don't know yet" much better than with being ignored, especially if someone sort of indicated that they want to have a conversation with me about a topic.

Mrs Zeke said...

Im reading and reading and reading and all I am left wondering is when did God get so small

When did He become the kind of God that grace is only sufficient for the ones who follow all the rules?
What then is the point of the sacrifice Christ made?
Who then is so perfect right now in every thought and every action and if so why have they not ascended to heaven?
When did God lose His ability to use any person He created saved or not through the blood of Christ for the benefit of His Kingdom?

Our lives are not ours to be right or wrong in they were paid for otherwise there is no hope in any salvation of any kind. We have no place to judge one sister or brother and we have zero knowledge of the heart of man the heart only the Father knows. Who are any of us to look at anyone else in all there viewed sin and assume there is no hope?
How do we know they will not become the next John, the apostle Jesus loved and who said if any man says he is saved and does not love his brother he is a liar?
When did the blood of Christ that rains down on our sin start to rain only on a few? How does the jive with the God the Bible talks about?
Are we turning words and such from the Bible from prayers to curses or from lessons to judgment?
I could go through the Bible and find tons of things to beat myself with and what would that bring more fruit? Should I then try to work my way into heaven working off all my dirty deeds? I can't if I could the action of the cross would be worth nothing.

I hate divorce, hate it! But I am divorced for reasons the Bible allows but I hate divorce anyway. But be careful cause what condemns me will condemn you also because I do not believe there is anyone perfect except for Jesus Christ and if you say you are you are not only being dishonest you are assuming your perfection and that makes you a fool. This does not mean you don't try to live the way God intended or teach the ways of God but you can not do it perfectly cause if you could than you are the only walking person alive and God would not have had to sacrifice His Son.

I have gay loved ones I hate the sin the live in but I refuse to hate the person God Himself created, there is only one creator. I don't condone or judge them with there actions they know how I feel but shame on me to act like I am coming from a place of perfection knowing that is not true so that I can bang them on the head with a version of God that would offer them nothing for them to come to. I am not to place stumbling blocks and since I don't know who my future brothers or sisters are in the this family Christ has put to gather I would much rather show grace, truth, mercy, compassion, respect.

Its is dangerous to forget where you came from it swings the door wide open for pride.

You have no promise of tomorrow so make your actions free of yourself and love now

JimmyBob said...

Zeke, maybe I overreacted about her comment. I understand where you're coming from about the Scripture quoting Pharisee thing too and I agree. We can miss the simple points. As far as the liberal comment goes, email me if you like so that I can explain it more. It's really not what you think. I was alluding to something that I don't really wish to post here, come to think of it.

Ninjanun...I don't know what to say. I don't want to feel that way about you, honestly. I have never met anyone like you in my life. I get along with just about everybody.

I thought about deleting the comment because I know it didn't show the gentleness or peace Christ would want and I'm sorry for that. But, I'd rather keep it there so everyone can go back and dig it up in the future to keep me accountable. Of course this is Dorsey's blog to do what he wants with.

Dufflehead, I was about to post this and I saw your comment. I hear ya. No more names. If you two honestly think that I have no reason to feel this way and Ninjanun has not treated me the way I have described, then I am just being a plain jerk and I'll have to apologize further for the injustice in my comments.

You often and conveniently ignore the cultural setting of the day, love to rip single verses out of context, and have very little understanding of the historical context of the matter. I say that based on my limited conversations with you.
Eddie(f), when have we had Scriptural discussions that deep for you to make that kind of assessment of me? When I'm talking with you I try not to even bring up Scripture because you don't believe in it. When have I ever ripped single verses out of context? Maybe you're mixing me up with someone else. I hope so. If not, I'll stand corrected and take the reality check.

Steve, thanks for the history of that phrase. However, I specifically remember Ninjanun using it one time on this blog (out of context I guess) after a string of dissagreements over Scripture. If I recall correctly she said, "I think we should do like we do over at SCP and..." The way it sounded to me was that anyone who uses the Bible to make a point (which disagrees with her position and therefore in her eyes must be taken out of context) is to be mocked by everyone. I'm sorry if I missunderstood, but that's what was going on in my head. Again, I'll eat humble pie if that's not what happened.

Steve, email me if you see me taking this too seriously and trying to "convince" beyond reasonable debate. I would appreciate that. That might convince me that I've actually done it, instead of hearing it like this is generalizations.

