I recently encouraged a friend of mind to read a book that is especially outstanding and, when I first read the book, was incredibly encouraging to me–introducing me to a pantheon of authors who I may not have otherwise heard of let alone read. Since reading Yancey’s book, I have read many of the works of 10 of the 13 authors that Yancey writes about in his book. He’s right: they are powerful thinkers, powerful writers–even if they are not all necessarily orthodox evangelical Christians.

Well, as I have told you, I have been ‘having issues’ with church lately due to my untimely and unfortunate dismissal from the congregation I served for nearly 10 years. After thinking about it, for like a minute, I decided that it would be a good idea for me to reread the book too. It might also prove a good conversation starter for us here at CRN.info.

The book was written by Philip Yancey and is titled Soul Survivor: How My Faith Survived the Church. I certainly haven’t experienced everything that Yancey experienced, and I’m not for a minute suggesting that my friend has either, but I do think that Yancey brings up many important issues for Christians to consider and I’d like to share some of them here with you and invite conversation.

This first subject came to me in a powerful way this past Saturday when I was in class at CSU. My Saturday morning class is Diversity in Educational Settings and we were talking about race, race relations, and the early days of multi-cultural education in America (among other things). I was surprised to learn that among those who were the pioneers of multi-cultural education and the establishment of the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History were Carter G. Woodson, W.E.B. DuBois, and one Charles C Wesley. Wesley is described, along with these men, as a pioneer of ethnic studies.

Thus the quote, from Yancey’s book, concerns race. I was a little taken aback Saturday morning when I realized how subtle and insidious hatred can be–hatred being the fuel of racism. My professor grew up in the South and lived through all the racial tension that existed there then. She has seen all sorts of stuff and lived through it. She said to me after class, “I don’t hate.” If The Shack were ever to be made into a movie, she would play the Father role. She doesn’t hate. I can tell by looking in her eyes. I want to be that person–the person who can experience what she has experienced and still not hate. So, Yancey,

Today I feel shame, remorse, and also repentance. It took years for God to break the stranglehold of blatant racism in me–I wonder if any of us gets free of its more subtle forms–and I now see that sin as one of the most poisonous, with perhaps the most toxic societal effects. When experts discuss the underclass in urban America, they blame in turn drugs, changing values, systematic poverty, and the breakdown of the nuclear family. Sometimes I wonder if all those problems are consequences of a deeper, underlying cause: our centuries-old sin of racism. (16)

I have a lot thinking, and praying, and repenting to do. I’m a little naive. I grew up in a ‘white’ town, went to a ‘white’ school, went to a ‘white’ college, and even now live in a ‘white’ community. My home church is ‘white’–literally, no one even of Hispanic background. For my entire preaching career I have served in ‘white’ churches. It’s not that I am a card carrying Klansman or flying the Stars and Bars in my front yard, but it is that more subtle form of racism that refuses to see certain advantages that are inherent in ‘whiteness’ and the all too willing heart to blame people instead of being compassionate–compassionate to all people–regardless of who they are or what color their skin is. That is, it really doesn’t make a difference why people are poor, or why there is no father, or why a person is homeless. Fact is, they are; and that requires response and action on my part.

There was a retired preacher who belonged to my home congregation. He used to pray, when he was invited to pray, that God would ‘forgive us our sins of omission and our sins of commission.’ I understand what he means now.

My first day in the diversity class, I was the only white man in the class of 30 or so people. My second day some other things happened. On the way in, one of my classmates needed help–parallel parking–and was waiving frantically for me to help. She is a student from the former Soviet Union, and at least nominally Muslim. I was able to help her get her car situated. In the class, I was seated in the middle of three African-American women–one from Ghana–who also became my conversation group for the day. On my way out, two African-American women were sitting in their van beside the curb and the van wouldn’t start. At first I walked by, on towards my car that I knew would start. Then the thought entered my mind and I turned around and went back–I have no particular knowledge of how to fix broken vans, but just to ask, to let them know I was thinking about them. I’m in a small study group for the class that includes and African-American man, a Jewish woman, and a woman of Native American heritage.

The Lord is teaching me something and interestingly enough I didn’t even know I needed to learn it. I’m not sure at this point it is necessarily about race as much as it is about noticing people–people I might otherwise overlook or ignore–and being available when the Lord moves people into the path of my daily walk, doing things that might otherwise make me uncomfortable, speaking with people who might otherwise make me nervous. And what strange people he moves into our paths. Perhaps keeping our eyes open and our ears open is part of the goal. Perhaps being open to the promptings of the Spirit is the key. Maybe part of the reason I have been having troubles with ‘the church’ (and not just the one that terminated my employment) lately is because as long as I was in one place, another ‘white’ place, there would never have been an opportunity or a reason to deal with these aspects of my life that were so glaringly deficient and sinful.

I don’t understand all the ways of the Spirit–and I’m not a little sad right now about working at Blockbuster video while I work on my Master’s degree–and maybe I don’t necessarily have to. Maybe all I have to do is be awake, aware, and alert and then God, in His time, will teach me what needs to be taught. Or he will teach me lessons I didn’t know I needed to learn in places I wouldn’t expect them to be taught and in ways I would never expect to learn. The preacher at the church this morning, Allistaire Begg, prayed this prayer:

Lord,

What we know not, teach us.

What we have not, give us.

What we are not, make us.

Amen.

Indeed.

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284 Comments(+Add)

1   DMac    
August 31st, 2009 at 5:56 am

Another great post Jerry.

I’m of mixed race heritage, so I guess for me, issues relating to race have just become an everyday part of life (not in a negative sense). I thank God I have been exposed to different cultures, communities and races throughout my life. In a way I have taken it for granted.

I have no idea what it feels like to grow up and live in a society where I only see and/or interact with one specific race. It is unfotunate that in many instances people will go through life without interacting with anyone outside of their own racial background.

I believe those lives are the poorer for it.

Godbless

2   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
August 31st, 2009 at 6:45 am

A great post, Jerry. Racism is hatred and self righteousness combined. My heart grieves (and is angry) when I hear and read believers complaining and demeaning illegal aliens, and in my opinion a large part is racism (the other part greed).

In fact, nationalism is a form of geographical racism. We have forgotten our Lord’s admonition concerning the “least of these”. I include gay hatred as a form of sexual racism as well. One of the members of my oldest son’s church requested a meeting with him since he was mentoring his 17-year old son. The father wanted to make sure my son was grounded since he has tattoos and ear rings.

After an hour and a half of sharing, the man could only find one disagreement and it was an important one. He strongly disagreed with my son’s unpatriotic stand and he was concerned that my son did not despise those “towel heads”.

That is what God deals with in the church. Read this and see what issues concern people like Ingrid. Racism and nationalism are two giant problems in the body of Christ, as well as a local ecclesiastical construct that more closely resembles a business or a democracy than it does a New Testament gathering.

3   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
August 31st, 2009 at 6:59 am

And Martin Luther was a rabid racist. Hitler claimed Luther was the greatest reformer (in Mein Kampf) and here are some of Luther’s words that contributed to the Holocaust:

Over and above that we let them get rich on our sweat and blood, while we remain poor and they such the marrow from our bones.

…but then eject them forever from this country. For, as we have heard, God’s anger with them is so intense that gentle mercy will only tend to make them worse and worse, while sharp mercy will reform them but little. Therefore, in any case, away with them!

However, we must avoid confirming them in their wanton lying, slandering, cursing, and defaming. Nor dare we make ourselves partners in their devilish ranting and raving by shielding and protecting them, by giving them food, drink, and shelter, or by other neighborly acts…

He who hears this name [God] from a Jew must inform the authorities, or else throw sow dung at him when he sees him and chase him away.

And many more here.

Is it any wonder that racism is alive in the church when some believers, and entire denominations, idolize men like Luther??

4   Jerry    http://www.dangoldfinch.wordpress.com
August 31st, 2009 at 7:41 am

Funny that you would mention nationalism Rick. Begg also talked about that in his sermon yesterday too by carefully noting that ‘God is not preoccupied with America.’

He then went on to remind us of something else important: Jesus is the Kingdom of God. Thus, it doesn’t seem that God is too preoccupied with anyone denomination either.

Good thoughts guys.

5   Thurstin    http://www.needgod.com
August 31st, 2009 at 8:35 am

Is it any wonder that racism is alive in the church when some believers, and entire denominations, idolize men like Luther??

That is an idiotic statement. No one idolizes Luther. What about the men who were Baptist pastors in the KKK, Rick? Talk to me about me and quit worrying about history.

Christianity is an incredible force on my reservation. They are the only religious group who has done anything to improve the lives of my people, and who have actually treated me like a human with respect.

Talk to me about my church which is multi-racial in a community with less than 2% people of color. Talk to me about my pastor who you guys regularly bash and place on moderation who honestly does not look at color of skin but loves all people because they are people in need of Jesus.

One thing your post lacks, Jerry, and that is the gospel, which changes an old racist like me and causes me to love all people enough to present them with the Gospel.

