ALL BLOG POSTS AND COMMENTS COPYRIGHT (C) 2003-2014 VOX DAY. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. REPRODUCTION WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION IS EXPRESSLY PROHIBITED.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Mailvox: Are Christians "required to be dicks"?

LudVanB objects to the idea that atheists should be expelled from Christian organizations:

"Not all Christians are required to be dicks, Vox"

To which Myrddin responded:
Actually, if we behave the way Christ and his apostles behaved:
  1. To honest seekers: Be gentle.
  2. To scoffers in private: Avoid them.
  3. To scoffers in public: Humiliate them.
  4. To people who claim to be part of the church, but are willfully and proudly disobeying: Kick them out.
  5. To false teachers: Silence them and/or kick them out.
  6. To those who repent: Welcome them back.
Notice under churchian definitions, in four of those six situations, Christians are required to be dicks.
Let's see if we can  find Scriptural justification for Myrddin's claims. I'll start with the two that are relevant to yesterday's discussion, numbers (4) and (5).

(4) 2 Thessalonians 3:6: "In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we command you, brothers and sisters, to keep away from every believer who is idle and disruptive and does not live according to the teaching you received from us."

1 Corinthians 5: 11-13 "I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people. What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked person from among you.”"
 
(5) James 3:1: "Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly."

2 Peter 2:1: "But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves."

The lesson, as always, is this: never listen to an atheist attempting to lecture you on theological matters. They literally do not know what they are talking about.

Labels: ,

222 Comments:

1 – 200 of 222 Newer› Newest»
Anonymous Toby Temple November 12, 2013 9:04 AM  

The lesson, as always, is this: never listen to an atheist attempting to lecture you on theological matters. They literally do not know what they are talking about.

This, a bazillion times.

Anonymous MendoScot November 12, 2013 9:23 AM  

But Luke had an encyclopedic knowledge of Christian theology!

Anonymous Gelfand November 12, 2013 9:24 AM  

As an atheist I have to agree. Scientologists don't need to allow sane people on their super-secret cruise ship, and Christians don't need to allow those who do not believe in the divinity of Jesus, to operate within their institutions. To think otherwise leads to our current hyper-egalitarian society, where women who fail required physical exams are still allowed to become firemen - I mean, firepeople - in order to maintain enough 'diversity'.

Anonymous willneverpostagain November 12, 2013 9:26 AM  

Yeah but, but, it doesn't "feel good" to be excluded!

Actually LudVAnB should follow his own rules: accept everyone, so you can "feel good" about yourself.

Christians should adhere to the Truth.

Keep on educatin' em Vox.

Anonymous Myrddin November 12, 2013 9:44 AM  

I should note that I know of no verse that explicitly states #3. It is drawn from the way Christ, the Apostles, and the church fathers behaved. It is possible to argue that it was assumed rather than taught because it was the cultural norm (it was), I cannot personally make an argument from scripture supporting it.

Anonymous ThirdMonkey November 12, 2013 9:49 AM  

1. We have to be eager and willing to be open, kind, and gentle to those who are genuinely seeking the truth. Oftentimes, it can be somewhat difficult to recognize these folks as we have been the source of much (and a lot of it deserved) ridicule.
2. Easy
3. Fun!
4. Tough, but doable. I've been a part of this, more than once. No regrets.
5. Absolutely necessary. They will take their weak-willed women with them, but good riddance.
6. The entire reason for doing 2-5. The ultimate goal is NOT exclusion. It is to protect the rest of the flock from falling into temptation and following heresies. There's no greater joy than having a brother or sister come to repentance after being put out. This is why we must stay diligent in the face of foolishness. We put them out because it works. Some will never come back, which means they were never of us anyways. But when one who is put out repents and returns...that's good stuff.

Anonymous Roundtine November 12, 2013 9:55 AM  

4. To put it in George Bush's terms: the soft bigotry of low expectations. Failing to enforce the standards hurts everyone involved.

Blogger Glen Filthie November 12, 2013 10:04 AM  

Good grief.

A militant atheist calling a considerate, thoughtful Christian a dick..? Seems to be a case of projection to me.

I have problems with most church doctrine too...but I can still be courteous and polite to Christians and admire those that actually walk the walk. Like it or not, those that practice what they preach are far better people than most atheists will ever be.

I don't care how many stupid people claim otherwise - homosexuals, liberals, and atheists are mostly selfish, ignorant, intolerant and just plain stupid. And when their 'families' and communities fall apart or fail they never take responsibility for it.

As long as Christians are in the business of making themselves better people they have my full support. I would dearly like to see the queers, atheists, and new-age flunkies and feminists try to do the same...it would go along way to giving them some credibility.

Blogger IM2L844 November 12, 2013 10:05 AM  

They literally do not know what they are talking about.

Exactly! They get the whole "Christians who judge are hypocrites" argument prodigiously wrong every single time.

Anonymous zen0 November 12, 2013 10:12 AM  

@ Myridden I cannot personally make an argument from scripture supporting it.

Here is how one prophet handled mockers:

Elisha and the Two Bears (2 Kings 2:23-25)


23 Then he went up from there to Bethel; and as he was going up by the way, young lads came out from the city and mocked him and said to him, “Go up, you baldhead; go up, you baldhead!” 24 When he looked behind him and saw them, he cursed them in the name of the LORD. Then two female bears came out of the woods and tore up forty-two lads of their number. 25 And he went from there to Mount Carmel, and from there he returned to Samaria.

Blogger Laughingdog November 12, 2013 10:17 AM  

Exactly! They get the whole "Christians who judge are hypocrites" argument prodigiously wrong every single time.

I've dealt with this one twice in just the past week or so. My favorite part is how judgemental they are about telling us that we're not supposed to judge. Of course, I'm just being mean when I explain Matthew 7 to them.

Blogger Eric I. Gatera. November 12, 2013 10:21 AM  

"never listen to an atheist attempting to lecture you on theological matters. They literally do not know what they are talking about."

Agree!

Anonymous Krul November 12, 2013 10:21 AM  

Why stop there? Atheists who don't let Christians have leadership positions in their freethought organisations are dicks. Muslims who don't let Jews lead Mosque services are dicks. Socialists who don't allow free marketers to lead their organisations are dicks. Anyone who doesn't willingly submit to their ideological opponents is a dick.

Blogger swiftfoxmark2 November 12, 2013 10:23 AM  

This whole thing reminds me of that monologue in Team America World Police.

So which ones are the atheists: assholes or pussies?

Anonymous The other skeptic November 12, 2013 10:24 AM  

Are the police required to be dicks?

Police in Britain arrest journalists putting up wanted posters. Charge is inciting racial violence.

Anonymous Alexander November 12, 2013 10:27 AM  

Well that's just a case of the police taking the only role left: the British populace content to be pussies and the muslims being the assholes.

Blogger Desiderius November 12, 2013 10:27 AM  

"They get the whole 'Christians who judge are hypocrites' argument prodigiously wrong every single time."

The word "hypocrite" means literally, in the Greek, to underjudge.

"hypo-" as in hypodermic (under the skin) or hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and "crite", to judge, from which we get criticize or critical.

The original statement is almost exactly wrong.

Anonymous Red Comet November 12, 2013 10:28 AM  

Remember kids, Ned Flanders was a literal cartoon character, an exaggerated stereotype of how a room full of atheist and secular Jewish (re: get out of white free card) writers thought Christians to be.

Don't be like Flanders and you're probably off to a good start.

Anonymous DrTorch November 12, 2013 10:28 AM  

@ Myridden I cannot personally make an argument from scripture supporting it.

Prov 22:10 Cast out the scoffer, and contention will leave;
Yes, strife and reproach will cease.

Proverbs 10:13
Wisdom is found on the lips of the discerning, but a rod is for the back of one who has no sense.

Proverbs 18:6
The lips of fools bring them strife, and their mouths invite a beating.

Proverbs 26:3
A whip for the horse, a bridle for the donkey, and a rod for the backs of fools!

Prov 9:8 Do not correct a scoffer, lest he hate you;
Prov 9:12 if you are a mocker, you alone will suffer.



Blogger Desiderius November 12, 2013 10:31 AM  

BTW, what's so bad about dicks?

I was talking to a group of under 30s LIV's after the first debate and they were amazed at what a dick Romney was. They LOVED it, especially the women. Biden turned it around by being a completely over-the-top dick in the VP debate.

Americans (especially woman) WANT DICK. They may even need it.

Anonymous Stickwick November 12, 2013 10:32 AM  

Laughingdog: Of course, I'm just being mean when I explain Matthew 7 to them.

Since we're on the subject, what is the proper interpretation of Matthew 7:1? It obviously doesn't refer to discernment, so what exactly does "judgment" mean in this context?

Blogger buzzardist November 12, 2013 10:33 AM  

Liberals who claim Christianity (or claim to have some intellectual authority regarding Christianity) love to forget that Jesus was hated precisely because he was a judgmental dick to a lot of people, mostly to powerful people who were hypocrites, shrouding themselves in religiosity while doing nothing to actually live according to God's commands on everything from helping the poor to maintaining sexual purity. We don't even need to step outside of the four gospels for copious evidence that being a Christian can and should mean sometimes offending and excluding other people.

Yes, Jesus welcomed sinners into his presence. But everybody is a sinner, and those whom Jesus welcomed were typically people who genuinely sought good teaching and who were willing to repent. Jesus gave people that opportunity to hear God's message and to repent. The advice Jesus gave his disciples if people refused the message? Shake the dirt of their town off your sandals and don't bother with them anymore.

A lot of people like to forget, too, that not being judgmental to those outside the church is entirely a different matter from dealing with people inside the church. If a person claims to be a Christian, then we are to judge that person's teachings and actions, and we are to confront and exhort the person if there is agreement that the person is straying from God's commands and biblical teaching.

A couple of the most powerful moments for me growing up in a church were when the church, a local, non-denominational bible church, took time during Sunday services to discipline members. One was a woman who had left her husband and refused counsel from church leaders. She was invited to be at the church that day, but she didn't come, and the church's elders publicly declared that she was not welcome back to the congregation as long as she refused to repent and submit. The other, lest anyone think that church discipline was sexist, was a man who engaged in an affair. The man initially refused to repent, and so the elders brought it before the church body on a Sunday morning. In this case, however, the man had the courage to show up, and with his sins exposed in public, he tearfully repented and remained a member of the church.