Finally, Dorse, I love you and I can't wait to see you next weekend.

But I do think care is required in taking verse 11 as a hyper-literal catch-all statement, otherwise Paul's lament that he consciously does evil even though he doesn't want to would be an admission that he doesn't know God.
I agree and this is what I wanted to add to. I think that this is why we must balance Scripture out. You cannot dismiss the verse as if it means nothing and you cannot hold it so tight that you contradict the verse itself, which talks about doing good and knowing God.

In light of this, I think there is a simple way to see it. In general, those Christians who's lives are marked by good deeds and a good reputation prove they are God's children. Those Christians who's lives are marked by evil doing (gossip, slander, and arrogance, etc.) prove they do not know God. It is also noteworthy to see that John tried to reach out to Diotrephes with a letter, but he refused to acknowledge authority, other than his own leadership. So, it can be said that this type of attitude is also considered evil.

Paul's life would hardly be considered as marked by evil, even though he admits to sinning. The very fact that he openly discusses this matter is proof that he is conscious of sin and sorrowful for it. He brags then about the grace of God. I hope that is all of our attitudes. I need it tonight.

I stated that those who cannot admit their sins cannot, therefore, be Christians (in the true sense of the word). Maybe now I should say they cannot know God. "Christian" is a misused and misunderstood word.

It is only those who come to Him with a broken spirit and humble heart that can know Him. That's all this man is saying.

Thanks for letting me post. Congratulations on such a high comment count! Jeff's gonna be real jealous.

Zeke said...

In light of this, I think there is a simple way to see it. In general, those Christians who's lives are marked by good deeds and a good reputation prove they are God's children. Those Christians who's lives are marked by evil doing (gossip, slander, and arrogance, etc.) prove they do not know God.

Again, I think you've extrapolated from advice about recognizing false teachers and false prophets to believing that a discerning believer can determine who is and who is not in the Kingdom. We could get into the actual verses, but DC and JB are literate enough so that I don't need to cite chapter and verse. Just recall that we are commanded not to judge one another, and the disciples were told that they must not try to pull the weeds from the wheat field lest they uproot true wheat. That is for the angels to do in the last days, right?

Go back and read the scriptures that you think tell you you can determine who is and who is not in the Kingdom, and you'll note that they are referring to false teachers and false prophets.

It's a fool's crusade to try and scoop the Lamb's Book of Life before it gets published. Like the day and the hour, it is not for us to know.

Zeke said...

By the way JB, I need to applaud your willingness to hang in there when the heat gets turned up. I've changed my mind about things before in these threads... besides, ever seen iron sharpening iron without sparks flying?

And again for what it's worth, count me a character reference for Ninjanun. She is a special woman, very bright, and sharp as a tack. She doesn't mince words, but she is a sensitive soul who loves God and small furry puppies.

Zeke said...

And I have to give it up too for my wife who--unlike me--doesn't have a pugnacious bone in her body. She's wisdom with skin on.

dufflehead said...

If you two honestly think that I have no reason to feel this way and Ninjanun has not treated me the way I have described, then I am just being a plain jerk and I'll have to apologize further for the injustice in my comments.


either apologize or don't. the above quote is a defense.

eddie{F} said...

When I'm talking with you I try not to even bring up Scripture because you don't believe in it.
So? One can only talk about Scripture IF you believe in it? Really JimmyBob – you’d be surprised, I might know Scripture better than you. What is it about the fact that ones arguments about Scripture are immediately dismissed if you don’t believe in Jesus? Please explain that to me – I don’t get it.

Maybe you're mixing me up with someone else. I hope so. If not, I'll stand corrected and take the reality check.
Such as the discussion we had on my blog when you stated that homosexuality is “unnatural,” because you ripped one verse of Paul out of context from a book with sixteen chapters wherein he makes a completely different argument. And furthermore, you have ignored the historical evidence given to you by ninjanun , and calls it “new scholarship” because it doesn’t fit your theological/political agenda.

It doesn’t mean that if you don’t quote Scripture verbatim that I don’t know where you get it from. I was you once JimmyBob – I used all the same arguments.

dorsey said...

"One can only talk about Scripture IF you believe in it?"

In Jimmybob's defense, I didn't read his comment as saying that you are unable to discuss scripture. Anyone who spends time listening to you knows that such is not the case. But I think that if I were trying to persuade you (that's the key, I think) of something, it would not be useful to bring any resource into the discussion that you do not consider authoritative. On that basis, do you really think his comment was unreasonable?

