Archive for March 5th, 2008

Here’s an idea. Let’s go back through historical church eras and glean from such time periods those issues deemed to be of value in the development of the Christian faith. Let’s review the first-century church, the church between A.D. 100 and 600, then consider the medieval era (A.D. 700 to 1500), followed by the Reformation period (A.D. 1500 and later), and so on. To be effective in this endeavor, it’s important to have a good understanding of the cultural context in which the Christians of each era practiced their faithT. A. McMahon

It started with such promise, a suggestion to study history and glean what is of value.  McMahon even proposes making sure we understand the cultural context so the gleaning can be more accurate.  Here’s an idea… and it’s a good one: Learn from the past.

But then, after a brief history of the recent upsurge in interest in the ancient church, the article takes an unfortunate but certainly predestined twist.  Apparently learning from the past is not a good idea.

First to be assaulted is Richard Foster who “wrote Celebration of Discipline. His book, which introduced Catholic and occult meditative techniques to evangelicals” – problem #1… gba assertions without foundation or support.  Just what did/does Foster promote that is of the occult?  And techniques must be bad if they were used by Catholics?

Problem #2 follows shortly thereafter… false dichotomies.

Let’s both reason from the Scriptures, and simply be reasonable (Isaiah 1:18). The Ancient-Future search to discover gems from “Classic Christianity” comes up short by a century — the century in which the New Testament was written. The critical difference should be obvious. The writers of the New Testament were inspired by the Holy Spirit as they penned God’s Word (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:21, 22). What writings from A.D. 100 and later can claim such inspiration? None

McMahon is right, there is a critical difference between the inspired writings of the Apostles and those who followed.  Problem is, no one is saying that the Church Fathers are on par with the Apostles.  I pondered this a bit trying to decide if it is a straw-man, or a false dichotomy.  I chose the latter since McMahon argues against a point no one is making.

The bulk of the rest of the article is a series of mostly ad hominem attacks against ancient church celebrities.  How did the Gospel ever survive until Luther?

 The summation lies in his final question: “Will this soon pass? No. It’s all part of related agendas that are building the end-times apostate church (Revelation 13:8).” I guess it only goes to show that you will indeed see what you are looking for.

P.S. – I found the McMahon article through Ingrid’s link here - though she fails to give any substantial reasoning, she does a much better job at listing the heretics

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Ingrid’s rebuttal to my recent article

Read this piece regarding Mosaic’s Erwin McManus and his views on Christianity and you will understand why Nathan Neighbour from his “Creative Arts” team has such a dim view of his fellow believers—(”hundreds of abortion clinics have been bombed”, he says, and adds that people in Christian glass houses shouldn’t throw stones at Islam). The young man has been discipled by McManus and it clearly shows.

for the record, I have a very high view and even higher hopes for the community of faith called Christianity. I believe that the church and my fellow beleivers are the only hope for the world. I throughly ascribe to Mosaic’s core convictions of

  • The local church is God’s agent for redemptive change.
  • Every Christian is called and gifted by God to serve the Body and seek the Lost

The difference between Ingrid and I is that I am able to objectively look at our faith history, admit that there have been good and bad times, and still say that we are a dynamic and living force in a lost and dying world. Ingrid believes that even admitting fault means that you have a “dim view” of the people in our faith. That really says alot about the ODMs ability to see and express reality clearly. But when you are going to go out of your way to criticize another faith’s inconsistencies in belief and practice, you better make sure the fingers can’t be pointed right back at you.

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Ingrid slanders Nathan again.

Frankly, Nathan sounds like a shill for Planned Parenthood when he repeats the outrageous lie that “hundreds of abortion clinics have been bombed”.

According to these statistics since 1989 show 179 attacks against abortion clinics. This wikipedia article cites a similar study which states:

property crimes committed against abortion providers have included 41 bombings, 173 arsons, 91 attempted bombings or arsons, 619 bomb threats, 1630 incidents of trespassing, 1264 incidents of vandalism, and 100 attacks with butyric acid (”stink bombs”).

I tried to find more neutral sources for these statistics and found this article from MSNBC which states:

There were 1,700 acts of violence against abortion providers between 1977 and 1994, with four people killed in 1994 and one in 1993, according to statistics from the National Abortion Federation. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms has logged 167 attacks against abortion clinics over the past 15 years.

Now I have no doubt that these statistics are as inflated as possible since they come from an obviously biased source (the National Abortion Federation), but even taking that into account this has been a significant source of violence on the part of Christians over the years.

Can it be compared to 9/11? No, of course not. Did Nathan tell the truth? Yes, he did.

It gets scarier though, as apparently Ingrid has creatively re-imagined Northern Germanic armies as warriors of God fighting and killing for the gospel:

They could read about the Battle of Tours, (October 10, 732) where God sent the northern Germanic tribes to stand and block the way of the Islamic warriors—a “Wall of Ice” the Saracens called them, as the Northern tribes stood with their shields and defeated them—so that the Gospel and Christianity would take root in the West instead of Islam.

Wow.

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I nearly fell over in laughter in reading Ingrid’s recent piece about how nothing really peaceful can come from Islam. Here are her comical words.

The London Telegraph reports on a new Muslim evangelist who has a whole different take on Allah. Apparently the Muslims that flew into the World Trade Center had the wrong one. Apparently the Saracens who sliced and chopped their way through Europe and the Middle East with Allah’s sword in the year 732 had it all wrong as well. Evidently, the Muslims who have committed 10,663 reported acts of terrorism since 9-11 also had it wrong. For a real look at the Allah of love, visit the Religion of Peace website that documents the atrocities done in Allah’s name. This new Muslim evangelist may be useful to ignorant Western tolerance shills like Tony Campolo and Jim Wallis, but he is living in different world than the rest of us are. Just ask the victims of 9-11 or the 10, 663 terror attacks since.

Of course, Ingrid would never mention that, while many believers would profess that God is love, hundreds of abortion clinics are bombed in the name of Jesus Christ. Forget the fact that hundreds of fallen soldiers are having their funerals invaded by posters with Christian phrases such as “God Hates Fags”. Cover up the crusades, the Salem witch trials, and other atrocities in the name of the Lord. Just ask the family members who had their grandfather hung by a tree and burned by Jesus Christ’s KKK. We all worship the same God that ordained these events, yes? You see, the same arguments that show Islam is not a religion of peace are the same arguments that show Christianity has nothing to do with love.

Apparently Ingrid forgot that little proverb “people who live in glass houses should not throw stones”

**UPDATE**

Ok, there are not literally hundreds of abortion clinics being bombed.  Rather than address the issues, the ODMs have decided to nit-pic the details.  Here are the hard facts if you really want them.

Since 1977 in the United States and Canada, acts of violence committed against abortion providers have included 41 bombings, 173 arsons, 91 attempted bombings or arsons, and 619 bomb threats.

Not enough evidence?

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