I suppose something could also be said here in light of such anecdotes about a man's willingness to accept responsibility, exhortation, and punishment in contrast with a woman's tendency to avoid responsibility and flee. But I'll just leave this as a good example of how church discipline can and should work, and it does involve publicly judging people, just as scripture commands.

Anonymous Sigyn November 12, 2013 10:44 AM  

Since we're on the subject, what is the proper interpretation of Matthew 7:1? It obviously doesn't refer to discernment, so what exactly does "judgment" mean in this context?

The word for "judge". In particular, it references discerning the distinctions between things.

You have to take it in context of the rest of the passage (vv. 2-5) and, of course, the rest of the Bible, in order for it to make any sense.

Anonymous Daniel November 12, 2013 10:51 AM  

Since we're on the subject, what is the proper interpretation of Matthew 7:1?

I don't do anything proper. Here's my interpretation, starting in 6:

Don't worry about things outside yourself, and don't judge others until you've straightened yourself out. Even then, don't waste your time fixing them if they are worthless atheist jackasses. Instead rely on God and your brothers and enjoy their generosity. Once you are clean, keep yourself on that path, and don't get jacked up by false authorities and people who tell clever lies about Jesus.

Look at what people do: that's how you know who follows Jesus and who does not. Don't heed their tongues because they may or may not be lying.

Hear Jesus' words and put them into practice.

That's my paraphrase of Matthew 7, starting with the end of 6 FWIW.

Anonymous TLM November 12, 2013 10:51 AM  

buzzardist

That's the weakness of the protestant reformation and the numerous denominations it spawned. Forget church discipline, I'll just go down the street and join the baptists, or Methodists, or non-denominational super terrific mega churchians, or the Presbyterians, or the Lutherans, or the etc etc etc. And these churches are happy to allow other "Christians" to join them. My guess would be that large portion of any churches' growth is made up of church shoppers and others that have grown bored or been tossed from other denominations. And don't think you catholics think that means I'm on your side, your problems are legion.

Anonymous zen0 November 12, 2013 10:52 AM  

Stickwick queries: Since we're on the subject, what is the proper interpretation of Matthew 7:1? It obviously doesn't refer to discernment, so what exactly does "judgment" mean in this context?

Discernment is a part of judgement.

For the long answer, try the following.


Judgement - Its Use and Abuse

Anonymous RedJack November 12, 2013 10:53 AM  

Sad thing is most church leaders today would rather let the gay atheist dictate the rules than what Jesus did and said. I once got in a rather lengthy debate about Christ overturning the moneychanger's tables. The other guy maintained that the episode was fiction, since Jesus would "Never be mean to people at the Temple!"

Being Christian isn't easy. You are saying to God and your fellow believers "Hold me to a higher standard, and kick me when I screw up". You are in hospital for the sick with sin, not a day spa for the confortable with it.

Blogger swiftfoxmark2 November 12, 2013 11:06 AM  

Most Church services are, as far as I can, nothing but an outlet for getting an emotional fix from the worship entailed. Nothing about proper spirituality or morality. Instead we are charged to evangelize and let God sort it out in a person's own heart.

They forget that the devil has his own spirits and that can easily deceive. Evangelism is good, but a church should also be a place to go for moral guidance. Hell, it should be where you go to settle disputes with your Christian brothers.

But no, it's not. Churches are nothing more than businesses packaged as a place to connect with God. Shame there are no moneychangers there...

Anonymous Peter Garstig November 12, 2013 11:10 AM  

Chesterton said the Jesus came to Earth with the sword. He was the sword. As VD said, he devides.

Anonymous Josh November 12, 2013 11:25 AM  

Since we're on the subject, what is the proper interpretation of Matthew 7:1?

If you interpret judge as condemn, I think it might be clearer.

Anonymous DonReynolds November 12, 2013 11:28 AM  

I have actually been waiting a long time for this.
I saw the guitar-stumming hippie priests, with long hair and beads, trying to convince everyone that Jesus was a pacifist panty-waist preoccupied with weemin's issues. They had the same problem in all the mainline protestant churches, about the same time...... the hip youth director, who was a bit odd (and out of step) to be treated like part of the clergy.

How did this happen? It was simple. The easiest way to avoid the draft prior to 1972 was go to divinity school....and stay there....... and then become an ordained minister in one of the big churches. It is a pretty good gig actually. Inside work, no heavy lifting. Weddings and funerals. Visiting the sick and the dying. Baptise a few newbies. After 40 years or so, turgor pressure alone will push these sorts into leadership positions in Catholic and Protestant churches alike. In my lifetime, the clergy has gone from being some of the most reactionary conservative members of the community to being some of the most liberal progressive, and so reflected by dramatic changes in the policies, positions, and practices of Christian churches.

Anonymous Josh November 12, 2013 11:34 AM  

Also keep in mind that Jesus did not treat everyone the same way. He said let the little children come to, yet he whipped the money changers. He called the pharisees vipers and told the dying thief he would see him in paradise. He called Peter Satan and did not condemn the woman caught in adultery.

If you had ears to hear and an open heart or mind, Jesus was warm, welcoming, and a shepherd. If you had a hardened heart and sought only to oppose him, Jesus became the rock that you would break yourself upon.

OpenID rufusdog November 12, 2013 11:34 AM  

A few things strike me about this topic.

1. This is sort of an argument against large churches. For churches to even behave this way there has to be a level of intimacy and familiarity among church members and church leadership. I am 100 percent certain that my minister doesn’t know my name (and I’ve attended my church every Sunday for about five years), much less if I need expelled or corrected.

2. There is a line here, we are all sinners and sin from time to time. If too hard a line is taken no one will be left. Porn for instance, if churches expelled every male member who struggles with porn there won’t be any men left in the church. I suppose the line is does the person understand their behavior is wrong and a sin or not and are they trying to change or control themselves. Gays come to mind. It is not that gays want understanding and support from Christians with their struggle with sin, they want their orientation to be redefined as not sinful

Anonymous Josh November 12, 2013 11:44 AM  

It is not that gays want understanding and support from Christians with their struggle with sin, they want their orientation to be redefined as not sinful

It goes beyond that. They're actually taking their sin and redefining it as their identity. Instead of realizing the magnitude of our crimes as rebels against God, and joining us with the cry, "oh Lord, have mercy upon me, a sinner", they double down on their rebellion and declare that their sin is not sin. They are literally taking the gift of Christ's sacrifice and casting it aside. They join the Roman soldiers in spitting on the body of the Lamb that was slain.

And then they have the audacity to tell us about intolerance and judgment.

Anonymous Peter Garstig November 12, 2013 11:45 AM  

Recently in Switzerland: a feminist protestant pastor woman declared in a national Journal that 'God' does not exists and to her it's more a 'Feeling of belonging'.

A relative of mine, pastor in the same church, was furious, but did nothing in fear of being attacked by his members. I even encouraged him, but he has 3 kids to feed, you know.

Anonymous Carlotta November 12, 2013 12:24 PM  

Great discussion. Taking notes.

Blogger Logos November 12, 2013 12:25 PM  

I wholeheartedly agree, but I see some comments (as on other occasions) that criticize Protestants as supposedly starting a trend that culminates with brash atheists demanding entrance to theistic organizations or otherwise creating general mayhem. This is a gross misconception.

The Protestant Reformation did not happen because Catholicism was too strict or demanding, but rather the exact opposite -- Catholicism had grown worldly, corrupt, and lax, so Protestants put Paul's words into action and separated themselves as a means to take scripture seriously once again. It was this impulse that later drove Protestants to flee the corrupt Old World and found this country; their fierce sense of principle, rectitude, and independence is what made America possible. The image of the upright, uncompromising, and frankly insufferable Protestant has a basis in historical reality.

Granted, the Protestants of today are a disgrace, but this is not an indictment of Protestantism itself, which had a noble origin and accomplished great things. And modern Catholicism is hardly a bulwark against the degenerative forces at play now; indeed, those Catholics who seek doctrinal purity in their lives are having to distance themselves from the official church, re-enacting the saga of Protestantism all over again.

Anonymous Daniel November 12, 2013 12:28 PM  

Logos - John Calvin himself wanted to demonstrate the laziness of the Catholics (who imprisoned Michael Servetus first) with his (Calvinist) orthodox slaying of Servetus. In some ways, Calvin was saying - the problem with the Catholic Church is that it isn't quite Catholic enough.

Anonymous Jack Amok November 12, 2013 12:41 PM  

A relative of mine, pastor in the same church, was furious, but did nothing in fear of being attacked by his members. I even encouraged him, but he has 3 kids to feed, you know.

Huh. Maybe letting "Pastor" be a paid career is as bad an idea as letting "Senator" be one.

Anonymous inhumanist November 12, 2013 12:42 PM  

Elisha and the two bears: aka Elisha and the 42 Trayvons.

Anonymous Red November 12, 2013 12:45 PM  

Matthew 7:1 is telling people not to play holier than thou games. It was nothing to do with judging sin.

Anonymous jay c November 12, 2013 12:46 PM  

I should note that I know of no verse that explicitly states #3. It is drawn from the way Christ, the Apostles, and the church fathers behaved. It is possible to argue that it was assumed rather than taught because it was the cultural norm (it was), I cannot personally make an argument from scripture supporting it.

Myrddin, I'll admit this is a little esoteric, but I believe it makes the point for those who already understand it:

"Pro 26:4-5 Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him. Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit."

Blogger JaimeInTexas November 12, 2013 12:46 PM  

A couple of examples for item (3). There are others, though.

Elijah to the priests of Baal: (1 Kings 18:20-40)
27 And at noon Elijah mocked them, saying, “Cry aloud, for he is a god. Either he is musing, or he is relieving himself, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is asleep and must be awakened.”

John the Baptist
Matthew 3
7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them: “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? 8 Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. 9 And do not think you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. 10 The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.