JimmyBob said...

Dufflehead, I'm apologizing for using those words that were not kind. But, I cannot apologize yet for how I feel I have been treated, unless I am way off base and I haven't been treated that way.

Eddie(f), my use of the words natural and unnatural are coincidental with Romans, honestly. I used them before I was a Christian. And as far as historical context goes (if you really want some), the church has always felt that homosexuality was a sin as a whole. It has been commonly known. Jesus never brought it up because within his sphere it wasn't an issue. When he illustrated marriage he automatically used a man and woman illustration. God made Eve for Adam - a female to complete him.

Dorsey, what you say is true. Eddie and I were having a debate on abortion, creation, and then homosexuality. In all three subjects, it seemed our back and forth was about persuasion. I was invited to persuade by his call for evidence and reason.

Eddie(f), you have a tendency to criticize Scripture and God in a vulgar way. That is another reason I may "ignore" Scripture questions from you. I'd rather talk to you without bringing up Christianity, since you are still hostile towards it.

eddie{F} said...

Eddie(f), my use of the words natural and unnatural are coincidental with Romans, honestly.
Actually JimmyBob, you did quote Romans 1 to Ninjanun on my blog, after she pointed out to you that the word didn’t even exist at the time, and after she attempted to give you historical context, which you called “new scholarship.” (See the Saving Gay Marriage post.)

And as far as historical context goes (if you really want some), the church has always felt that homosexuality was a sin as a whole. It has been commonly known.
No, you simply assume that with no actual data to backup your position. You have ignored/twisted the Old Testament context, and how the Jewish people viewed the issue. You are actually not even remotely open to a debate about this issue FROM Scripture.

Jesus never brought it up because within his sphere it wasn't an issue.
No, it wasn’t an issue for him any more than eating shell fish was an issue. Like I said to you before, you call DIVINE what your god calls an abomination. You have a blatant double standard on this issue.

I was invited to persuade by his call for evidence and reason.
Which I am really still waiting for.

Eddie(f), you have a tendency to criticize Scripture and God in a vulgar way.
You are right, I am repulsed by whom the Bible describes, especially in the Old Testament, so you are 100% correct, I have used vulgar (offensive) terms to express that notion in no different of an offensive way that you describe homosexuals as weirdo’s. Actually, I am telling you that I reciprocate when people act offensive towards me. I have quite a couple of blog friends who talk about Jesus in my face without me getting “vulgar” – I tend to go their when I am treated like an idiot who apparently have never read the Bible, or have not believed in Jesus, or have not heard and used all the same arguments. Guilty as charged.

Greg said...

I didn't read the comments, just the blog. I think it's awesome what you did. Whether a homosexual, a liar, a murderer, or a drunkard, we're all just sinners in need of a Savior. Thank you for sharing that Savior.

Life's a battle. Wage war.
/Greg

ninjanun said...

I guess I didn't do a good enough job to defend myself against Jimmybob's comments directed toward me, so I'll try again. I apologize in advance for the length of this post.

If you two honestly think that I have no reason to feel this way and Ninjanun has not treated me the way I have described, then I am just being a plain jerk and I'll have to apologize further for the injustice in my comments.

Actually, since you're the one making the accusations, the burden of proof is on you to find where I do as you accuse:
You have put me down intellectually several times. You act like I can't read and that I "surprise" you by how little I know.

Show me where I put you down intellectually several times. Show me where I act like you can't read. Yes, I *am* surprised by how little you seem to know about textual criticism, biblical languages and their various interpretations, church history, etc. When we e-mailed each other, you shared that you had a B.S. in Bible from a Bible college, and I guess I made the mistake of assuming that we could start debating from the same page in terms of what we knew about the background of the Bible. But please don't take my surprise to mean that I think you're stupid. I've encouraged you many times to do more research on these topics, and have offered several web sites and books for you to read. When you dismiss all my research but have nothing to counter it with other than your own opinion, that's really frustrating. It's surprising, yes. And I think its disrespectful, and I call you on it. But I think you're reading more into my comments than what I'm saying. Remember, you can't see facial expressions or hear voice inflection on the web. When I ask a question, I want an answer. If you think I should rephrase it, just ask. Don't think I'm trying to insult your intelligence and then keep quiet, bottling it up inside until you let off with that hurtful diatribe against me.