And BTW, we are not native American- we are indiginous. :)

6   chris    
August 31st, 2009 at 8:46 am

Talk to me about my church which is multi-racial in a community with less than 2% people of color. Talk to me about my pastor who you guys regularly bash and place on moderation who honestly does not look at color of skin but loves all people because they are people in need of Jesus.

I’m not sure who your Pastor is. I have a few assumptions but I’m not sure.

Let me say that if your “pastor” regularly comes here and is put on moderation it rightly deserved because he may love people in need of Christ but he seemingly has a hard time loving those who inside the body. So it’s not racism but it’s very close cousin pride.

7   chris    
August 31st, 2009 at 8:47 am

One thing your post lacks, Jerry, and that is the gospel, which changes an old racist like me and causes me to love all people enough to present them with the Gospel.

And yet that’s the same gospel that gave feet to others racism. Hmmmm….

8   Thurstin    http://www.needgod.com
August 31st, 2009 at 8:53 am

Chris,
My Pastor is known as pastorboy on here. You guys must hate white people because you gave him trouble by using his name.

Chris, don’t pretend you know my ‘dad’. He loves people inside the body, enough to tell them the truth. He is on moderation because you guys hate the truth. I have been lurking and have seen the reasons myself. How dare you say he has pride you do not know him. Pretty judgemental of you. And intolerant.

I am sure you will put me on moderation too.

9   Jerry    http://www.dangoldfinch.wordpress.com
August 31st, 2009 at 8:58 am

Thurstin,

Rick’s statement is not ‘idiotic.’ There are people in the church who idolize Luther–there’s an entire denomination named after him–just like there are people who idolize Calvin, and Wesley, and Campbell. To fail to recognize this is…

Finally, I object to this statement:

One thing your post lacks, Jerry, and that is the gospel, which changes an old racist like me and causes me to love all people enough to present them with the Gospel.

In all seriousness, that is idiotic.

jerry

10   nc    
August 31st, 2009 at 8:59 am

your “dad” is a whiny baby….

his name was used on a site he clearly approves of and it wasn’t some big conspiracy to “endanger him”…

but when it’s used here…then it’s a problem.

that’s just dumb.

11   Jerry    http://www.dangoldfinch.wordpress.com
August 31st, 2009 at 9:00 am

My Pastor is known as pastorboy on here. You guys must hate white people because you gave him trouble by using his name.

Chris, don’t pretend you know my ‘dad’. He loves people inside the body, enough to tell them the truth. He is on moderation because you guys hate the truth. I have been lurking and have seen the reasons myself. How dare you say he has pride you do not know him. Pretty judgemental of you. And intolerant.

I am sure you will put me on moderation too.

No, we’ll just ignore you since you are not dealing with the content of the post. This is not about John or you. Why are you even bringing him in to this?

This is meant to be a serious discussion about the ways and means God changes us and undoes us. Why are you already trying to derail that? That’s why John ends up in moderation because, evidently like you, he cannot stay on topic.

12   Thurstin    http://www.needgod.com
August 31st, 2009 at 9:16 am

I am so sick of people who notice skin color and make assumptions about it.

As Christians, we are all one big (slightly dysfunctional) family, brothers from different mothers. We share one Father, God, purchased by Christ, and being made in his image.

As a person of color who is a Christian, I think diversity, diversity classes, and all this concern about race relations is a joke. If you are truly born-again, you love all people. It is a non issue.

And the point I was trying to make Jerry to Rick was that we ought to stop worrying about the past, for there is nothing we can do about it. Speak to me about me and what I can do to be more like Jesus. I don’t care about Luther and Calvin. They got some things right, and they made mistakes. Talk to me about your boy Rob Bell who is currently off his rocker. We can do something about that.

I am sorry you had only a milky white american experience, Jerry. Come to my rez anytime and I will show you around.

13   Jerry    http://www.dangoldfinch.wordpress.com
August 31st, 2009 at 9:25 am

Thurstin,

You have seriously missed the point of my post so now I’m through speaking with you. I’m glad you have it all worked out, but some of us need time to grow.

PS–your expression ‘milky white american experience’ is not a little racist in tone. I’m not saying you are a racist, but that this phrase is suggestive of a tendency towards that sin.

It’s time for you to grow up now my friend and get over yourself and be the person you claim to be. No one here particularly cares to listen to your whining.

Oh, :-)

jerry

14   Thurstin    http://www.needgod.com
August 31st, 2009 at 9:42 am

Well, that is how I read your experience as milky white. No racism there, just a summary of what I read in your post.

Have you ever noticed most racial diversity teachers are liberal radicals still hung over from the 60’s and 70’s? Funny thing is, most of it is taught from a caucasian perspective. What I mean saying that is that there is no perceived need to address racism toward white folks. I wonder why that is?

15   Neil    
August 31st, 2009 at 9:43 am

Thurstin,

I think you have misunderstood the OP. Further, in you anger you are making some very ironic rants – like saying we hate the truth in a comment about our being judgmental.

Neil

16   Neil    
August 31st, 2009 at 9:46 am

Thurstin,

I feel silly even addressing it – but we do not hate the truth.

Your father was put on moderation for using the name of a brother in Christ in a continually condescending manner. Furthermore, all his comments have been immediately approved as long as he refrains from such condescension.

Neil

17   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
August 31st, 2009 at 9:47 am

The white man was put here to rule, it says so in the Bible!!

(Ghosts of Mississippi)

People do idolize Luther, Calvin, Bell, McArthur, Warren, and many others. I believe it is a fact that is easily proven by modern evidence. BTW – the way you bring up PB when the post is very different is also unsettling.

Would anyone be in favor of starting a denomination and naming it MacArthurites? Or Bellites? Or Warrenites? That is what many have done with Luther and Wesley and others. Even Christian schools like Moody should not be named after a man or woman.

PB does not seem to exhibit racism as such, but his problem is with sinners in general. Different but same (Miyagi). :cool:

18   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
August 31st, 2009 at 9:48 am

I left out Oral Roberts and Bob Jones Universities.

19   Neil    
August 31st, 2009 at 9:50 am

Jerry,

One of the problems I have with the whole diversity thing is the tendency to make experiences like yours (which i very much like mine) seem inherently racist.

To be sure, if more people had more multicultural experience growing up, I think those experiences would benefit all – greatly.

I cannot speak to you particular class – just commenting on the “movement” as a whole.

20   Jerry    http://www.dangoldfinch.wordpress.com
August 31st, 2009 at 9:53 am

Have you ever noticed most racial diversity teachers are liberal radicals still hung over from the 60’s and 70’s? Funny thing is, most of it is taught from a caucasian perspective. What I mean saying that is that there is no perceived need to address racism toward white folks. I wonder why that is?

My multi-cultural professor is a black woman who grew up in Birmingham, AL. She is a gentle soul, not a radical liberal. Once again, an mouth speaking without knowledge.

21   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
August 31st, 2009 at 9:53 am

Racism comes from the most disgusting sin of all – pride.

22   Neil    
August 31st, 2009 at 9:54 am

I also read the Yancey book… and concur it’s a very good read.

I was amazed at the blatant racism he saw in the evangelical church in his youth.

It is so obvious now… but was so normal them… makes me wonder what I am doing/believing that will amaze me in 30 years.

23   Jerry    http://www.dangoldfinch.wordpress.com
August 31st, 2009 at 9:54 am

From the OP:

The Lord is teaching me something and interestingly enough I didn’t even know I needed to learn it. I’m not sure at this point it is necessarily about race as much as it is about noticing people–people I might otherwise overlook or ignore–and being available when the Lord moves people into the path of my daily walk, doing things that might otherwise make me uncomfortable, speaking with people who might otherwise make me nervous.

I know the post has the word ‘race’ in the title, but race isn’t the entire point even if it is a big point.

24   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
August 31st, 2009 at 9:57 am

Jerry To this point. Were all the Christian racists before the Civil War saved, even though they taught and believed racism> The same people who champion our American forefathers as Christians, even though many had slaves, are the same one who say a practicing gay person cannot be saved.

Where is the disconnect?

25   Neil    
August 31st, 2009 at 9:58 am

Rick,

Re #2: I have no problem with tea-parties and people being outraged at their governments behavior… but I agree, promoting something as political and secular as a tea-party on a show called Cross Talk is mixing the Gospel with nationalism.

26   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
August 31st, 2009 at 10:00 am

Those Tea Parties cultivate hatred and are usually centered around protecting our abundant assests. No Christian blog should promote them.

The hedonistic American believer recoils at the slightest persecution or suffering.

27   Jerry    http://www.dangoldfinch.wordpress.com
August 31st, 2009 at 10:03 am

I have too much to do to worry about tea parties and the government. Nor, for that matter, do I think the cross has anything to do with tea parties.

As I said above, quoting a preacher, God is not pre-occupied with America.

28   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
August 31st, 2009 at 10:05 am

Rum parties? Count me in!! :cool:

29   Neil    
August 31st, 2009 at 10:08 am

No Christian blog should promote them.