11 “I baptize you with[b] water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with[c] the Holy Spirit and fire. 12 His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”

Blogger Laughingdog November 12, 2013 12:46 PM  

@Stickman

The most straight-forward answer is that you are not to judge others unless you are willing to receive the same judgement on your own failings as well. In other words, don't be a hypocrite. There's also the issue of whether you're passing judgement on their failings in order to help lead them back into the fold, or just to boost your own pride.

I had a pastor that said churches can either be hospitals or courtrooms. The hospitals point out sin in each other to help each other learn to behave more like Christ has commanded. The courtrooms just point it out to make themselves feel superior.

Anonymous Josh November 12, 2013 12:49 PM  

Huh. Maybe letting "Pastor" be a paid career is as bad an idea as letting "Senator" be one.

I agree.

Anonymous bob k. mando November 12, 2013 12:51 PM  

Peter Garstig November 12, 2013 11:45 AM
...but did nothing in fear of being attacked by his members. I even encouraged him, but he has 3 kids to feed, you know.



surely, i don't need to point out the quotation of "neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of my mouth"?

and, there are other churches. as quoted above, "shake their dirt off of your feet".

IF
his church is so degenerate that they would not support him in speaking out against an open agnostic ( if not atheist ) who presumes to be one of their "ministers"
THEN
his failure of faith ( thinking that God either does not have the strength to protect him or that God would not use harm to him and his family as a testimony ) is a prime reason why his church is so apostate.

according to his own cosmology, there is going to be a day of reckoning for his refusal to lead.

Anonymous jay c November 12, 2013 12:52 PM  

Pro 26:4 ~= #2
Pro 26:5 = #3

Blogger buzzardist November 12, 2013 12:53 PM  

TLM,

I agree with you to an extent. Catholicism had grown utterly corrupt from the inside out, and it still remains so in many respects. But the Reformation blew the lid off of any hope of maintaining discipline over a single church.

However, it's not clear that one church run with top-down earthly authority was ever how things were meant to be. Churches do need to behave in accordance with other churches so that all are functioning as the body of Christ, but this does not preclude local congregations from functioning with independent leadership. The New Testament letters suggest that this is exactly how the church did function at one time.

The real problem with denominationalism seems to be that it has led to complacency and relativism within the church--one church is presumed to be as good as another, even if their theological beliefs are not compatible. Churches have bought into ecumenicalism, not as an attempt to reconcile differing beliefs according to scripture, but as a "let's just pretend not to disagree" tolerance or a "let's pretend these disputes can't be resolved and thus don't matter" agnosticism. As a result, all of these different denominations now stand for nothing, and most of them are losing members quickly. Young people don't know what they stand for because there is no good teaching in these churches, and so they abandon the church as soon as they become independent of their parents. Most never return. Why should they.

The churches that do grow consistently are those that offer strong teaching and discipline and that have strong leadership from a dedicated group of church elders. Yes, some of this growth is robbing members from the dying churches, which is not a bad thing. Real Christians ought to get out of those churches. But the real sign of a healthy church is one that is winning new converts, and there are precious few churches achieving this today. Jesus has more than a few parables about what will happen to those servants who bury their talents and give the master no return on the investment, and the scattered churches ought to be more aggressive in judging one another on such failures. Not to do so is to assent to this idea that complacent Christianity is permissible, which is simply wrong.

Anonymous One Mo November 12, 2013 1:06 PM  

Two of those are not Jesus' direct commands, but Paul's. Converts are always more fanatical than founders.

Jesus himself may have been more libertarian. He showed us the Truth but every listener had free will to accept it and live, or reject it and die. Salvation requires personal choice. Coercion denies free will and replaces salvation with conformity.

Blogger tz November 12, 2013 1:12 PM  

Christians are to serve the truth. In the Sermon on the mount, Jesus said "let your yes be yes, and your no be no, anything more comes from the Devil" and even said oaths were to be avoided.

In the case at hand, if instead of being an atheist, lets say he never took a SAT test or graduated high school, but sent fraudulent documents for the admissions process (though was a good student). Would anyone argue that he ought not be sanctioned severely or even expelled, much less kicked out of any place of authority or honor?

Why should the other fraud be treated differently.

Anonymous DonReynolds November 12, 2013 1:27 PM  

Excellent post, Logos.
In my lifetime, the stereotypical catholic priest was either Pat O'Brian or Spencer Tracey, nothing like what they have today.
.
My grandfather was a presbyterian preacher and the church he preached in was one founded by his own family, generations before. If he could get a glimpse of what the presbyterians have become in the past 40 years, he would puke his guts out.
.
Episcopalians have always been solid conservatives (until recently). They started fighting over the Prayer Book 40 years ago and now they are about to split with a radical and libertine clergy. Some have already aligned themselves with a conservative black bishop in Afrika, rather than go along with the liberal teachings pushed in the USA.

Anonymous Josh November 12, 2013 1:29 PM  

Coercion denies free will and replaces salvation with conformity.

No one is talking about coercing people into salvation.

We're taking about strengthening the body of Christ against false teachers and the unrepentant.

Anonymous DonReynolds November 12, 2013 1:53 PM  

buzzardist....."The real problem with denominationalism seems to be that it has led to complacency and relativism within the church--one church is presumed to be as good as another, even if their theological beliefs are not compatible."

Once all the churches have adopted soft liberalism, you may be totally correct. But by my own experience, the denominational distinctions are very real in the minds and hearts of believers and never led to any complacency, or relativism, or indifference, I assure you. If anything, the denominations have brought into sharp focus specific elements where their chuch is an improvement over others. The calvinists, lutherans and episcopalians broke away from the catholic church, just as others broke away from them to give rise to more distinct and demanding churches that were quakers, baptists, methodists, and german evangelical churches. It was never the purpose of protestants to weaken or water down the practice of the faith. They always had difficulty finding a church that was pure enough, untainted by human weaknesses.

Anonymous DonReynolds November 12, 2013 2:05 PM  

One Mo...."Two of those are not Jesus' direct commands, but Paul's. Converts are always more fanatical than founders."

Paul was a fanatical anti-Christian long before he became a convert. His conversion to Christianity (on the road to Damascus) probably had nothing to do with this.

Paul wrote: (Galatians 1:13-14) For you have heard of my previous way of life in Judaism, how intensely I persecuted the church of God and tried to destroy it. I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people and was extremely zealous for the traditions of my fathers.

Anonymous Stickwick November 12, 2013 2:22 PM  

zen0: Discernment is a part of judgement.

Certainly, but we're called upon to discern, whereas Matthew 7:1 seems to be warning us not to judge. I'm trying to figure out the difference and why so many people, especially non-Christians, tend to misinterpret this verse.

The link was helpful -- thank you -- so let me see if I interpreted it correctly. We should use discernment to protect ourselves and our fellow Christians, so that we don't tolerate and/or encourage sin. For instance, a Christian photographer who declines to hire out her services for a gay wedding is using discernment. However, gays and their sympathizers (including, unfortunately, some Christians) get up in arms because they see it as condemnation.

Which leads to my next question ...

Josh: If you interpret judge as condemn, I think it might be clearer.

What exactly is condemnation? For practical purposes, what does it look like?

Anonymous Josh November 12, 2013 2:32 PM  

What exactly is condemnation? For practical purposes, what does it look like?

The way I look at it, condemnation is final, with no chance of redemption or arbitration. Condemned to die, condemned to hell, etc. Condemnation offers no hope at all.

I'm not sure how to translate that into something practical.

When we judge, by whose standard? Are we like the pharisee, comparing those who fall short of our standard, not God's? Or do we echo what Paul said, that he is the chief among sinners and all have sinned m

Anonymous Sigyn November 12, 2013 2:32 PM  

Two of those are not Jesus' direct commands, but Paul's. Converts are always more fanatical than founders.

1. All Christians are converts.
2. I think you need to look at the Old Testament laws again if you want to see "fanatical". Considering those were handed out directly by God Himself, and God also founded Christianity...

Anonymous Cajin November 12, 2013 2:32 PM  

Denominalizationism is a luxury that is running out for the modern Christian, especially in America. Previously a Christian could afford to belong to a small sect, separate and impotent against the pagan and secular world. Small fiefdom-like pastorships just don't have the ability to organize large scale efforts previously seen in the past.

I can see a rush towards the Catholic church as blowback from this feeling of impotency, but like the conservative support of the Republican party, it simply won't generate the outcome they're hoping for.

Anonymous Randall November 12, 2013 2:34 PM  

Also look at the warnings in 1 John.

Blogger JDC November 12, 2013 2:43 PM  

I came upon this posting some time ago, but have found it helpful regarding the judge not lest ye be judged situation. FULL ARTICLE HERE

The source, for most people, of the idea that Christians should not judge comes from Matt. 7:1: “Do not judge, or you too will be judged.” If you read this single verse on its own, you may very well come to the conclusion that Jesus is telling people not to judge, but then comes the small matter of context. It turns out that sentences in the Bible, like every other written document ever produced, need to be read in context. We need to know what the surrounding verses say in order to understand this verse.

If you continue to read Matthew 7, through verse 5, you will see what Jesus is talking about. In verse 5, Jesus says, “You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” Here is the key to what Jesus means. He is speaking out against hypocritical and self-righteous judgments. He is not telling us to never judge; he is telling us how to judge rightly.

In fact, it would be extremely strange for Jesus to tell us to never judge in Matt. 7:1 when just a few verses later, in verse 6, he tells Christians to beware “dogs” and “pigs” so that we don’t waste time giving them knowledge of God. The only way you can detect a metaphorical “dog” or “pig” is to judge other people’s actions! There are, in fact, many more verses in the New Testament that exhort believers to judge other people (e.g., Matt. 7:15-16; John 7:24; 1 Cor. 5:9; 2 Cor. 11:13-15; Phil. 3:2; 1 John 4:1; 1 Thess. 5:21).