You act like an elitist with an elitist attitude and you lecture me.

Well, I didn't take offense at this, because it's true. I'm in favor of elitism. Money quote from that website (although I encourage you to read the whole blog entry--actually, the entire blog is very insightful):

I do not sit down with friends and hold forth about cardiology or psychiatry or horticulture. I have spent exactly zero time studying them. The fact that I've been in hospitals, nurseries, doctors offices, and greenhouses, or have had friends that pursued those professions does not make me an expert on any of them. Therefore, my opinion regarding them should be disregarded. The same is true of biblical studies, church history, and ecclesiology. The fact that someone has sat in church for one year or fifty years in no way qualifies them to know anything about religion, or Christianity and the Bible in particular. If you haven't studied, I feel free to disregard your opinion. Unfortunately, religion seems to be the only field of interest, except sports, where amateurs feel free to pontificate and then get offended if you disagree or argue, as if it's all a matter of opinion.

Okay, back to Jimmybob's remarks:
I'm only here to discuss with friends some stuff that is important to me. I enjoy it most of the time, but when you talk to me, I feel really horrible.

I'm here to discuss with friends stuff that is important to me, too. I truly do not intend to make you feel "really horrible," so I apologize that my choice of words makes you feel that way (although again, show me where I call you stupid or illiterate). My intention is the same as it has always been--to challenge you to see things from a different perspective on its *own* terms. When you start putting your own interpretation or opinions on what people have said as a way to dismiss their arguments (such as...saying People seem to oppose the apostles teachings and are judgmental toward authority.), I'm going to call you on it. Based on the following "observations" of yours:

But, I have been told that you should only see the Scriptures as a source of inspiration by some and not as infallible.

Since I'm pretty sure I'm the one who mentioned that, I'll clarify:
The Bible itself does not make the claim that it is infallible or inerrant. It makes the claim that all Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness. The Bible also does not claim to be the Word of God: it says that Jesus is the Word (John 1:1-14).

Tell me again how that is opposing the apostles' teaching and being judgmental toward the authority of scripture? I'm fully endorsing what the apostles are saying here!

Others say the Scriptures are confusing and cannot be followed.

You'll have to take that up with Bruced, although it sounds like you may be twisting his words. The scriptures ARE confusing--even Peter says so about Paul's letters (2 Peter 3:16). That's why we debate what they say. It's important to handle them with care.

Others, including you have said, "We should take a drink each time the Scripture is quoted."

Steve addressed this, and you're right, I did say this in the comments here.
That whole comment thread is interesting, you should go back and read it. But how you interpret my remark (meant to be humorous--I even put a smiley face after it to show I'm trying to be funny!) says more about you than about my remark:
The way it sounded to me was that anyone who uses the Bible to make a point (which disagrees with her position and therefore in her eyes must be taken out of context) is to be mocked by everyone. I'm sorry if I missunderstood, but that's what was going on in my head. Again, I'll eat humble pie if that's not what happened.

That's not what happened. What flavor of humble pie do you prefer? :) [note: that, too was meant as a JOKE!] But seriously, I think you're reading way too much into my comments. Anyone who knows me well knows I'm not intentionally malicious (otherwise known as snide) toward others.

I have been told that there is no need for teachers and pastors, etc.
This probably came from Jeff's (former) blog, so it's hard to verify if your paraphrase of what others have said is accurate or not. I personally don't recall anyone saying there is not a *need* for teachers or pastors (I think the need for teachers is *very* great, myself); I thought the debate was about whether or not they should be paid. But I don't care to get into that discussion again.

I have been told by some that my Bible and God is crap written by men from their own imaginations.

I think these remarks were made exclusively by the Eddie(s), who are self-proclaimed non-believers of Christianity. So, this remark can't be used as justification for my challenge to show where "believers" are opposing the apostle's teachings.


Okay, next little tidbit:

Ninjanun, quit being so snide. You said, "Or is that just your interpretation based on the fact that we don't take every scripture at face-value, but consider the historical context, cross-scriptural references, textual criticism, etc?"

What the heck is that supposed to mean? That I don't consider those things and I take every Scripture literally no matter what?


No, it's not in reference to you. It means I didn't see anyone defending their position against you and DC by "twisting scripture," as both of you have claimed. I saw people trying to back up their stance with historical references, cross-scriptural references, and an attempt to make some synthesis of it all. If that's "twisting scripture," I guess we're all screwed. As to me being snide, I think Zeke accurately interpreted my tone. It's true, I "make many a sharp comparison but never a mean or snide one." (that's from dictionary.com, btw).