This is part of the problem of using “Christian” as an adjective… but when it comes to a show called “Cross Talk” promoting a political position that is abiblical – I agree.

30   Neil    
August 31st, 2009 at 10:11 am

As I said above, quoting a preacher, God is not pre-occupied with America.

Not only this… he’s not wringing his hands wondering how his world will survive if America becomes more secular…

31   Jerry    http://www.dangoldfinch.wordpress.com
August 31st, 2009 at 10:12 am

I have a link to this post on my Facebook page, and I got this response from a friend of mine:

Jerry, Like you I am very interested in the diversity of man. Not just color/race, but also income level, job level, attitude level and most of all those with out Jesus Christ a their personal Lord and Savior.

As a white mom raising 4 black boys, have had dealings with the KKK, our children are special in that they have came with many special needs… Read More, more diversity. We have had struggles being offered the love we needed to heal from our congregations, more diversity.

The greatest commandment in Matt 19 is to Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind. The second is like this in that you love your neighbor as yourself.
Who is our neighbor? Good question! Our neighbor is anyone we come in contact with, or associate with or anyone God has placed in our lives. We are all neighbors and it is our responsibility to share Christ and His love with all.

Diversity is a very important part of our growing in Christ, for we need to be able to love ALL to truly love and serve Christ.

This is spoken from the point of view of someone who understands. I appreciate these thoughts very much.

32   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
August 31st, 2009 at 10:52 am

“…for we need to be able to love ALL to truly love and serve Christ.”

That, my friends, is a mouthful.

33   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
August 31st, 2009 at 11:04 am

Thurstin,

Talk to me about me

Yes… Thurstin… if more people and especially pastors… even yours would do this with people they would not say some of the things that are said about others…

Yet, with history, am I to forget that black people were slaves? Am I to forget the horrific genocide attempt of the Native American? I can talk to you all day… and learn from you, yet we need to also know history and talk about it. Many do idolize Luther. I have stated his quotes and been attacked by revisionists who insist I must take his “quotes” in context of history, yet deny me that when I speak of Jesus or even someone like Brian McLaren… meanwhile that same person… like a certain pastor(boy) spreads rumors, lies about others… even people like me… whom he seems to hate without taking the time to even get to really know what I or others believe. It is easier to ignore history if you do not know it… it is easier to hate someone if you do not know them. Both are wrong.

iggy

34   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
August 31st, 2009 at 11:12 am

My Pastor is known as pastorboy on here. You guys must hate white people because you gave him trouble by using his name.


Yes… he claims to hide his identity so well…

Thurstin… PB lies… and his careless words harm others. That is the truth. He hates me and many others. And is a sad little man.

You seem to hate white people… I am white with a Hispanic name and lived on a rez for a time growing up. I also lived in a black ghetto… I have had racism against me because I am white… and because I am not Hispanic. I had great friends who are Native America, black, Asian and many other races… All I hear from you Thurstin is the same hate I hear from PB… and really it is a self hatred. I pray you can overcome this self loathing and embrace the love Jesus has for you.

iggy

35   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
August 31st, 2009 at 11:33 am

For the record – I hate white people.

36   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
August 31st, 2009 at 11:43 am

Neil #29 – Just for the record I could not find any post about the cross on “crosstalk”. Perhaps they mean some other cross. :cool:

37   nc    
August 31st, 2009 at 11:51 am

oh, Rick…

it’s the crucible of an electoral system that freely elects people they hate in the name of God…

it’s such a burden…

38   Joe    
August 31st, 2009 at 11:53 am

Thurstin,
Thank you for commenting here on this thread. You remind that the people I work with at my job (non-church) are not that far from being able to be free. You remind me that the ability to see things as they are, such as John Chisham but not process them as they are is not limited to just people on “the inside.”
You gave my hope today Thurstin. You and John Chisham both.

39   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
August 31st, 2009 at 11:55 am

“Having your cake and eating it too.”

Definition: God sovereignly elects who He desires and you get to castigate His choice while still claiming to trust in God’s sovereignty.

Tomorrow’s lesson: Irony and hypocrisy – cousins in crime. :lol:

40   merry    
August 31st, 2009 at 3:08 pm

duplicate comment fixed in #41, below – Chris L

41   merry    
August 31st, 2009 at 3:10 pm

LOL, let’s try this again: (Someone feel free to delete comment 40! )

For the record – I hate white people.

I grew up in a town where whites were the minority and I experienced discrimination and racism several times. Whites have been the big mean bossy people to be racist towards everyone else in the past, but in my generation it is much different. I was taught to love and be respectful to all races, and to let it slide when I was discriminated against. They call it reverse-racism, but I call it just plain old racism. There is still a problem, but no one wants to address it because us white people of generation y feel we deserve it after all the horrible centuries of slavery and resulting problems.

I wonder, if I had told the people of my town that I was actually part American Indian, would they have been nicer to me? :(

42   Paul C    http://thepathtolife.wordpress.com
August 31st, 2009 at 3:45 pm

Good post Jerry – appreciate the transparency.

This was an interesting quote:

When experts discuss the underclass in urban America, they blame in turn drugs, changing values, systematic poverty, and the breakdown of the nuclear family. Sometimes I wonder if all those problems are consequences of a deeper, underlying cause: our centuries-old sin of racism.

Could you elaborate a little on the context around the final sentence?

Rick: I include gay hatred as a form of sexual racism as well.

I know what you’re getting at here and support the view that hatred of anyone is just not congruent with following Christ. On the other hand, one of the great deceptions of the gay movement has been to closely align itself with the “New Black” as if it is some sort of civil rights movement. This is a fallacy. So while I understand the spirit of your statement – we need to be careful in any way to align homosexuality with racism. There are no similarities.

‘God is not preoccupied with America.’

Living in Canada (and having lived elsewhere) I have always found American Christians completely imbalanced on this point. In fact, Rick was pretty-much the first American that refreshingly surprised me with his “anti-patriotism” (if you can call it that). It’s a complete distortion.

Sadly, racism – on all sides – is rabid, though perhaps more closeted than before. Strides have been made, but I fear it will not be eliminated until the Prince of Peace returns.

43   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
August 31st, 2009 at 3:58 pm

I believe George Washington moved to Canada in his later years. :cool:

44   Thurstin    http://www.needgod.com
August 31st, 2009 at 4:43 pm

You who use the term Indian, or native American, or American Indian- that is racist. I am nopt from India, nor were any of my ancestors. I am indiginous, that is, of the land. Please refrain from these PC BS terms.

I do not hate white people, Iggy, and I do remember wounded knee. But that is history, and there ain’t nothing we can do to change it. This is what I mean; we need to deal with our own (individual and corporate) present day problems. While they may be rooted in the past, the past must be forgiven so that we can have a future. I am a new creature in Christ, neither indiginous, yellow, brown, black, or white. I am a Christian.

I dont know why you need to keep harping on my dad. I think it is you all who have a problem with forgiveness and pride because even though he is not here, and nor is Ingrid, you feel the need to derail this post and go after them. Pretty stupid.

45   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
August 31st, 2009 at 5:16 pm

I am a mild flesh color that browns in the Florida sun. :cool:

I am a new creature in Notre Dame. Nevada will experience our wrath this Saturday, but our greatest cup will spill out on Purdue this year.

46   merry    
August 31st, 2009 at 5:29 pm

You who use the term Indian, or native American, or American Indian- that is racist. I am nopt from India, nor were any of my ancestors. I am indiginous, that is, of the land. Please refrain from these PC BS terms.

And please enlighten me as to what non-PC non-racist term I am supposed to use?

I have no idea who you are, and what your race is, nor did I ever refer to you. I was talking about myself in my comment. (Does that mean I’m being racist against myself??)

Just wondering, why you are taking every comment so personally?

47   Neil    
August 31st, 2009 at 5:45 pm

You who use the term Indian, or native American, or American Indian- that is racist.

Yet you can use the term “milky-white” and not be racist- OK, I get it…

48   Thurstin    http://www.needgod.com
August 31st, 2009 at 5:46 pm

I am indiginous.

Milky white described his experience not his person.

49   Neil    
August 31st, 2009 at 5:48 pm

I dont know why you need to keep harping on my dad.

You are the one who brought him up.

50   merry    
August 31st, 2009 at 5:49 pm

^ I know, right?

Do I dare add more coal to the fire and remind us that all humans originated somewhere in the Middle East? ;)

51   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
August 31st, 2009 at 5:52 pm

My experience is not milky white, it’s Milky Way. :cool:

I am prejudiced against people who do not meet my intellectual requirements, and to tell you the truth, I’m ashamed of the volume of my prejudice.

52   merry    
August 31st, 2009 at 5:54 pm

Um…so if I go to China or somewhere foreign and they ask me my heritage I tell them I’m part white and part Indiginous??? They’ll look at me like I just dropped out the sky… Just sayin’ ;)

53   Neil    
August 31st, 2009 at 5:54 pm

I am indiginous.