To say that Jesus teaches us not to judge other people’s actions is obviously and plainly wrong. But how should Christians judge? Here are some biblical guidelines. One should judge:
1. Consistently, not hypocritically
2. With Humility, not superiority
3. With Facts, not assumptions
4. Words and Deeds, not motive and intent
5. Biblical Issues, not personal preferences
6. Sins, not sinners
7. Temporal Matters, not eternal matters (salvation)
8. With a Goal to Show People Christ, not how good you are

Easier said than done, but that’s what our Lord commands. Rather than making the extreme claim that we should never judge, Christians need to figure out how to do it correctly. With God’s help, it can be done!

Anonymous Stickwick November 12, 2013 2:45 PM  

Josh: The way I look at it, condemnation is final, with no chance of redemption or arbitration. Condemned to die, condemned to hell, etc. Condemnation offers no hope at all.

I'm not sure how to translate that into something practical.


Okay, I'm sort of getting it. Maybe it would help if you could demonstrate with the example I used. What might it look like if the Christian photographer didn't simply use discernment, but judged as well? Something like issuing a declaration that the entire wedding party is going to hell? I'm not trying to be a PITA, it's just that in this case a concrete example would help me understand better than an abstract description.

Anonymous Josh November 12, 2013 2:51 PM  

Something like issuing a declaration that the entire wedding party is going to hell? I'm not trying to be a PITA, it's just that in this case a concrete example would help me understand better than an abstract description.

Maybe not the entire wedding party, but yes, something like that. Think of those wonderful "God hates fags" folks.

The core message might be "homosexuality is a sin" but see how "homosexuality is a sin, you're going to hell" and "homosexuality is a sin, Jesus can save you" have a different spirit behind them?

Anonymous Sigyn November 12, 2013 2:55 PM  

What might it look like if the Christian photographer didn't simply use discernment, but judged as well? Something like issuing a declaration that the entire wedding party is going to hell?

Judging: "I'm sorry. What you are doing is wrong, and I cannot in good conscience assist you in doing it."

Condemnation: "You are beyond saving! Get out of my office before you taint me with your unholy presence! Ew, now I have to do a ritual cleansing with incense..."



...Though, now that I think of it, weddings might be a good analogy for the passage in question. There seriously are people out there who believe that if you didn't have a big white church wedding, you're not REALLY married, and yet they themselves don't live according to God's requirements for marriage. Mote, beam.

Anonymous Athor Pel November 12, 2013 2:57 PM  

"Cajin November 12, 2013 2:32 PM

Denominalizationism is a luxury that is running out for the modern Christian, especially in America. Previously a Christian could afford to belong to a small sect, separate and impotent against the pagan and secular world. Small fiefdom-like pastorships just don't have the ability to organize large scale efforts previously seen in the past.

I can see a rush towards the Catholic church as blowback from this feeling of impotency, but like the conservative support of the Republican party, it simply won't generate the outcome they're hoping for."




It looks like you don't know what the the kingdom of God is, nor do you know much about the character of the Lord. For those that belong to the kingdom of God there is only one King, Jesus, and every believer is linked to Him by the Holy Spirit. You can't infiltrate and compromise that connection.

There is no such thing as "impotent against the pagan and secular world". If the Lord wants you protected, you will be protected. Individual, small group, large group, it doesn't matter. His provision and protection cannot be stolen or breached.

Large scale efforts are only that because they are combinations of many individual efforts. It sounds like you have no idea how the Holy Spirit motivates and organizes the church.

Measuring the church by a worldly standard will always end in failure, failure of measurement and failure for those that play the world's game. It hides the truth and sows confusion.

Anonymous Stickwick November 12, 2013 2:58 PM  

Josh, thank you. It makes sense now. This seems to be the point on which non-Christians, and even some Christians, get hung up. Declaring something to be wrong and taking action on that basis != condemnation. Women and homosexuals seem to have the most difficulty making this distinction. Anything short of celebration of their choices = condemnation.

Anonymous Stickwick November 12, 2013 3:00 PM  

Sigyn: Judging: "I'm sorry. What you are doing is wrong, and I cannot in good conscience assist you in doing it."

Is this judging or discerning? I thought it was the latter.

Anonymous Josh November 12, 2013 3:07 PM  

Women and homosexuals seem to have the most difficulty making this distinction. Anything short of celebration of their choices = condemnation.

Precisely. It's also psychological projection on their part. They devote a great deal of time and energy judging every little thing about everyone else and imagine that other people are doing the same to them.

Blogger The Aardvark November 12, 2013 3:16 PM  

Discerning=using judgment.

Anonymous Ann Morgan November 12, 2013 3:24 PM  

Jack Amok wrote: **Huh. Maybe letting "Pastor" be a paid career is as bad an idea as letting "Senator" be one.**

Heh. Sounds like an argument in favor of the Quakers. Who are probably more spiritually advanced than most people.

Anonymous Sigyn November 12, 2013 3:24 PM  

Is this judging or discerning? I thought it was the latter.

Hmm. Well, the word itself translated "judging" has elements of what I was given to understand was discernment. Maybe it's not all that different, except that judging is more externally focused and discernment more straightforwardly an intellectual exercise...

Except it's not...

Gosh. I know there's a subtle difference; I just can't articulate it at the moment. Don't take what I say as authoritative.

Blogger JaimeInTexas November 12, 2013 3:26 PM  

Jesus vs. converts?

Of course, there is also forgiveness and restoration but not to the exclusion of discipline.

Mathew 18
15 “If your brother or sister[b] sins,[c] go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. 16 But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’[d] 17 If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.

Anonymous Sigyn November 12, 2013 3:37 PM  

"Women and homosexuals seem to have the most difficulty making this distinction. Anything short of celebration of their choices = condemnation."

Precisely. It's also psychological projection on their part. They devote a great deal of time and energy judging every little thing about everyone else and imagine that other people are doing the same to them.


Not quite. We women are less able to draw a distinction between "what you do" and "what you are", so a blunt "what you are doing is bad" can sometimes be heard as "you are a bad person". After all, "it's not who you are underneath, but what you do that defines you," right? Know a tree by its fruit?

I think I recall that it's neurological. Some, maybe most of you guys can compartmentalize the entire world, but it's all of one piece to us. Right, wrong, both or neither...it's just how we see it. It takes discipline to suppress (it doesn't really change).

Blogger The Aardvark November 12, 2013 3:45 PM  

Jack Amok wrote: **Huh. Maybe letting "Pastor" be a paid career is as bad an idea as letting "Senator" be one.**

Heh. Sounds like an argument in favor of the Quakers. Who are probably more spiritually advanced than most people. --Ann Morgan
----------------
Probably a better argument for using the New Testament style of church polity, instead of the Western Protestant/ RC mode of making the words mean what they want them to mean, Humpty Dumpty-style.

Anonymous Myrddin November 12, 2013 3:51 PM  

I've got six minutes, so here goes:
@zen0

How one prophet behaves in one situation is not a perscription for all Christians in all places. The records are records: Person A did thing B, and we should not assume they mean that we should do thing B.

@DrTorch and jay c
Well done. My interpretive rubrick, however, is that Proverbs are supposed to be general rules rather than absolute promises (hence the name "Proverbs"). So, I wouldn't see these as commands to behave in that way, but rather reccomendations that those behaviors are wise (which isn't effectively much different).

@JaimeInTexas
I can come up with loads of examples. Just no commands. Which does not mean there aren't any, but only that I already spend more time here than I ought. But kudos on the research anyway.

@One Mo
The gospels were written after the letters, and are the teachings of the apostles (Mark is a record of Peter's teaching, Luke a record of Paul's, cross-referenced and crammed with historical footnotes because Luke was ejikated). All the teachings of Jesus we have are filtered through the apostles, and Sola Scriptura (that is: Scripture is the measure against which teachings are judged) is predicated on Jesus telling his apostles that the Holy Spirit would ensure they would accurately remember and convey his teachings.

Point is, trying to create a dichotomy between the teachings of Christ and his apostles is rather silly, as all we have are the teachings of his apostles, so we better hope they are also the teachings of Christ. Also, in, I think Ephesians, Paul is careful to differentiate between his opinions and the words of God, so there is that as well.

@Stickwick
Given that immediately following, Jesus says (abridged version) "First take the tree out of your eye so you can see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's," I think its safe to say it is not a condemnation of judging, but of hypocrisy. So, if you are presently struggling with porn, don't do marriage counseling. That sort of thing.

@JDC
You beat me to it. Oops.

@Jack Amok
Paul outright addresses this at one point. He says that pastors deserve to be paid, for the laborer is worthy of his wages, but that he makes his own independent living as a tent maker so that no one can influence/question his preaching (once again, making a distinction between God's command and what he personally thinks is wise). It's the same reason I've decided to spend the next few years making games instead of going to seminary.

Speaking of which, OT, but y'all said to update you on the game making. My first game passed review and is available for a dollar on the XBox Live Indie Market. Nobody has bought it yet, which I rather expected. Frankly, you can get better games of the same sort for free, and all the fun in the game can be had in the demo. But I'm still fairly enthused. It's the first step, and I've surpassed the wannabes.

One failure down, twenty-six to go...

Anonymous Micah November 12, 2013 3:56 PM  

"Since the arrangement of all things is in the hands of God, since to Him belongs the disposal of life & death, he arranges ALL THINGS by His sovereign counsel, in such a way that individuals are born, who are doomed from the womb to certain death, and are to glorify Him by their destruction." John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion vol. 2, 231

Now who in their right mind with a 4th grade knowledge of the bible would ever believe this pretenders teachings?

Did he skip the part about "WHOSOEVER believes in Him" & oh this one, "not wanting ANYONE to perish"

Whatever "reformation" Calvin was a part of was of the perishable kind.

Anonymous Tallen November 12, 2013 3:58 PM  

Some have already aligned themselves with a conservative black bishop in Afrika, rather than go along with the liberal teachings pushed in the USA.

The Congregation of Anglicans in North America (CANA). Many churches that broke from the Episcopal church have paid and are still paying heavily for it. Their former dioceses in the Episcopal "church" have reclaimed the grounds and buildings - and even demanded the congregations repay tithes collected in the intervening period between the split and the seizure of property! It is sad and pathetic but the Church will persevere and grow stronger for it.

Anonymous Cajin November 12, 2013 4:04 PM  

Athor, you're a little quick with the "you don't know nuthin'" stuff there.