We need to learn to better support one another and quit gaining part of our support from unbelievers who only agree with us if we have a liberal social view, but would tear us down when we discuss theology and the Bible. We look like fools.

I try to support the Truth. I don't try to intentionally "gain part of my support from unbelievers" but I also don't like this "us vs. them" mentality you seem to be advocating. All Truth is God's Truth, no matter where it may be found.

You must really have a low view of me and I see you as a snot-nosed, stuck up intellectual that thinks she knows everything.

Oh I must, huh? You presume to know what I think of you, even though I'm pretty sure I haven't said any such thing. Just because I call you on your bullshit doesn't mean I have a low opinion of you. Although your follow-up comment certainly isn't scoring you any points in the respect department. I mean, thanks for finally being honest about the way you *really* feel about me, but what you think of me is none of my business. I don't think your interpretation of my comments toward you (which I have yet to see could be taken as such stinging insults) is just cause for you to "sting" back. I mean, you leave precious little space for me to interpret that last comment of yours as anything other than mean, rude, unkind, thoughtless, tasteless, and, in light of your admonitions to me and others about saying things "in love," hypocritical. Also, I specifically recall saying on Jeff's (former) blog: "I don't think I know everything. In fact, the more I know, the more I realize I don't know."

I especially take issue with the "snot-nosed" remark. I take extra care to thoroughly cleanse my nostril cavities of all snot and boogers. Just ask the Pete. He claims I leave used Kleenex all around the house as "evidence." ;) [note: again, that was meant as a JOKE! Although I hope I won't have to keep making such disclaimers, because it tends to make the joke less funny.]

dorsey said...

I think I'd refer to it as "the blog formerly known as demerging," except Jeff's stopped and started so many times, you still don't know which one you're referring to.

Ex Pastor's Kid said...

Well, I read through as much of this as I could while bouncing with my new baby boy: Ninjanun, I applaud your efforts -- i went to buy that book on christians and wealth after i read your post. Nonotone, i feel you on the regeneration issue, i know i did not save myself. no chance in hell. But: bruced, i want to be with you on widening the effect of this regeneration. dorsey, you've got a great heart -- and you've sparked so many great exchanges here. Much love and respect to all of you.

DCMetalJr said...

Ninjanun,

I find it funny that you would reference 2 Peter 3. Have you actually read it? In case your bible on has verse 16 i'll post the whole thing:

2Pe 3:1 This is now, beloved, the second letter I am writing to you in which I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder,
2Pe 3:2 that you should remember the words spoken beforehand by the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior {spoken} by your apostles.
2Pe 3:3 Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with {their} mocking, following after their own lusts,
2Pe 3:4 and saying, "Where is the promise of His coming? For {ever} since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation."
2Pe 3:5 For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the word of God {the} heavens existed long ago and {the} earth was formed out of water and by water,
2Pe 3:6 through which the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water.
2Pe 3:7 But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.
2Pe 3:8 But do not let this one {fact} escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day.
2Pe 3:9 The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.
2Pe 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up.
2Pe 3:11 Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness,
2Pe 3:12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat!
2Pe 3:13 But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.
2Pe 3:14 Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless,
2Pe 3:15 and regard the patience of our Lord {as} salvation; just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you,
2Pe 3:16 as also in all {his} letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as {they do} also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction.
2Pe 3:17 You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men and fall from your own steadfastness,
2Pe 3:18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him {be} the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.

This whole chapter is saying that Jesus is coming back and we need to be ready. It discusses being spotless and blameless. It discusses holy conduct and godliness. We know the time is short and the Lord is going to come to punish this evil world. I am not preaching fire and brimstone, I am revealing that the Lord discusses it Himself.

Now, Ninjanun, in which of your published works should I find your expository of the Epistles of Peter? Who is your reference as a great mind, superior to us lesser beings who have only the Holy Spirit to guide our understandings? Where are your laurels mounted on the walls of the great institutions of the land lauding your praises and recognizing you as a master of minds and a historical genius?

I think you would be happy to have people believe that only those with the highest education can understand even the simplest bible verse. You'd rule over those of us less than you with your superior knowledge, answering our pleas for recognition with "let them eat cake and sing Jesus loves me."