Hmmm, it’s ok to call you indigenous – but “native” is racist.

There are at least two problem with this: 1) indigenous means native and 2) I am milky-white and also native/indigenous.

indigenous: originating in and characteristic of a particular region or country; native

* Etymology: Late Latin indigenus, from Latin indigena, noun, native, from Old Latin indu, endo in, within + Latin gignere to beget

1 : having originated in and being produced, growing, living, or occurring naturally in a particular region or environment
2 : innate, inborn
synonyms see native

54   Neil    
August 31st, 2009 at 5:56 pm

Milky white described his experience not his person.

Hair-splitting… since it’s still a reference to a race of people.

Besides, you have know right to say the use of a term is racist.

55   Neil    
August 31st, 2009 at 5:57 pm

Thurstin,

BTW – I am still bothered by your accusation that we hate the truth.

Please list for me a truth you say we hate and, speaking only for myself, I will confirm or deny whether I hate said truth.

56   nc    
August 31st, 2009 at 6:10 pm

over here, near canada, they refer to indigenous peoples as “First Nations”.

but it is interesting to hear what Thurstin’s community prefers to self-identify.

i know some friends in the “indigenous” community who prefer to be called “native american”…

so i think it clearly varies from community to community.

that being said…i think the term “indian” is kinda dumb…it reflects the ignorance of the colonial/exploration period.

57   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
August 31st, 2009 at 6:29 pm

I am German/Irish. Some refer to it as Ayrian super race.

58   nc    
August 31st, 2009 at 6:30 pm

super race?

it’s def. your irish side…

;)

59   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
August 31st, 2009 at 6:35 pm

We all have Adam as our original father, so we’re all related. Even though racism still exists in the church, it has gotten better. People like Chad and my friend have adopted black children. Great.

60   Neil    
August 31st, 2009 at 6:36 pm

“First Nations” is also a term I have seen, and it makes sense.

Trying to claim “indigenous” is acceptable, but “native” racist is kinda funny, since the latter is a synonym for the former.

I have also seen and used the term “Tribal” – since it is more descriptive of the culture and not the origon or timing.

And speaking of timing, on the one hand anyone born here is native/indigenous… and even the so-called indigenous tribes came from somewhere else.

61   merry    
August 31st, 2009 at 6:36 pm

nc,

That’s great, I don’t really care what they call themselves, the point is I’m baffled as to what Thurstin thinks the difference is between “Indigenous” and “Native American.”

I’m also baffled as to how he took my original comment and made it all about him when it wasn’t.

So much for sharing my heritage…I didn’t mean to offend ANYONE here with the term “American Indian.” Trust me, I’ve heard waaaaaaay more derogatory terms than “Indian,” which I personally don’t find offensive, but then I’m too far removed to have been a part of a reservation/community.

Seriously, people, is this really that big of a deal? I’m sorry I mentioned it. :(

62   Chris    http://agendalesslove.wordpress.com
August 31st, 2009 at 7:41 pm

For the record:

I’m Polish 47%
Irish 32%
German 14%
Indigenous 7%

100% Human. :)

My wife is 100% Iranian

100% Human :)

Please try hard not to offend me.

63   Break the Terror    http://breaktheterror.blogspot.com
August 31st, 2009 at 7:57 pm

I sorta love this topic, and it’s close to my heart, and I’m really encouraged by the honest discussion that seems to be happening here. So…

One of the problems I have with the whole diversity thing is the tendency to make experiences like yours (which i very much like mine) seem inherently racist.

I think it’s because they sort of ARE inherently racist. Now, bear in mind, I had a pretty white bread upbringing myself, so I’m speaking from a similar background. Maybe “racist” isn’t the right term…but I do believe that we’re all raised with a certain kind of racism. I don’t believe it’s all actively malevolent, mind you. It’s more that many of us simply aren’t presented with the impetus to notice the different experiences of those around us very often. I don’t have overtly racist parents, but there are subtle things that get implanted in many of us that, though we are very well meaning, we might not notice as racism. Have you ever noticed that, in mostly white neighborhoods, most references to neighbors who are of a different race ALWAYS include that person’s race? It’s kinda funny (not haha funny) if you pay attention. “Oh, we have the NICEST NEW NEIGHBORS! Well, they’re a BLACK family, and that doesn’t bother us at ALL! All I care about is if you keep your yard nice and maintain your house! In fact, I think I like our BLACK NEIGHBORS more than I like Tom and Christy across the street, they’re rude!” Many of you might have heard conversations like this, and it just didn’t occur to you how insidiously racist it was.

The truth of the matter is that those who protest the most about how Not Racist they are tend to be the ones with the most subtle racism. Honestly, in American society, I think we’re all racist, to one degree or another. The answer is to take responsibility for it (the first step to pretty much any problem-solving), and decide what to do about it.

You who use the term Indian, or native American, or American Indian- that is racist.

Um. Actually, 87% of people covered under the terms “American Indian” or “Native American” prefer one of those two terms. (50% and 37%, respectively.) So…we have Native American blood in our lineage, so I try to stay up on these things. http://www.census.gov/prod/2/gen/96arc/ivatuck.pdf

And of course, many also like to be referred to by their specific tribe, obviously.

Anyway, there’s obviously another deeper argument going on here, so whatever.

64   merry    
August 31st, 2009 at 7:58 pm

I’ve had time to calm down and think this through a bit.

There is a fine line, I think, between ignorance, racism, and narcism.

ig·no·rance
n. The condition of being uneducated, unaware, or uninformed.

For example, me, using the term “Indian” not meaning to hurt anyone but not realizing it would offend anyone.

rac?ism??
–noun 1. a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human races determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one’s own race is superior and has the right to rule others.
2. a policy, system of government, etc., based upon or fostering such a doctrine; discrimination.
3. hatred or intolerance of another race or other races.

Unacceptable behavior, which I think is pretty obvious and self-explanatory.

This one, however…

nar?cism ?
Synonyms:
1. self-centeredness, smugness, egocentrism.

Using politically correct terms out of politeness isn’t racist, because racism is blatant hatred or superiority. Using incorrect (non-derogatory) terms out of ignorance is not racist because it is not always meant to be hateful. Maybe we shouldn’t cry “racist” everytime someone says something we like.

This is an obviously touchy subject, but I really do think that we place too much emphasis on who we are, and we want the utmost respect on our terms, and get extremely defensive when we don’t get it. Our identity should be in Christ, our heritage should be in Christ, and we are one human race in Christ.

I think race is a touchy subject maybe because we don’t take it to God as much as we should. We put a lot of pride in our unique heritages, but pride is the #1 sin.

Maybe what we see as racism is really just narcism.

Just a thought. Please don’t throw objects at me! ;)

65   merry    
August 31st, 2009 at 8:10 pm

Maybe we shouldn’t cry “racist” everytime someone says something we like.

Everytime someone says something we DON’T like. Yay for making absolutely no sense! :p

66   nc    
August 31st, 2009 at 8:27 pm

ooooops…

sorry merry,

i didn’t mean to direct anything derogatory or recriminations to you about the word “indian”…

my bad, i hadn’t really paid any attention to what you said….i was more keying off of Thurstin…

but i don’t think “indian” is necessarily racist, etc.

and YOU ARE RIGHT…way too much is made out of these things…

ugh.

sorry, friend…didn’t mean to offend.

67   Neil    
August 31st, 2009 at 8:49 pm

Break the Terror,

I think I understand you and agree to a point… as I said, the more we can experience other cultures the better.

That said, I do not think that not being “…presented with the impetus to notice the different experiences of those around us very often” is at all racist… in any sense of the word.

Not as it is defined above.

68   Neil    
August 31st, 2009 at 8:52 pm

Have you ever noticed that, in mostly white neighborhoods, most references to neighbors who are of a different race ALWAYS include that person’s race?

Here again, I don’t see this as being at all racist either, not as defined above.

If a neighborhood is majority white, then referencing people as being a different race is simply that – pointing out that they are not in the majority.

69   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
August 31st, 2009 at 9:01 pm

If the neighborhood is black they would identify the only white family as such. No racism. I believe that most American evangelicals have their black racism in check, but they exhibit prejudice when it comes to Arabs, muslims, and sometimes Mexicans.

Their hatred for gays is repulsive as well.

70   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
August 31st, 2009 at 9:21 pm

Racism is undisguised hatred born out of self righteousness and fear, and in any form, is an affront to the gospel and the Creator Himself.

But according to the clear teachings of our Master, we are not to respond with anything but love when we are hated.

71   Break the Terror    http://breaktheterror.blogspot.com
August 31st, 2009 at 9:48 pm

Here again, I don’t see this as being at all racist either, not as defined above.
If a neighborhood is majority white, then referencing people as being a different race is simply that – pointing out that they are not in the majority

Is not the need to point out that that the neighbor is “other” a form of racism in and of itself?

I think the whole point is that racism has become such a loaded term that people assume that the label “racist” applies only to overt displays of hatred, while ignoring the much more subtle forms that persist.