I didn't think I'd have to point it out, but the church is, in fact, organized along denominal lines. Your rant and accusations were off base. Operating as a fractured entity has made it impotent in purposing any changes in the political and minimized it's impact in the community. (Why the knee-jerk reaction that I'm some deviant?)

And "You can't infiltrate and compromise that connection." is not supported by scripture as we are supposed to watch out for infiltration of both ourselves and our congregations specifically.

"Measuring the church by a worldly standard will always end in failure, failure of measurement and failure for those that play the world's game. It hides the truth and sows confusion."

Maybe you can't measure it, but I can. Do I have the ability to walk freely without hindrance or robbery around my neighborhood? Can I leave my children at Sunday School without my presence and have no fear that they will be accosted? Is the church present at events outside the churches four walls? And so on.

Anonymous bob k. mando November 12, 2013 4:11 PM  

Cajin November 12, 2013 2:32 PM
I can see a rush towards the Catholic church as blowback from this feeling of impotency



you know you are a dreamer.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-JoHlILtFZk

the Catholic Church
1 - defended, hid and ( worst of all ) willfully functioned as a procurement system for pedophiles for decades, rather than protecting the innocent
2 - is the origin of 'Liberation Theology' ( or 'christianized' Marxism )
3 - is degenerate enough to have installed Francis as pope

all of the western churches ( i can't speak to the Orthodox or Copts, i have no experience with them ) have gotten pretty complacent. it's amazing that the libs have managed to take them as far as they have ... but it's still starting to induce a push back.

which really, the lib churches only have two options:
liberalize and die for lack of participation ( why shouldn't i attend the atheist sunday 'church' services? )
return to the bible and doctrine



Sigyn November 12, 2013 2:55 PM
who believe that if you didn't have a big white church wedding, you're not REALLY married, and yet they themselves don't live according to God's requirements for marriage. Mote, beam.




but of course.

is it even a question that the type of woman who shows up on Bridezillas is not EVER going to submit to her husband? or to the Bible in any way that interferes with her desires of the moment?



Athor Pel November 12, 2013 2:57 PM
It looks like you don't know what the the kingdom of God is



he presents as RCC laity. which would mean that he doesn't really recognize any authority which lays outside the auspices of popery. i doubt any member of other denominations is going to be impressed by his 'reasoning'.



Sigyn November 12, 2013 3:24 PM
"judging" has elements of what I was given to understand was discernment.


http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/discerning

they are synonyms. 'to judge' has the additional implication of 'handing down sentence or punishment' but you have to examine context to determine if that meaning is a proper addendum to the usage of the word judge.

Anonymous Lazybug November 12, 2013 4:16 PM  

I do wonder why Goodness is confused for a soft and accepting niceness, it is almost like any vision of good which has some strength or backbone to it is rejected, and in its place a tepid cloud of goodfeel is expected.

Anonymous Sigyn November 12, 2013 4:20 PM  

they are synonyms. 'to judge' has the additional implication of 'handing down sentence or punishment' but you have to examine context to determine if that meaning is a proper addendum to the usage of the word judge.

Yes, bob, I know that they are rough synonyms in English, but I was looking at Greek, which has its own nuances. I linked the word some ways up, if that helps clarify where I'm coming from.

Anonymous Anonymous November 12, 2013 4:48 PM  

As a Christian man.... I have learned to laugh at the irony of being called "judgmental" by those who are always witnessed to be lacking in good judgment......

Anonymous bob k. mando November 12, 2013 4:52 PM  

Lazybug November 12, 2013 4:16 PM
I do wonder why Goodness is confused for a soft and accepting niceness



because that is what is being taught in public schools.

it's the flip side of the ludicrously stupid assertion that "violence never solves anything" which you hear all the time.

they teach platitudes which are functionally impossible in order to PREVENT children from examining the idea that force/violence may at times be appropriate and what those situations might be.

the above is the origin of the knee-jerk lib abhorrence to citizens defending themselves with firearms.



Stickwick November 12, 2013 3:00 PM
Is this judging or discerning? I thought it was the latter.



you have to 'make a judgment' as to whether or not what the wedding party is seeking to do is good or evil before you can decide not to participate in it yourself.

in this instance, 'discern' and 'judge' are perfect synonyms because no punishment is being handed down by the photog.




Sigyn November 12, 2013 4:20 PM
I linked the word some ways up, if that helps clarify where I'm coming from.


*shrugs*

so far as i can tell, there is no useful difference between krinos and judge. but i'm not fluent in greek or aramaic so i can't critique Strong's statement. by Mounce's Greek / English NT, it's obvious that variances in sentence structure between the languages might conceal something of the intent of the statements when translating.

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew%207&version=MOUNCE

'judge' would appear to be the correct interpolation for krino/krima though.

Anonymous farmer Tom November 12, 2013 5:00 PM  

Jesus Not Acting Like Jesus

Blogger Desiderius November 12, 2013 6:04 PM  

Micah,

"Now who in their right mind with a 4th grade knowledge of the bible would ever believe this pretenders teachings?"

On this count? Me.

"Did he skip the part about 'WHOSOEVER believes in Him' & oh this one, 'not wanting ANYONE to perish'"

You forget that He's won the victory over the grave. (Physical) destruction is not the last word.

"Whatever 'reformation' Calvin was a part of was of the perishable kind."

Again, Christ too "perished", after which he descended into Hell, kicked Satan's ass, on the third day rose again from the dead, ascended into Heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty, from thence he shall come to judge the Quick and the Dead.

Which are you?

Your fourth-grader had more balls than the whole of Churchianity, femme or Osteen branch.

Blogger ex-pastor November 12, 2013 6:05 PM  

"The word "hypocrite" means literally, in the Greek, to underjudge."

This is an example of where etymology goes awry - it did not and never meant "to underjudge" even though you parse the individual elements correctly. By New Testament times, a hypocrite (Hupokrites) was an actor on stage - i.e. someone pretending to be what he is not, which is pretty much the modern meaning. It derived from a much older meaning of "an interpreter, a dissembler."

Anonymous Mudz November 12, 2013 6:08 PM  

I used to find it amusing how atheists always try to fall back on a morality they spend all their time arguing they don't need, according to a bible they didn't read and don't believe.

Now it's just faintly vexing. It's like being a superhero where the bad guys just never stay in prison. Every time you fly out, they're back robbing the same bank, like they didn't get their asses kicked there last time.

The problem is they've never had to confront their own conception about their intelligence. They're still locked in their 13-year old 'I'm smarter than everyone' phase coupled with 'I'd totally be the best at this, if I bothered to study'. (You can go for years thinking you're a genius, despite not being able to do a simple trig problem, so long as you never actually tried to learn it in the first place. Neat strategy, huh?)

It's also funny how no-one ever attempts to guilt atheists with 'how atheist of you'. Because we don't really have any moral expectations of them. Yet they seem to imply that Christianity is the moral standard, by saying that we're falling short of the mark - like it's a bad thing. If only they actually understood it.

Amazing lack of self-perception, methinks.

I do wonder why Goodness is confused for a soft and accepting niceness, it is almost like any vision of good which has some strength or backbone to it is rejected, and in its place a tepid cloud of goodfeel is expected.

It's easier. People don't make you feel bad for just wanting others to feel good. It's why a fair amount of these 'be nice' types are at the same time happy to hate on designated targets, because everyone around them gives them them the signal of social acceptability.

They just want to be liked. That's their moral aspiration. It's essentially an avoidance of moral responsiblity.

Let's not forget the scripture:

"For whoever becomes ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when he arrives in the glory of his Father with the holy angels." - Mark 8:38

Blogger Desiderius November 12, 2013 6:17 PM  

Josh,

"The core message might be 'homosexuality is a sin' but see how 'homosexuality is a sin, you're going to hell' and 'homosexuality is a sin, Jesus can save you' have a different spirit behind them?"

Save you from what?

Sorry, at the end of the day, it can't really be pussy-footed around. The church is a hospital for sinners or it is nothing. Those were some awfully fine people who thought we were beyond talking about sin and salvation. I knew several personally. They were wrong. We all fall short of the Glory of God.

Sigyn,

If you start out with the realization that you're a bad person (as am I - i.e. we're all sinners, we all fall short), then criticism isn't a threat to your (false) identity. We're all good people too (created in God's image). The capacity is there for both. The practice that brings out the good side is regular discernment (using more eyes than two, preferably), confession, repentance, assurance of pardon, and the encouragement toward sanctification (hence the Holy Spirit) that flows naturally from that assurance.

That's the Good News. If you believe you're already Good, the whole thing is superfluous. Sure way to end up bad, tragically.

Blogger Chiva November 12, 2013 6:20 PM  

This subject is very timely for me. Thank you.

I am re-reading 1 Corinthians Ch 5, V 9-13 in a different light.

Blogger Desiderius November 12, 2013 6:21 PM  

ex-pastor,

"The word "hypocrite" means literally, in the Greek, to underjudge."

This is an example of where etymology goes awry - it did not and never meant "to underjudge" even though you parse the individual elements correctly. By New Testament times, a hypocrite (Hupokrites) was an actor on stage - i.e. someone pretending to be what he is not, which is pretty much the modern meaning. It derived from a much older meaning of "an interpreter, a dissembler."

That's what I was taught too. I was taught a lot of other things that didn't wind up availing much. I see that you're an ex-pastor yourself. The etymology we were taught is lacking in philology, not to mention potence.

Blogger Doom November 12, 2013 6:39 PM  

It is also easy to judge, rightly or wrongly, those who follow those things. I try to watch the lines I cross, in this regard. But I do cross lines. Grumpy, old, confused, wrong? Dunno, but I do what I feel is correct. I just never assume that I am saved always because I was saved once, and seek salvation anew, always... then hope, pray, and have righteous indignation at what I see as false. If wrong, I hope God forgives and others, betters, deign to guide.

Anonymous Cretin November 12, 2013 7:13 PM  

"The lesson, as always, is this: never listen to an atheist attempting to lecture you on theological matters. They literally do not know what they are talking about."