What do you know, really, except how to sound superior and dissuade people from truly seeking the meaning of righteousness and holiness? Knowledge puffs up, and anyone who wants to know how knowledgeable you are needs only to ask you.

Zeke said...

Dude, what the hell did you just say? I read it twice and I'm just not getting it.

DCMetalJr said...

Read it again.

dorsey said...

DC, I'll let ninjanun answer you herself, but I really don't know where you get off, dude.

I think maybe YOU should read your comment again. What do you think he was talking about when he said spotless and blameless? What about Godliness? How does one go about being like God? What quality of God must I imitate to be considered Godly? Well I consider God is best defined in 1 John 4, which states that God is love. But let's stick to the passage here.

I think verses 17 and 18 sum it up well, but you still miss the point. Verse 17 says don't be led astray "by the error of unprincipled men," A clue to the specifics of said error is found in 18: "BUT grow in GRACE and KNOWLEDGE OF OUR LORD AND SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST."

Did you get that? Grow in GRACE. If GRACE is the affirmative element of this admonition, then this warning is likely against judgement and legalism, no? From where I stand the unprincipled men are the people who want to bind others with ridiculous standards of holiness and a conditional grace. I don't know why you can't see this.

DCMetalJr said...

Dorsey,

God is the one holding us accountable to an actual standard of holiness. What about verse 2 regarding actual commandments. Not suggestions. I see verses 17 and on, do you see everything before 17 discussing the sin of this world. God is being kind to wait before coming. Do you think when He comes back it is to say "tsk tsk, you guys made such a mess, let's clean it up"? He is going to destroy the world and rebuild it.

Why rebuild it if everything is so wonderful? God didn't flood the world because people said other people should live by rules. He killed all of the people who followed no rules. He'll do it again, and you guys keep telling people there are no rules.

dorsey said...

Who the hell said there are no rules? Not me. But I'd be curious as to just what you consider the rules to be. Verse 2 speaks of the prophets and of the commandment of Jesus (Love God, love others).

The argument here is who is qualified to judge who and according to what rules? You seem awfully eager to get in the middle.

DCMetalJr said...

Dorsey,

Is there wrong and right? Are there boundaries? Do you have children? Do/would you teach them wrong from right? Would you let them choose what is wrong and right for themselves? I want to know if you just live by "love the Lord your God with all your heart mind, soul, and strength" and "love your neighbor as yourself" with no other specific boundaries of right and wrong? Do you feel that the apostles and/or prophets taught any other rules?

DCMetalJr said...

Is it okay to be a friend to the world?

JimmyBob said...

Ninjanun, I'm exhausted. I'll take everything you said as meaning I have no right to feel this way and I'll just go study. I'll take blueberry humble pie please.

Just one more thing that's bothering me though. I once posted a comment on this blog that I was listening to a Rush fill in on the way home and was challenged by a comment. You immediately posted how Rush is a fat liar and anyone who listens to him should not be taken seriously. That was obviously me and anyone else you were refering to. I took that as an assault on my intelligence. But, I'm sorry if I didn't get you that time either.

Alright, I'm done. But, please, somebody post 4 more comments so that Dorsey can get to 200. Wow!

DCMetalJr said...

Dorsey,

This will get you closer. It is my favorite tongue twister (and it is time for a break).
Try to say the following as fast as you can:

A box of biscuits
A box of mixed biscuits
A biscuit mixer

This and a few other tongue twisters actually helped me get past a horrible lisp as a child.

dorsey said...

DC, I think your tongue-twisters have twisted more than your tongue. I've already answered your questions. Why do you continue to ask them?

I'll say it once again, since you were obviously not paying attention the first time. According to scripture (with me so far?), whatever is not of faith is sin. So unless there's grace, we're all going to hell. Happy?

I don't think this has been disputed, yet you continue to portray us as hedonists who have cast off all restraint, simply because we won't cowtow to your literalist idea of where the line should be drawn.

Zeke said...

Is it okay to be a friend to the world?

Can you please tell me what that means in the context of your life?

Zeke said...

Is there wrong and right? Are there boundaries? Do you have children? Do/would you teach them wrong from right? Would you let them choose what is wrong and right for themselves? I want to know if you just live by "love the Lord your God with all your heart mind, soul, and strength" and "love your neighbor as yourself" with no other specific boundaries of right and wrong?

So in other words, Love the Lord your God with all your heart mind soul and strength and love your neighbor as yourself isn't enough?

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