And believe me, I’m not casting aspersions hereThat said, I do not think that not being “…presented with the impetus to notice the different experiences of those around us very often” is at all racist… in any sense of the word.. My point is that we’re ALL guilty of it, and not just with race, but with any form of “other” that’s outside our comfort zone.

I agree…but the circumstances that lead to people being raised with so little contact with parts of the human existence that are different from their own are often the results of systemic racism.

I have a friend with whom I have extremely frank conversations about race/racism. I’m white, she’s black. We were laughing one day when I was getting to know her, because she told me where she went to high school, and I made the observation that I wasn’t at all surprised that she had gone to a mostly white, affluent suburban school. At first she was like “what you mean, you can tell?!” and then she laughed and said “yeah, it’s probably pretty obvious.” But it led to a conversation about how racism so often overlaps with differences in socioeconomic status, so that many white kids are exposed to certain black people who are like them in many other ways — they live in the same upper-middle class neighborhoods, etc. — but yet because their exposure is still so limited, they simultaneously hold on to certain other beliefs about black people as a whole. In other words, THEIR friends are the exception, and they will swear up and down that their racist, when the truth is that they like black people just fine, as long as they’re not too black about it.

72   Break the Terror    http://breaktheterror.blogspot.com
August 31st, 2009 at 9:50 pm

Man, I must have been distracted when I was typing that last sentence. It should say something more like:

“…they will swear up and down that they’re not racist, when the truth is that they like black people just fine, as long as they’re not too black about it.”

73   Jerry    http://www.dangoldfinch.wordpress.com
August 31st, 2009 at 9:54 pm

Rick,

I’m not gonna go too far with this because it is an entirely different subject, but you have brought this up a couple of times now:

Their hatred for gays is repulsive as well.

Now, I hope no one will be silly enough to read into my statement anything that is untrue, so here goes:

Is it fair to compare the blight of racism that has prevailed in our country, and in this world, to what some might call ‘homophobia’? Is the Civil Rights movement for African-American and other minority peoples the same fight as, say, the push for legalized same-sex marriages?

I have a difficult time seeing the plight of African-Americans in the same light as the so-called plight of the homosexual.

Now I am not disparaging anyone so please don’t go there. Maybe I just need to do some more reading in my book for Diversity class. Still, at this point, I don’t see these being the same problems.

jerry

PS–I hope my question makes sense. That is, I’m not making so many assertions as I am asking so many questions. I’ll sit back and read now.

74   Break the Terror    http://breaktheterror.blogspot.com
August 31st, 2009 at 10:18 pm

Is it fair to compare the blight of racism that has prevailed in our country, and in this world, to what some might call ‘homophobia’? Is the Civil Rights movement for African-American and other minority peoples the same fight as, say, the push for legalized same-sex marriages?

I do. not. want. to. get. into. it.

;) But.

Coretta King thought so, quite strongly, and so do Julian Bond, Joseph Lowery and a host of other civil rights leaders. It’s not to say that they’re completely congruent fights, obviously, but they’re in the same chapter of the same book. Coretta viewed it as a natural extension of the work that Martin did.

75   Neil    
August 31st, 2009 at 10:22 pm

Is not the need to point out that that the neighbor is “other” a form of racism in and of itself?

As Rick illustrated by reversing the players – I do not think it racist.

76   Break the Terror    http://breaktheterror.blogspot.com
August 31st, 2009 at 10:25 pm

And, Jerry, it’s really interesting, if you study the history of oppressed peoples and their oppressors, very often gays are also the target. We hear a lot in the media about the honor killings of women and infidels in the Islamic world, but not as much about the fact that the religious parties that have cropped up in the wake of Saddam’s removal have been killing Iraqi gays at alarming rates, for the same reason. Likewise, Hitler went after Jews (which was both racist and religious, at its roots), but he also killed gays. That’s where the pink triangle symbol came from. We’re perhaps, more aware of the images of Jews wearing the yellow badge, but gay men had to wear the pink triangle. That’s why the pink triangle is now an international symbol of gay pride.

/trivia.

77   Break the Terror    http://breaktheterror.blogspot.com
August 31st, 2009 at 10:26 pm

Oops, meant to include the link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pink_triangle

And Neil, I think both my example and Rick’s example are subtle, reverse racism. As I said before, I think we all have it, to whatever extent.

78   merry    
August 31st, 2009 at 10:40 pm

nc,

It’s all right. No harm done. I’m glad we cleared that up. :)

I’m more offended at Thurstin who I’m preeeetty sure is just glancing at bits and pieces of my comments (and everyone else’s) and not bothering to read the entire thing.

79   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
August 31st, 2009 at 10:40 pm

Jerry – I believe that ethnic racism is both different and yet similar to gay hatred. I realize that there is no question of sin in someone’s race, so in that there is a difference. However my point was to see hatred in any form as the same as it pertains to any “group”.

A man hates his neighbor because of a distinct disagreement. That is one kind of hatred. But when a person hates a group of people, it has some similarities regardless of the group. But to be sure, no single group has been persecuted as have the blacks in America.

I see differences and similarities with hatred for races and hatred for gays. But in the end, it is all hatred and in direct violation to the gospel.

“I hate hatred”. :cool:

80   Neil    
August 31st, 2009 at 10:43 pm

And Neil, I think both my example and Rick’s example are subtle, reverse racism. As I said before, I think we all have it, to whatever extent.

I guess we’ll just disagree on that… except to say, when the definition of racism is expanded beyond

a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human races determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one’s own race is superior and has the right to rule others.
2. a policy, system of government, etc., based upon or fostering such a doctrine; discrimination.
3. hatred or intolerance of another race or other races.

to include the mere pointing out that a person is of a different race —

well, when everything becomes racism pretty soon nothing is… at some point the “crying wolf” phenomenon kicks in.

81   Neil    
August 31st, 2009 at 10:47 pm

I believe that ethnic racism is both different and yet similar to gay hatred…

I agree. If hatred is what we mean. If violence is what we are talking about.

On the other hand, I don’t see the resistance against redefining certain words to fit an agenda hatred.

82   Neil    
August 31st, 2009 at 10:48 pm

…then again, if growing up in a white neighborhood (and village for that matter) makes me racist… I suppose not having gay friends makes me…

83   Break the Terror    http://breaktheterror.blogspot.com
August 31st, 2009 at 10:57 pm

…then again, if growing up in a white neighborhood (and village for that matter) makes me racist… I suppose not having gay friends makes me…

I think you’re misreading me. I didn’t say that growing up in a white neighborhood automatically makes you a racist. I said that I think we’re all racist, some in overt ways, some in more subtle ways. It’s just part of American society, as it is right now. And I said that, because of racism, we are still segregated, in many ways, which leads to many people not having real contact with people who are different from them for long periods of their lives, which can lead to misconceptions and misunderstandings. I was in no way saying that you or anyone else is a cross-burning racist, and I wasn’t excluding myself from what I was saying.

I think we all have little stains left behind from a more overtly racist time, and rather than view that as an accusation and becoming defensive, we should use it as an opportunity for self-examination, to discern those times when we have knee-jerk reactions to people who are different from us.

That’s all.

I suppose not having gay friends makes me…

Incomplete.

;)

84   Neil    
August 31st, 2009 at 11:04 pm

I understand your point, and maybe I was being too sarcastic. I just think saying we’re all racist belittles true racism (cf. comment 80).

And it’s not like America is more guilty of this than other societies/cultures – it’s a human condition… not an American condition.

85   Break the Terror    http://breaktheterror.blogspot.com
August 31st, 2009 at 11:11 pm

And it’s not like America is more guilty of this than other societies/cultures – it’s a human condition… not an American condition.

Oh, absolutely.

I understand your point, and maybe I was being too sarcastic. I just think saying we’re all racist belittles true racism (cf. comment 80).

I see what you’re saying there, but honestly, I think that working to eradicate the lesser, subtler forms contributes to the eradication of the violent, overt kind.

Here’s why: Those who are violent and overtly hateful toward people who are different from them don’t tend to exist in a vacuum — they’re propped up by something, and things like racism aren’t simply black and white issues, so to speak. They tend to exist more on a continuum. So, if reasonable people examine themselves to find the inner biases lurking inside and work to counteract them, then those who are truly hateful/violent find themselves standing more and more alone, unable to refer to a chorus of people who they imagine think just like them.

86   Neil    
September 1st, 2009 at 8:59 am

Break the Terror,

I agree with the logic and sentiment of counteracting the “biases lurking inside.”

I guess we just disagree on what may serve as a particular example of that…

Bringing up the term “inner bias” is interesting. This may be a good term to describe something that is not fully racism.

87   Neil    
September 1st, 2009 at 8:59 am

Still waiting for a list, from Thurstin, of the truths ‘we” hate.

88   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 1st, 2009 at 9:01 am

Let us remember that racism is a component of a larger problem called sin. Self rehabilitation is possible as it pertains to thought patterns and behavior, but it still does not address the overarching problem that completely separates us from the Creator.