Put 10 Christian in a room and ask them what it means to be a christian and you'll get 10 different answers. And you'll have no way of determining which answer is correct than your own intuition and and faith.

It's the not the atheist you should wonder about. It's the any-way-you-want-to-interpret-it Christian theology and doctrine that has you spinning.

Be reasonable! Go the Agnostic route!

Anonymous Carlotta November 12, 2013 7:32 PM  

Put 10 Christian in a room and ask them what it means to be a christian and you'll get 10 different answers. And you'll have no way of determining which answer is correct than your own intuition and and faith.

Demonstrably untrue you Cretin. The determining factor is what is in the Bible and any literate can easily verify for themselves.

Anonymous Cajin November 12, 2013 7:38 PM  

Bob, I understand perfectly well what you and Athol are saying. I didn't say the return of people to the RCC (see John C. Wright for example) was good a thing and I'm certainly not in line to join, but my hope is that believers (please don't get obtuse on this point) would no longer separate itself from the political. It does matter that pastors and all Christians reject 501c status to speak freely and openly on how we should vote, what we should vote for and against, where we'll shop, where we'll mobilize and operate.

You're not going to be able to do much at a 100 member or even 500 member church out on it's own. But a solidified group of 100,000s based around a doctrinal core can really make a difference. Large numbers do make a difference, maybe not to the Kingdom of God, but certainly to the man on the street.

Just as I said, separating ourselves along doctrinal lines that most church-goers don't understand (and possibly lack the ability to understand) is a luxury. Meaning it is something we can afford to do when times are good. When times are bad, we'll hopefully find that those issues that separated us no longer carry as much weight.

Anonymous bob k. mando November 12, 2013 7:38 PM  

but you see, Carlotta, he isn't really literate.

Anonymous bob k. mando November 12, 2013 7:46 PM  

Cajin November 12, 2013 7:38 PM
You're not going to be able to do much at a 100 member or even 500 member church out on it's own.


so is what yer tellin us is, you have utterly failed the lesson of Gideon?
http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Judges%207&version=KJV

Anonymous Sigyn November 12, 2013 7:47 PM  

You're not going to be able to do much at a 100 member or even 500 member church out on it's own.

I don't know. God did pretty well with fewer.

Anonymous Sigyn November 12, 2013 7:49 PM  

Heh, bob reaches for Judges and I was thinking Acts, but it still comes out the same.

Side note: I'm reading both right now. Almost done with Acts, though, probably tomorrow.

Blogger James Dixon November 12, 2013 8:53 PM  

> Put 10 Christian in a room and ask them what it means to be a christian and you'll get 10 different answers. And you'll have no way of determining which answer is correct than your own intuition and and faith.

Total and complete BS. You'll get 10 slightly different answers, but the vast majority of Christians agree on the basics of the faith.

Blogger stranger in a strange world November 12, 2013 9:03 PM  

You can make a good case for #3 from Proverbs 26:5

Sometimes a fool needs to be addressed so that his foolishness will not go unchallenged.

Anonymous Josh November 12, 2013 9:10 PM  

Save you from what?

Sin and death. All you need to do is repent and declare him Lord.

Anonymous Truth November 12, 2013 9:11 PM  

The right verses can be (and historically have been) used to justify any number of crimes against humanity and general douchebaggery.

Does the Bible not also say be the salt and the light? To spread the gospel? You can't effectively spread the gospel by avoiding and kicking out non-Christians. It's counter productive and not Christ-like at all.

Anonymous Bart November 12, 2013 9:27 PM  

It's another tuesday night and we are having our weekly prayer meeting. If anyone has needs or just wants to be part of the prayer meeting. Please pray for the Philippines.

Anonymous Beau November 12, 2013 9:33 PM  

Lord Jesus we lift up Filipino believers. May they be the light of the world by their actions and comforting words to others around them in the disaster. We lift up local pastors and other leaders in your Body. Strengthen and refresh them; speak through them. We lift up those who mourn; comfort them. Holy Spirit, superintend the distribution of aid, so that it reach the right destinations, for the right reasons, in a timely manner. Lord help them.

Anonymous DonReynolds November 12, 2013 9:35 PM  

So which are you saying, UN-Truth?

No one should use the right verses to justify crimes against humanity and general douchebaggery?
(So the Bible verses should be ignored, or certainly not invoked.)

But they should be the salt and the light, without avoiding or kicking out non-Christians?
(So we should follow the Bible verses that you like and approve of, except when it calls on Christians to act in the affirmative.)

Because you think that would be counter productive and not Christ-like at all?
(Clearly, you do not even pretend to be a Christian, but you want to instruct Christians on their religious obligation. Is this not your own form of douchebaggery? Can you imagine how arrogant you appear to other people?)

Just hold that thought long enough to go preach to the Muslims who are murdering Christians and burning churches. Maybe you could convince North Korea to stop executing people for reading the Bible. That would indeed be Christ-like.

Anonymous Truth November 12, 2013 9:46 PM  

"So we should follow the Bible verses that you like and approve of"

My point is that Vox (and many of these commenters) are already doing that for the ones they approve of while gleefully ignoring the rest.

Anonymous Mudz November 12, 2013 9:49 PM  

The right verses can be (and historically have been) used to justify any number of crimes against humanity and general douchebaggery.

The right genitals can be (and historically have been) used to justify any number of crimes against humanity and general douchebaggery.

Clearly a call for genital removal.

Does the Bible not also say be the salt and the light? To spread the gospel? You can't effectively spread the gospel by avoiding and kicking out non-Christians. It's counter productive and not Christ-like at all.

Spread the word of God to non-believers by sitting in church. Yeah, that's exactly how Jesus did it. You're brilliant. And by brilliant I mean you're an idiot.

Besides which, it's false brothers and sisters mentioned in the OP. Not curious visitors.

Anonymous Beau November 12, 2013 10:12 PM  

Heavenly Father,

We lift up again our brothers and sisters in Christ imprisoned around the world for calling your son Jesus savior. Release them, use them as a sweet fragrance of grace, call them out. We lift up those of us who are materially blessed; may we use everything you've entrusted to us to call our neighbors, families, and friends out of this lost and dying world. Teach us to forgo the siren call of Self. May we who are believers wash our robes.May we be about your business on that day when you return. May we endure to the end for your sake and glory.

Abba, I specifically lift up Golf Pro's Brain. Deliver him. I thank you Frankie is in rehab, let her surrender and find life. Thank you that Mitch has returned from the mission field; send him out again with great joy. Bless our congregations, those the Ilk attend, worldwide; may they be touched by revival fire. Bless the Ilk and our host. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Anonymous ThirdMonkey November 12, 2013 10:21 PM  

Truth,
How much of the Bible have you read? I'm just trying to dicern if you are a #1 or a #3. If you read the original post, 4 and 5 apply only to those who are actual members. I've never been in a church where visitors were kicked out.

Blogger Desiderius November 12, 2013 10:23 PM  

Truth (sic),

"My point is that Vox (and many of these commenters) are already doing that for the ones they approve of while gleefully ignoring the rest."

Such as?

Blogger Desiderius November 12, 2013 10:24 PM  

"Sin and death. All you need to do is repent and declare him Lord."

Aye, that they do. And if that choose otherwise, say by identifying themselves by their sin, what then?

Blogger Desiderius November 12, 2013 10:26 PM  

"And you'll have no way of determining which answer is correct than your own intuition and and faith."

A convenient ignorance to maintain if one wishes to hold on to one's identity as a "good person" more than one wants to take up one's cross and follow Christ.

Blogger Desiderius November 12, 2013 10:27 PM  

"I don't know. God did pretty well with fewer."

Yep, yep. The first church had 13 members, and they had to kick one out, as I recall.

So judgy.

Anonymous Myrddin November 12, 2013 10:40 PM  

"Truth", darling, honey-pie. Please read the actual post before lecturing me on my faith. You missed all of the numbers on the list except the ones that offend you. You will note that in the examples where kindness is required, kindness is listed as being required.

Oops.

Then, contemplate this list of Christlike activities:
1. Driving people out of a temple with a whip.
2. Telling scholars that they know nothing in their subject area.
3. Calling his right-hand man 'Satan'.
4. Talking about throwing people in Hell.
5. Talking about how much Hell sucks.
6. Telling people that they all deserve the suckage that is Hell.
7. Telling people that rapists will have it better in Hell than they will.
8. Pissing people off to the point where their brains shut down and they try to kill him right now.
9. Multiple times.
10. On purpose.
11. Calling people 'snake bastards' (that translation is not certain, but likely. Definitely 'sons of snakes,' though).
12. Killing a tree because it didn't have any fruit on it.

Twelve's a nice number to stop. Very symbolic.

Anonymous Myrddin November 12, 2013 10:44 PM  

In retrospect, I'm sorry about the pet names. I stand by the rest.

Anonymous Truth November 12, 2013 11:08 PM  

I didn't lecture you Myrddin, honey pooky bear. I didn't even address you.

Anonymous Toby Temple November 12, 2013 11:16 PM  

Thanks for the prayers, Beau.

Anonymous Toby Temple November 12, 2013 11:18 PM  

Please pray for the Philippines.

Thanks, Bart.

Anonymous Beau November 12, 2013 11:20 PM  

Toby, is there anything else we can do for you personally?

Anonymous Cretin November 12, 2013 11:24 PM  

"My point is that Vox (and many of these commenters) are already doing that for the ones they approve of while gleefully ignoring the rest. "

Just as most others do.

If you really followed the word of the bible, you wouldn't have to be simply a "dick", you'd have to be an asshole with a proclivity to kill and maim.

Anonymous Toby Temple November 12, 2013 11:37 PM  

Toby, is there anything else we can do for you personally?

I'm good, Beau. In where I live, the typhoon did not do much except destroy small plants.

Anonymous Mudz November 12, 2013 11:41 PM  

If you really followed the word of the bible, you wouldn't have to be simply a "dick", you'd have to be an asshole with a proclivity to kill and maim.

Completely accurate, except for the part where it's stupid. Which is all of it.

I like these conversations. They require no real effort or intelligence, which is probably why your posts have been thus far limited to them.