I personally do not believe the world will get better, and it just may be the greatest deception of all if problems can be remedied apart from the Creator and more specifically the Redeemer.

The gospel is either true or it is not.

89   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 1st, 2009 at 9:05 am

TRUTHS I HATE

* When other people are right and I am wrong

Don’t cha just hate that!! :)

90   Jerry    http://www.dangoldfinch.wordpress.com
September 1st, 2009 at 9:18 am

BTT,

Do you think, then, that efforts by the church are helpful or not? It was a preacher, Martin Luther King, jr., who was instrumental in the Civil Rights movements of African Americans. Do you think it will require a similar response for the homosexual population? Or, do you think it will require a similar person?

On a further note, do you think that is even possible given the moral dimension of the issue? Thanks for your patience while I continue to learn.

jerry

91   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 1st, 2009 at 9:29 am

Words have consequences. When believers, for example, who are against abortion speak about doctors as murderers and facists, without temporing their words with love and grace, theyoften elicit actions that the speaker of those words would say he or she never intended.

Read Ingrid’s hateful words directed toward gays and the gay community at large. Those words at the very least foment hatred (self righteousness) toward an entire group without any redemption, compassion, or love. It is a colossal mistake to mesh the revelation of the Old Testament God with the New Testament Christ. Hebrews tells us that although it is the same God, He has chosen to reveal Himself through Jesus Christ today.

You cannot quote a verse from Proverbs that speaks of killing the sinner and apply it to the church without being a false teacher. It is, in fact, cultish. Christians often practice selective doctrine that uses verses against others while ignoring verses that apply to themselves.

92   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 1st, 2009 at 9:35 am

There only two kinds of sinners: Those that struggle with sin, and those that struggle with sin and judge others who struggle with sin.

If the love of Christ does not overshadow and even eclipse all other expressions of our religion, then our religion is a set of lifeless doctrines wielded as weapons of death rather than wellsprings of redemptive truth poured out to give life.

Moral causes can, and often do, overshadow, obscure, and misrepresent the gospel.

Judgmentalism is a spiritual parasite that consumes its host.

If we as believers ever even approached exhibiting the love of Christ, we would be considered the greatest compromisers in the church.

Defending certain Biblical truths by transgressing others countermands all Biblical truth.

Without redemption there is no love, and without love there is nothing.

A sinner, drawn by God’s Spirit, can believe on Jesus and be born again without changing anything about his life or even being aware of any future changes.

Rick Frueh circa A.D. 2009

93   Jerry    http://www.dangoldfinch.wordpress.com
September 1st, 2009 at 9:39 am

Getting back to the race issue, I wonder if, in stories like this, race plays any issue. Here’s a fellow in Arizona, a preacher from a Baptist ‘church’ who openly admits that he prays for Obama’s death. Check it out here.

A Phoenix-area pastor has started to draw protesters to his congregation after he delivered a sermon titled, “Why I Hate Barack Obama,” and told his parishioners that he prays for President Obama’s death.

Pastor Steven Anderson stood by his sermon in an interview with MyFOXPhoenix, which reports that the pastor continues to encourage his parishioners to join him in praying for the president’s death.

“I hope that God strikes Barack Obama with brain cancer so he can die like Ted Kennedy and I hope it happens today,” he told MyFOXPhoenix on Sunday. He called his message “spiritual warfare” and said he does not condone killing.

Sounds like this guy is straight out of the school of Laodicea. Sounds like he has done his research. Sounds like someone who ought not to preach the gospel. What a loser.

94   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 1st, 2009 at 9:42 am

Jerry – SoL and CRN conveniently do not report that. I read that a week agao and it is not primarily an issue of race but of capitalism, conservatism, and politics in general with a healthy portion of nationalism.

95   Jerry    http://www.dangoldfinch.wordpress.com
September 1st, 2009 at 9:43 am

I wonder if race played a part in this grisly story about a black, female pastor who was brutally murdered.

The bloodied corpse of 61-year-old Carol Daniels appeared to have been left in the form of a cross with both arms outstretched at her sides. Her head was nearly decapitated by the force of deep stabs to her neck and throat, according to forensic pathologist Dr. William Manion, who reviewed her autopsy report.

Daniels’ clothing had been removed, possibly to hide evidence or as a kind of trophy from the grisly scene, sources told the paper. She was found last Sunday inside the Christ Holy Sanctified Church, a beaten-up old building on a rundown block of Anadarko, Ark.

What a sick world.

96   Jerry    http://www.dangoldfinch.wordpress.com
September 1st, 2009 at 9:45 am

Rick,

Someone ought to report it. Men have been removed from the pulpit for lesser offenses. That is an offensive man. That sort of thing is anathema to Scripture and the Spirit of God and the Gospel of Grace.

jerry

97   chris    
September 1st, 2009 at 9:51 am

Sounds like this guy is straight out of the school of Laodicea. Sounds like he has done his research. Sounds like someone who ought not to preach the gospel. What a loser.

Steven Anderson is the same “pastor” who was tased.

http://www.azfamily.com/news/local/stories/Phoenix-news-051309-pastor-beaten-tased-dps.224e6b81.html

And also has this lovely sermon straight out of scripture.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qo3o4nfiG7A&feature=PlayList&p=A6E8AACE069DDD52&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=15

He should not be taken seriously on anything he says. He’s another shade of Fred Phelps.

98   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 1st, 2009 at 9:51 am

Jerry _ Welcome to the First Amendment. Just because people like Ingrid do not openly pray for Obama’s death, she and others murder by the strength of her hateful words. Perhaps that pastor, as repulsive as he is, is more honest about his heart than are some bloggers.

99   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 1st, 2009 at 9:55 am

Chris – The phrase “pisseth against the wall” is a prophetic reference to the modern male urinal. And as the man said, God hates them!

100   chris    
September 1st, 2009 at 10:02 am

Rick,

You’re so wise. Thank you for sharing your exegesis. :)

101   Paul C    http://thepathtolife.wordpress.com
September 1st, 2009 at 10:05 am

I have a difficult time seeing the plight of African-Americans in the same light as the so-called plight of the homosexual.

There is absolutely no parallel, though the gay agenda would like to create one. When we start seeing these matters in shades of grey we are going blind.

That does not mean we are to hate homosexuals in any way, as they are in need of the gospel as much as anyone else.

But when people try to draw this parallel (”Gay in the New Black”), it is to make homosexuality acceptable as just an “alternative lifestyle”. That there is no sin at all, just an external difference, like the color of one’s skin, and therefore they should be embraced.

102   chris    
September 1st, 2009 at 10:07 am

The hits keep on coming…Sorry this is comical.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ta9LSx8-9Vc&feature=related

103   Jerry    http://www.dangoldfinch.wordpress.com
September 1st, 2009 at 10:08 am

As someone who has stood and preached under the authority of the church the word of God, as someone ordained of Christ to preach the Gospel, I simply cannot fathom the sort of seared conscience it must require to say such hateful words.

I mean this: I would be terrified of what Christ himself would say to me if I preached such things from the pulpit. I cannot imagine having the nerve to stand in Christ’s pulpit and say such things under ‘his authority.’

104   Jerry    http://www.dangoldfinch.wordpress.com
September 1st, 2009 at 10:10 am

But when people try to draw this parallel (”Gay in the New Black”), it is to make homosexuality acceptable as just an “alternative lifestyle”. That there is no sin at all, just an external difference, like the color of one’s skin, and therefore they should be embraced.

Paul,

Thanks. BTT seems to disagree with you. I wonder why there is such a disconnect?

thanks,
jerry

105   Neil    
September 1st, 2009 at 10:11 am

I read the article about the pastor in AZ but did not realize he was the same one who preached the “pisseth against the wall” sermon.

He very well may be a racist, but what too many do is connect that dot just because he opposes Obama.

I have also seen several reports about black leaders claiming opposition to Obama-care is racist.

it’s that kind of lunacy that diminishes calls against actual racism.

106   Paul C    http://thepathtolife.wordpress.com
September 1st, 2009 at 10:17 am

BTT seems to disagree with you. I wonder why there is such a disconnect?

Why is that surprising?

107   Neil    
September 1st, 2009 at 10:18 am

Does Steven Anderson address Paul’s command to pray for our leaders?

108   Jerry    http://www.dangoldfinch.wordpress.com
September 1st, 2009 at 10:21 am

Neil,

I agree. It’s probably coincidence that Obama is black and this man is saying these things. I’m no so much trying to connect the dots as much as to simply say that such things ought not to be said period. I’d have to do an exhaustive search to see if he has said such things about ‘white’ people and other ‘black’ people.

You are right and I hope I didn’t give the impression to anyone that I was connecting the dots. Just sort of wondering out-loud what sort of lunacy one must be under to say such things at all, about anyone, regardless of what they believe. And to say them from the pulpit to boot!

jerry

109   Jerry    http://www.dangoldfinch.wordpress.com
September 1st, 2009 at 10:22 am

#106–I’m not interested in fomenting an argument. I’m interested in why there is such a disconnect. Why is there such a difference of opinion? How can such things be so clear to some on one side and so clear to others on another side?