Aren't you happy I took the trouble to pay attention to you?

Anonymous bob k. mando November 13, 2013 12:21 AM  

Truth November 12, 2013 9:11 PM
You can't effectively spread the gospel by avoiding and kicking out non-Christians.



we're not talking about avoiding or kicking out "non-Christians", you deceptive little viper.

we're talking about kicking out LIARS who knowingly and willfully presented themselves as Christians ... when they damn well knew that they were nothing of the sort.



Cretin November 12, 2013 11:24 PM
If you really followed the word of the bible, you wouldn't have to be simply a "dick", you'd have to be an asshole with a proclivity to kill and maim.



we follow the NT covenant, not the OT covenant.

i realize the distinction is too complex for your little mind.

you need to take it up with the Jews that they haven't been killing enough people, they're the OT covenant. tell them that if they'd just have followed the OT prescriptions all of the Palestinians would be dead and they wouldn't have any problems.

Anonymous Mudz November 13, 2013 12:41 AM  

There wasn't a 'Murder and Mayhem' commandment underneath 'Thou Shalt Not Murder' anywhere.

OT or NT makes no difference in this regard. Obviously, following the word of the Bible in either covenant would in no sense recommend one to a life of murder and barbarity. The only real difference is that the ancient Israelites were a nation with a military, and thus had national and military policies. (Apparently 'I'm a coward' was actually a legitimate excuse not to join the army!)

Although I have the impression that it was what the patriotic concept of America was actually modelled after, in a sense. One nation under God and what-ho.

Blogger Eric Wilson November 13, 2013 12:52 AM  

Beau and Bart, just wanted to thank you for your prayers for my grandma's heart valve replacement surgery a couple of weeks ago. She's doing great with lots of energy and as crotchety as ever. So, good ole grandma!

Anonymous Jonathan November 13, 2013 12:56 AM  

Truth November 12, 2013 9:11 PM
You can't effectively spread the gospel by avoiding and kicking out non-Christians.


This is why the term "Christian" is so pernicious. The bible doesn't command the shunning of "non-Christians" but of those who blatantly and openly live a life of approval of sin.

The second greatest lie the devil ever perpetrated on the world was convincing humanity that there were such a thing as "christians".

Anonymous Jonathan November 13, 2013 12:58 AM  

@ bob mando

You can just sidestep that line of dispute if you just quit using the label "christian", a label derived from the Greek habit of labeling philosophical schools.

Blogger Eric Wilson November 13, 2013 1:01 AM  

Sigyn and bob,

Heh, bob reaches for Judges and I was thinking Acts, but it still comes out the same.

It's like God foresaw potential objections and proofs that the objections wouldn't matter.

Blogger Eric Wilson November 13, 2013 1:03 AM  

Hmmm. "Proofs" should probably be "proves."

Blogger Eric Wilson November 13, 2013 1:05 AM  

Jonathan,

Just curious, what was the greatest lie the devil ever perpetrated.

Anonymous Jonathan November 13, 2013 1:07 AM  

Neither Jesus nor any of his immediate disciples used the term "christian", that term is only used once to denote what outsiders called his followers. If you are a "christian" then you are just another adherent of some human philosophical ideology.

Anonymous Jonathan November 13, 2013 1:08 AM  

@ eric wilson

It's a tongue in cheek reference to the line in the Usual Suspects that the greatest lie the devil ever perpetrated is that he does not exist.

Blogger Eric Wilson November 13, 2013 1:10 AM  

Jonathan,

I agree, that is a powerful lie, but for second biggest, how about the deception of Eve in Eden that she would be like God...

Anonymous Jonathan November 13, 2013 1:10 AM  

When someone asks you the reason for the hope that lies within you the most proper answer is something like Jesus paid for my debt of sin with his death on the Cross. If they want to label you a "Christian" for that answer, then, that is their business.

Blogger Eric Wilson November 13, 2013 1:11 AM  

And what would you call the redeemed if not "Christians?"

Anonymous Jonathan November 13, 2013 1:13 AM  

@ eric wilson

Yeah, sure. I was using a bit of humor to accentuate the point, which was that the very label "christian" was pernicious. That said, it's not really at a lie since, at this point, it has been exposed.

Anonymous Jonathan November 13, 2013 1:13 AM  

@ eric wilson

How do you know who is and who is not redeemed?

Blogger Eric Wilson November 13, 2013 1:14 AM  

Well, hasn't it been exposed for sometime, what with the Visible Church and the Invisible Church being two separate but overlapping groups?

Blogger Eric Wilson November 13, 2013 1:15 AM  

I don't. I can't. But I know that there are many that are redeemed. How ought I reference them if not with the label "Christian?"

Anonymous Jonathan November 13, 2013 1:16 AM  

@ eric wilson

That doesn't answer my question.

Anonymous Jonathan November 13, 2013 1:18 AM  

@ eric wilson

How ought I reference them if not with the label "Christian?"

Since you don't have a definitive way of delineating definitively why do you need such a label?

Blogger Eric Wilson November 13, 2013 1:18 AM  

Which question? Who is and who isn't redeemed? I think I answered that. I don't see another question you asked me.

Anonymous Jonathan November 13, 2013 1:20 AM  

@ eric wilson

Focusing on the believers takes away the focus on Christ and his atonement for our sins. The more resources you expend trying to label and delineate the less you have to expend on serving God and manifesting his glory in your life.

Blogger Eric Wilson November 13, 2013 1:20 AM  

Since you don't have a definitive way of delineating definitively why do you need such a label?

Just because I can't delineate them doesn't mean there isn't such a group of people.

Anonymous Jonathan November 13, 2013 1:22 AM  

@ eric wilson

Which question? Who is and who isn't redeemed? I think I answered that. I don't see another question you asked me.

Your answer was question begging. Simply noting that there are visible and invisible churches does not provide a demarcating set of criteria that distinguishes the two.

Anonymous Jonathan November 13, 2013 1:22 AM  

@ eric wilson

Just because I can't delineate them doesn't mean there isn't such a group of people.

Who is capable of delineating this?

Blogger Eric Wilson November 13, 2013 1:24 AM  

The more resources you expend trying to label and delineate the less you have to expend on serving God and manifesting his glory in your life.

Maybe after a certain point. However, if one spends no time doing this, then every action becomes acceptable.

Blogger Eric Wilson November 13, 2013 1:24 AM  

Who is capable of delineating this?

God, and God alone.

Blogger Eric Wilson November 13, 2013 1:28 AM  

Your answer was question begging. Simply noting that there are visible and invisible churches does not provide a demarcating set of criteria that distinguishes the two.

And I am not the ultimate arbiter. Yet you agree that there are some who profess to be Christain and aren't and others who may not be churched that are saved. How is that begging the question?

Anonymous Jonathan November 13, 2013 1:28 AM  

@ eric wilson

However, if one spends no time doing this, then every action becomes acceptable.

Agreed. However, the biblical way of going about this is using the tools found in the bible, which involve assessing individuals and specific groups. There is no warrant in the bible for a universal set of criteria by which we can assess who is and who is not going to heaven.

Blogger Eric Wilson November 13, 2013 1:30 AM  

There is no warrant in the bible for a universal set of criteria by which we can assess who is and who is not going to heaven.

Of course, but there are people who are going to heaven in the end. What should we call them?

Anonymous Jonathan November 13, 2013 1:30 AM  

@ eric wilson

And I am not the ultimate arbiter. Yet you agree that there are some who profess to be Christain and aren't and others who may not be churched that are saved. How is that begging the question?

If you lack a demarcating criterion to distinguish everyone who is going to heaven from everyone who is not then the distinction has no practical application. What's the point of adopting a label that has no practical application?

Anonymous Jonathan November 13, 2013 1:32 AM  

@ eric wilson

Of course, but there are people who are going to heaven in the end. What should we call them?

Unless your label has a practical application what's the point of even calling them anything?

Anonymous Jonathan November 13, 2013 1:33 AM  

@ eric wilson

Since your label is going to have no effect on who does or does not go to heaven what would be the point of such a label, from a biblical perspective?

Anonymous bob k. mando November 13, 2013 1:35 AM  

Jonathan November 13, 2013 1:18 AM
Since you don't have a definitive way of delineating definitively why do you need such a label?



what would you prefer to call them? churchians?

there are those who worship and those who do not. whether you 'want' there to be a label or not is irrelevant. people are going to use a shorthand term of some sort to refer to the distinction.



Jonathan November 13, 2013 1:22 AM
does not provide a demarcating set of criteria



the tree shall be known by it's fruit?





Jonathan November 13, 2013 1:22 AM
Who is capable of delineating this?



a Christian with discernment guided by the Holy Spirit? you know, the kind of man who fulfills the requirements given to be a bishop of the church?

Blogger Eric Wilson November 13, 2013 1:36 AM  

What's the point of adopting a label that has no practical application?

Comfort.
Contrast.
Simplicity.

Blogger Eric Wilson November 13, 2013 1:38 AM  

bob,

a Christian with discernment guided by the Holy Spirit? you know, the kind of man who fulfills the requirements given to be a bishop of the church?

Hopefully, but not necessarily.

Anonymous Jonathan November 13, 2013 1:46 AM  

@ bob mando

the tree shall be known by it's fruit?...a Christian with discernment guided by the Holy Spirit?

Agreed. However, non-believers are not going to have access to anything generated by the Holy Spirit, therefore, this label is meaningless in a secular context. How do we assess the fruits of individuals? We examine their lives in depth, according to scriptures. That only is a demarcating criterion in a very local context.

As a universal label is has no applicability.

Blogger Eric Wilson November 13, 2013 1:49 AM  

As a universal label is has no applicability.

Again, what do you propose we call the Invisible Church?

Anonymous Jonathan November 13, 2013 1:49 AM  

@ eric wilson

Comfort.

Our only real comfort is that provided to us by God's grace. Human labels are illusory comfort and have no biblical warrant.

Contrast.

this answer only makes sense if you have a prior demarcating set of criteria by which to provide a contrast.

Simplicity.

For whom? And why?

Anonymous Jonathan November 13, 2013 1:49 AM  

@ eric wilson

Again, what do you propose we call the Invisible Church?