110   Jerry    http://www.dangoldfinch.wordpress.com
September 1st, 2009 at 10:24 am

#106–What about BTT’s assertion that Coretta Scott King would agree that the fight for so-called ‘gay rights’ is a natural extension of Dr King’s dream?

“I have a dream…that one day a man will be judged on the content of his character and not content of his sexual orientation.” (my paraphrase not meant in any way to mock, but to demonstrate the logical conclusion to BTT’s assertion.)

Would King approve?

111   Nathanael    http://www.borrowedbreath.com/
September 1st, 2009 at 10:25 am

Perspective

112   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
September 1st, 2009 at 10:26 am

I think there are some parallels between race and sexual orientation, although I don’t think they are exactly the same. I have known, for example, plenty of Christians who have no problem stereotyping every gay man as someone who talks with a lisp, hangs out at gay bars, and walks in gay pride parades. To me, this is no different than someone making a blanket stereotype about black people or any other race.

So from a standpoint of thing like employment and such, I’m not necessarily opposed to sexual orientation being included in the list of things that an employer can’t use as a reason for not hiring someone – at least in a practical sense. I still, however, have qualms about the federal government telling any privately owned business who it can and can’t hire. I generally think that anymore that business that are run by bigots automatically put themselves at a disadvantage anyway.

Another thing – I sort of laugh whenever I hear the term “gay lifestyle” any more. What exactly is that? I think I know what people mean when they say it. I think they’re meaning promiscuity and general debauchery, but I know plenty of straight people who are promiscuous and into debauchery as well. I guess I think it odd that this one sin gets its own “lifestyle” to go with it. Why don’t we talk about the “lying lifestyle” or “gossip-mongering lifestyle”. As far as is relates to churches, I’ve found these things much more destructive than any sort of “gay agenda”.

113   Neil    
September 1st, 2009 at 10:30 am

Jerry,

I did not think you were trying to connect those dots – I just brought up that some (not here) were… and that does harm to the whole racial thing.

I agree, the things Anderson said are just not right.

114   Jerry    http://www.dangoldfinch.wordpress.com
September 1st, 2009 at 10:33 am

Neil,

cool. i’m glad we cleared that up. :-)

jerry

115   Neil    
September 1st, 2009 at 10:35 am

Re 110:

I think Phil addressed this is 112.

I will just add that there is a difference between extending basic rights to all people and redefining words.

I have heard the “Gay is the new Black” argument regarding marriage. And examples are given of when it was illegal for interracial couple to marry.

But the parallel fails since laws prohibiting interracial marriage limited the extent of the right – not the definition of marriage. I think any two people who want to get married should have the right to… yet without redefining “marriage.”

116   Paul C    http://thepathtolife.wordpress.com
September 1st, 2009 at 10:39 am

Why don’t we talk about the “lying lifestyle” or “gossip-mongering lifestyle”.

Isn’t that the professed reason for this blog? So it is addressed and talked about. I also know, from my own experience, that this is dealt with very strongly and often in many churches. It is a major problem, as we all know.

As far as is relates to churches, I’ve found these things much more destructive than any sort of “gay agenda”.

I am not identifying the “gay agenda” as more or less destructive than anything else in this discussion. What I am saying is that homosexual activity (however you’d like to frame it) is a sin.

Would King approve?

The question is not to ask whether or not King would approve, but whether the King of Kings would. He would undoubtedly show mercy and perhaps say, “Go and sin no more.” in terms of MLK, is there evidence of this support in his speeches? He seemed to be grounded in the scriptures from most of what I’ve read (though he had his own personal struggles).

To take the man’s wife’s words – decades after his death – and attribute them to him is disingenuous.

Why is there such a difference of opinion?

Some of us have been fed – for years – the line that “Gay is the New Black” (or some variation of it). Hence the “difference of opinion” as you mildly put it.

Others (like Rick) recoil at the absolute hatred (which is sin in itself) that has been dispensed from the pulpit towards homosexuals, and run to the other side of the spectrum.

117   Jerry    http://www.dangoldfinch.wordpress.com
September 1st, 2009 at 10:44 am

So Paul you believe there must be some middle ground?

I too agree that it is disingenuous to give this meaning to King’s words–whether it is his wife or someone else.

I agree that Jesus’ opinion here matters, but my point is to think about how to apply MLK’s words since it is his legacy and words that are being bandied about by anyone and any group who thinks their particular rights are being usurped or threatened.

I want to now what a good use of his words are.

Neil as to redefining marriage, I agree that it should not be done regardless of what the secular government ‘allows’ two people to do.

jerry

118   Neil    
September 1st, 2009 at 10:50 am

Neil as to redefining marriage, I agree that it should not be done regardless of what the secular government ‘allows’ two people to do.

Now… if the government wants to create a new word such as homogamy (the same + marriage) and legalize that – that’s fine. But then they should, to me consistent legalize other such arrangements such as bigamy and polygamy.

119   Paul C    http://thepathtolife.wordpress.com
September 1st, 2009 at 10:51 am

So Paul you believe there must be some middle ground?

No – I don’t believe there is middle ground. I believe that we should not back away from identifying right and wrong (including gossip, lying, etc) and speaking the truth from there.

We all are sinners. The elephant in the room (if you read and listen closely) is that some do not believe it is a sin while others do. Without a clear definition, we cannot move forward.

I want to now what a good use of his words are.

You nail an important point. The moment an important figure leaves the scene, all sorts of meanings are attributed to his words and how they can be used in current events. And that’s necessary. But, just as people have done with Christ and Paul or whoever, we can find all sorts of things to justify our own ends.

The gay rights movement has leveraged whatever they can with amazing success – no matter how disingenuous and dishonest (ie: “Gay is the New Black”). That’s even more offensive than Steven Anderson.

120   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
September 1st, 2009 at 11:03 am

No – I don’t believe there is middle ground. I believe that we should not back away from identifying right and wrong (including gossip, lying, etc) and speaking the truth from there.

We all are sinners. The elephant in the room (if you read and listen closely) is that some do not believe it is a sin while others do. Without a clear definition, we cannot move forward.

I think that’s too simplistic, really. I do think that there is room to separate sexual orientation from the sexual act itself. I guess I believe that someone can be gay and be a Christian, just I think someone can have alcoholic tendencies and be a Christian. I think people can have all sorts of inherent tendencies or traits that may influence them toward certain sinful acts and still be a Christian.

I also think that God is able to deliver people from these things, but I also know that He always doesn’t right away. I think there are many reasons for this, not the least of which is that we are dealing with human wills along with all sorts of external factors.

I guess my point is that we seem to have much less grace towards sins that involve homosexual sex acts than other sins.

121   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 1st, 2009 at 11:04 am

Phil – “I think there are some parallels between race and sexual orientation, although I don’t think they are exactly the same.”

Exactly. The similarity is hatred for a group of people who were born that way (not all gays). The difference is that being of a race is not a sin.

122   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 1st, 2009 at 11:05 am

I believe a practicing gay person can be a Christian.

(There – I said it.)

123   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 1st, 2009 at 11:09 am

If you want to read unchristian hatred for “liberals” and Obama, read Verum Serum who seemingly have morphed into a political blog without any redemption.

124   Neil    
September 1st, 2009 at 11:39 am

I certainly agree with Phil – that there is a difference between the sexual desire (call it orientation if you like) and the act… just like there is with heterosexuality.

When it comes to a practicing gay person can being a Christian – on the one hand I must say the practice is inconsistent with the Gospel – as any sin is. On the other hand, I would hesitate identifying any sin, when practiced, as defining that practitioner as not being a Christian.

125   Paul C    http://thepathtolife.wordpress.com
September 1st, 2009 at 11:46 am

that there is a difference between the sexual desire (call it orientation if you like) and the act… just like there is with heterosexuality.

Absolutely – though that is not what we are discussing here at all. Some are advocating that it is not sinful (if I understand it rightly) while others advocate that you can still be a Christian and practice it (presumably, it’s OK, as per Rick’s comment).

I believe a practicing gay person can be a Christian.

And this is what happens when – on certain issues – you become blinded. How does someone arrive at this being OK?

126   Paul C    http://thepathtolife.wordpress.com
September 1st, 2009 at 11:50 am

I guess my point is that we seem to have much less grace towards sins that involve homosexual sex acts than other sins.

On the whole, I disagree with this. It does come up from time to time (more in blog discussions than in church discussions, at least in my experience), but it is far from the whipping boy in many circles (though not in all).

127   Brett S    
September 1st, 2009 at 11:51 am

On the other hand, I would hesitate identifying any sin, when practiced, as defining that practitioner as not being a Christian. – Neil

Very well said, and I agree.