Nothing. Labeling it is always counterproductive.

Anonymous Jonathan November 13, 2013 1:51 AM  

@ eric wilson

God says that He will call them because HE knows them. No human being, then, knows them so no human being has the capacity to correctly label them.

Anonymous Jonathan November 13, 2013 1:55 AM  

@ eric wilson

In Stone Age societies having access to another's name gave one power over that individual. Something undefined has infinite potential, however, once you define something it brings that thing under the limiting power of reason.

If it's defined, it's finite.

Blogger Eric Wilson November 13, 2013 1:56 AM  

Our only real comfort is that provided to us by God's grace. Human labels are illusory comfort and have no biblical warrant.

Do you find no comfort in the idea that loved ones will also be with you in heaven?

this answer only makes sense if you have a prior demarcating set of criteria by which to provide a contrast.

A fair point.

For whom? And why?

For the redeemed to refer to other saints.

Blogger Eric Wilson November 13, 2013 1:57 AM  

Jonathan,

Are you a Calvinist?

Anonymous Jonathan November 13, 2013 2:01 AM  

@ eric wilson

Do you find no comfort in the idea that loved ones will also be with you in heaven

How is this an unqualified good thing? I mean, if that person is going to wind up in heaven anyways then why not abuse them? Besides, the Bible tells us to work out our salvation with fear and trembling and Jesus tells us that he came to bring not peace but a sword.

Not the stuff of comfort.

For the redeemed to refer to other saints.

Ah, here is the real meat of this conversation. If we cannot assess ourselves we rely on others for our assessment. My intuition is that this reliance is very local and that a general term is inappropriate and unbiblical.

I don't deny that I rely on my pastor for his spiritual discernment but that reliance is very local, no need for a broad philosophical category.

Anonymous Mudz November 13, 2013 2:02 AM  

What a bloody stupid conversation.

Christians are those who are of Christ. Labels are so we have a language. Take that on your merry-go-round.

Anonymous Jonathan November 13, 2013 2:02 AM  

Eric wilson,

Are you a Greek? The ancient Greek world was obsessed with philosophical schools, and individuals who were affiliated with the most popular schools derived personal social status from their association with them.

Blogger Eric Wilson November 13, 2013 2:04 AM  

if that person is going to wind up in heaven anyways then why not abuse them?

Because the Bible proscribes it.

If we cannot assess ourselves we rely on others for our assessment.

I can assess myself just fine.

Anonymous Jonathan November 13, 2013 2:05 AM  

@ Mudz

Christians are those who are of Christ.

Those who are of Christ are those who are of Christ. Christian is a human categorization of that state. Since humans cannot, in practice, have an immanent means of definitively distinguishing between everyone who is of Christ and everyone who is not there is no practical application of such a categorization.

Anonymous Mudz November 13, 2013 2:05 AM  

And please, Johnathan, you have to pick whether to play idiotic word games, or pass yourself off as a Christian. You can't pull off both.

I mean, if that person is going to wind up in heaven anyways then why not abuse them

I mean, come on.

Blogger Eric Wilson November 13, 2013 2:05 AM  

Eric wilson

Are you a Greek?


Yes, As you can see by my name.

Anonymous Mudz November 13, 2013 2:06 AM  

Christian is a human categorization of that state.

Idiotic is a categorisation of your comments. See how useful that is?

Anonymous Jonathan November 13, 2013 2:06 AM  

@ eric wilson

I can assess myself just fine

If you can assess on evidence why the need to provide a universal category?

Blogger Eric Wilson November 13, 2013 2:08 AM  

Those who are of Christ are those who are of Christ.

LOL. And who's begging the question here?

Anonymous Jonathan November 13, 2013 2:09 AM  

@ eric wilson

If you are assessing a specific individual who is immediate to you on biblical grounds then why do you need the universal category of "christian"?

Anonymous Jonathan November 13, 2013 2:10 AM  

@ eric wilson

LOL. And who's begging the question here?

Mudz. I was simply responding to him. I don't use the term "christian".

Blogger Eric Wilson November 13, 2013 2:10 AM  

If you can assess on evidence why the need to provide a universal category?

*facepalm*

Blogger Eric Wilson November 13, 2013 2:13 AM  

If you are assessing a specific individual who is immediate to you on biblical grounds then why do you need the universal category of "christian"?

*reading comprehension fail facepalm*

If we cannot assess ourselves we rely on others for our assessment.

I can assess myself just fine.


Note I didn't say that I can assess for myself.

Sheesh.

Anonymous Jonathan November 13, 2013 2:13 AM  

@ eric wilson

That's not an answer

Blogger Eric Wilson November 13, 2013 2:16 AM  

Jonathan,

After you answer my Calvinist question.

Anonymous Jonathan November 13, 2013 2:17 AM  

@ eric wilson

Note I didn't say that I can assess for myself.

Wait a sec. Are you saying that you need a category for yourself?????

I just assumed that you were talking about a general label.

Anonymous Jonathan November 13, 2013 2:18 AM  

After you answer my Calvinist question

You would need to provide for me what you think a calvinist is before I could answer that.

Blogger Eric Wilson November 13, 2013 2:19 AM  

Are you saying that you need a category for yourself?????

No, I'm simply saying that I know my own heart. I can't presume to know others'.

Anonymous Jonathan November 13, 2013 2:21 AM  

No, I'm simply saying that I know my own heart. I can't presume to know others'.

Since you cannot know anyone else's heart what's the point of having "christian" as a category? The only one you really have much evidence for is your own.

Blogger Eric Wilson November 13, 2013 2:21 AM  

If we cannot assess ourselves we rely on others for our assessment.

If at 2:01, you had said:

If we cannot assess for ourselves we rely on others for our assessment.

we might not have had such confusion.

Anonymous Jonathan November 13, 2013 2:24 AM  

@ eric wilson

what I find amusing is that every single person I've encountered thinks I am an adherent of a political/ideological/theological school that is opposite theirs.

Calvinists think I'm Arminian
Arminians think I'm Calvinist
Lefties think I'm on the Right
Righties think I'm on the left
Rationalists think I'm an Empiricist
Empiricists think I'm a Rationalist

What to do?

Anonymous Jonathan November 13, 2013 2:26 AM  

If we cannot assess for ourselves we rely on others for our assessment.

we might not have had such confusion.


Damn typos. that said, since we are talking about universal categories I would have thought the meaning obvious. We are clearly not talking about you or I, as individuals.

Blogger Eric Wilson November 13, 2013 2:29 AM  

every single person I've encountered thinks I am an adherent of a political/ideological/theological school that is opposite theirs.

I wouldn't slur you by calling you a Cubs fan.

Anonymous Jonathan November 13, 2013 2:29 AM  

@ eric wilson

My intuition is that knowing someone by their fruits is very immediate - either by extensive personal experience with them or by relying on someone whose judgment you implicitly trust and who has had extensive personal experience with that individual.

Outside of that very specific context I don't see any reason for categorization.

Anonymous Jonathan November 13, 2013 2:33 AM  

@ eric wilson

My guess is that were I to be asked to identify individuals who I were pretty sure I would see in heaven I would guess that I could give fewer than fifty names.

If fewer than fifty reside in a category out of the billions ever born, then, what's the point of the category label?

Anonymous Jack Amok November 13, 2013 2:35 AM  

Myrrdin:

Paul outright addresses this at one point. He says that pastors deserve to be paid, for the laborer is worthy of his wages, but that he makes his own independent living as a tent maker so that no one can influence/question his preaching (once again, making a distinction between God's command and what he personally thinks is wise). It's the same reason I've decided to spend the next few years making games instead of going to seminary.

Perhaps that's the difference between being paid and making it a career. If it's your career, you're going to be a little more cautious about your paycheck But, the payment is still problematic - humans being human, there's a great temptation to say what people are willing to pay to hear rather than what they ought to hear.

Speaking of which, OT, but y'all said to update you on the game making. My first game passed review and is available for a dollar on the XBox Live Indie Market. ...I've surpassed the wannabes.

Fantastic - congratulations! "Finishing" is usually the hardest skill to learn. Good luck.

Anonymous Jonathan November 13, 2013 2:35 AM  

@ Mudz

The obvious point is that I want to eliminate the categorizing term "christian" from language because I view it as a lie from Satan.

Either I am right or I am wrong but, either way, my assertion is not idiotic.

Blogger Eric Wilson November 13, 2013 2:37 AM  

billions ever born

You have gotten around.

Anonymous Jonathan November 13, 2013 2:41 AM  

@ eric wilson

You have gotten around.

the point is that out of the billions born I am only competent to judge "christian vs non christian" for a hundred indviduals, at most. Of those hundred, I am certainly reasonably assured of far fewer than fifty.

If I can only successfully assess a couple hundred out of billions, then, what possible use is the category?

Blogger Eric Wilson November 13, 2013 2:42 AM  

I want to eliminate the categorizing term "christian" from language because I view it as a lie from Satan.

Well, Satan used language to deceive Eve, why not just eliminate language altogether.

Blogger Eric Wilson November 13, 2013 2:43 AM  

If I can only successfully assess a couple hundred out of billions, then, what possible use is the category?

To celebrate collectively those in heaven?

Anonymous Jonathan November 13, 2013 2:46 AM  

Well, Satan used language to deceive Eve, why not just eliminate language altogether.

“Everything should be as simple as it can be, but not simpler” - albert einstein

aka Occam's Razor

Anonymous Jonathan November 13, 2013 2:47 AM  

@eric wilson

To celebrate collectively those in heaven?

Where in the Bible does it tell itself to celebrate those who are already in heaven? You are verging on ancestor worship.

Anonymous Jonathan November 13, 2013 2:48 AM  

@ eric wilson

Does ancestor worship help us with our salvation?

Blogger Eric Wilson November 13, 2013 3:02 AM  

Everything should be as simple as it can be, but not simpler

Good thing Einstein was thinking of your mind when he said that, huh

1 – 200 of 222 Newer› Newest»

Post a Comment

NO ANONYMOUS COMMENTS. Anonymous comments will be deleted.

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

Newer Posts Older Posts