But on the other, other hand I hope you would excuse me for the urge to laugh in the face of a “practicing Christian” who supports a man having a certain relationship with another man and calling it marriage. And then trying to say that I support denying people there God given right to get married.

128   Paul C    http://thepathtolife.wordpress.com
September 1st, 2009 at 11:54 am

127 – bingo (Geez, are we agreeing more and more Brett?)

129   Neil    
September 1st, 2009 at 12:01 pm
I believe a practicing gay person can be a Christian.

And this is what happens when – on certain issues – you become blinded. How does someone arrive at this being OK?

Saying a practicing homosexual can be a Christian and saying it is “OK” – is two different tings. The former statement does not necessitate the latter.

I do not know if Rick means to connect those dots or not.

But if you say a practitioner homosexual cannot be a Christian – what about the practitioner of other sins.

130   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
September 1st, 2009 at 12:02 pm

On the whole, I disagree with this. It does come up from time to time (more in blog discussions than in church discussions, at least in my experience), but it is far from the whipping boy in many circles (though not in all).

Well, my experience is that homosexuality is often singled out as a super-sin of some sort, and beyond that homosexuals are portrayed as the enemy doing their darnedest to break into our church, corrupt our children, get in our pulpits, and pee in our communion grape juice (ok, maybe that last one is an exaggeration…).

I guess overall, I see people over-exaggerating the threat and making this issue some sort of litmus test. I’m not saying it shouldn’t be discussed at all, but I do think the church on a whole goes about in the wrong way. I think the recent stink with ELCA is a good example. Now, I for one, don’t really think having a practicing gay man as a pastor is Biblical, however it seems that the whole way the argument was framed from the opposition was in a way that was like “we must protect what we have”. It was treating the church as some sort of citadel with barbarians at the gate. It seems once we start thinking of things with that mindset, we’ve already moved beyond a Biblical definition of a church anyway.

131   Neil    
September 1st, 2009 at 12:03 pm

But on the other, other hand I hope you would excuse me for the urge to laugh in the face of a “practicing Christian” who supports a man having a certain relationship with another man and calling it marriage. And then trying to say that I support denying people there God given right to get married.

Sorry Brett, I do not follow what you mean here.

132   Break the Terror    http://breaktheterror.blogspot.com
September 1st, 2009 at 12:04 pm

86.

Break the Terror,
I agree with the logic and sentiment of counteracting the “biases lurking inside.”
I guess we just disagree on what may serve as a particular example of that…
Bringing up the term “inner bias” is interesting. This may be a good term to describe something that is not fully racism.

Yeah, I agree. And I think it’s completely that an example such as mine could be a reflection of inner bias for one person, yet more innocent for another. Like I said, it’s more of a personal thing, something that we all have to deal with where we are.

Do you think, then, that efforts by the church are helpful or not? It was a preacher, Martin Luther King, jr., who was instrumental in the Civil Rights movements of African Americans. Do you think it will require a similar response for the homosexual population? Or, do you think it will require a similar person?
On a further note, do you think that is even possible given the moral dimension of the issue? Thanks for your patience while I continue to learn.

Um. Not necessarily. I think the church is a component, simply because, at least in the US, the church is a part of so many peoples’ lives. But remember: during the Civil Rights movement, there was a moral dimension to the issue, claimed by both sides. So, “the church” was pitted against itself. I think that we’re in a place in American society where churches really need to take responsibility for their actions, both on a personal level, but also in holding up their end of the church-state separation bargain. To take one for instance: many religious organizations (dishonestly) claim that if marriage equality is achieved, then pastors will be forced to marry same sex couples or face prosecution. This is obviously a spurious claim, as religious practitioners have been refusing to marry couples for all different reasons for decades and no one has threatened their right to do so. Priests refuse to marry Catholics and non-Catholics, Rabbis refuse to marry Jews to non-Jews, etc. From a civil perspective, it’s irrelevant, and the couple usually just finds another person to officiate. But there’s a flipside to it: many religious practitioners, Christian, Jewish, etc., are more than willing to marry same-sex couples! So, there’s a case to be made that disallowing those clergy from marrying same-sex couples is religious discrimination.

It’s probably coincidence that Obama is black and this man is saying these things. I’m no so much trying to connect the dots as much as to simply say that such things ought not to be said period. I’d have to do an exhaustive search to see if he has said such things about ‘white’ people and other ‘black’ people.

Steven Anderson is a whole different kind of loon.

Michelangelo Signorile interviewed him yesterday. It’s worth a listen. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Up1a1zKqbAk&feature=player_embedded

Another thing – I sort of laugh whenever I hear the term “gay lifestyle” any more. What exactly is that? I think I know what people mean when they say it. I think they’re meaning promiscuity and general debauchery

It’s one of those lines that only works on people who don’t know any gay people. They paint this picture of a “gay lifestyle” that’s just utterly insane debauchery, 24 hours a day. Most gay people hear that and go “huh?”

To take the man’s wife’s words – decades after his death – and attribute them to him is disingenuous.

Well, tell that to the late Coretta King, and the still-living civil rights leaders who knew Martin best.

We all are sinners. The elephant in the room (if you read and listen closely) is that some do not believe it is a sin while others do. Without a clear definition, we cannot move forward.

Wellllll, actually, no. Because we’re talking about civil equality right now, and something that a certain group considers to be sin, yet the rest do not…it’s just not relevant to civil law. So that’s part of why there’s a disconnect.

Hey Jerry, this is a really interesting topic. If you want to discuss any of these things more in depth, feel free to Facebook me. We have mutual friends.

Evan

133   Brett S    
September 1st, 2009 at 12:06 pm

Have no fear, Paul. It’s only Tuesday :)
Plenty of time left in the week for you to come up with goofy ideas again.

I just think that debates about homosexuality are getting a little ridiculous these days. It always seems to boil down to the poor little misunderstood homos vs. the mean judgmental Christians that just want to restrict people’s freedom. We’re all sinner’s in the same boat so there is plenty of blame to go around along those line.

With so much confusion and opinions in the world today about homosexuality, it gets kinda pointless for Christians to discuss the issue unless we take about just what MARRIAGE is, and what it means.

134   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 1st, 2009 at 12:13 pm

I never said it was “OK”. The Scriptures, physiology, and reproductive setup are clear that marriage is between a man and a woman and anything else is sin.

However, almost every believer I know practices sin by both committing such they know is sin and by committing sins they did not know were sin. So if a gay person believes on Jesus but does not acknowledge his lifestyle is sin, how is he different than these believers:

* A believer practices and teaches God wants everyone rich

* A believer practicies and teaches that America is God’s chosen nation

* A believer practices and teaches God hates Jews (Luther)

* A believer practices and teaches that baptism saves

* A believer practices and teaches that slavery is OK with God

And the list goes on…

135   andy    
September 1st, 2009 at 12:25 pm

I had a massive arguement last week with a dear friend of mine …Her best friend a Christian who’s HIV positive and continues to act promiscously with guys , shes not telling them at all about the condition , she said at best she SOMETIMES has safe sex… I totally lost it , and said how the heck can she be a Christian acting like that…My friend just was amazed at me and said who are you to judge…

I’m about a shot short of an alcholic i’d guess , a bottle of whiskey , can sometimes be a primer for going out with friends… Man were all struggling , am i any different to this young girl?

I guess it all comes down to conviction ?? I think Rick is saying a praticing gay person can be a Christian if their convicted over their actions?? I just can’t see your saved if theres no conviction at all??? Maybe i’m wrong

…………………………………………..

Sorry you lost your job Jerry , same here after 5 years …I’m now washing dishes and doing starters at a restaurant , i’m enjoying it to be honest ,been doing care work for years the change as been refreshing , hope ur exams work out !!

136   Brett S    
September 1st, 2009 at 12:27 pm

Sorry Brett, I do not follow what you mean here. – Neil

Christians don’t really need to explain that homosexual acts are sinful according to the bible. Anyone with intellectual honesty can plainly read about it in scripture, and the church has historically taught that.

Christians don’t really need to explain that homosexual acts are not natural. Just watch a few episodes of Animal Planet or Discovery Channel, and anyone can plainly see that yes, male and female he created them for a reason.

I believe that Christians have a unique revelation on marriage to offer the world. God instituted marriage for a reason. And marriage is not primarily a right, or a freedom. Marriage is a gift, and Christians should be stewards of the gift.

137   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 1st, 2009 at 12:30 pm

I am not saying that, Andy. I am saying that all of us lead a lifestyle that is in controdiction to the clear teaching of Scripture and many times without conviction. Jesus said we are not to save up money for ourselves, but how many American Christians are saving up thousands upon thousands of dollars for future personal consumption?

If no one can be saved who practices a sin and is blind that it is sin, then no one is saved. By your standard no ODM is saved since some practice hatred and judgment and are not only not convicted about it, they believe THEY SPEAK FOR GOD!!

Grace, my friends, is the only answer.

138   Break the Terror    http://breaktheterror.blogspot.com
September 1st, 2009 at 12:39 pm

Just watch a few episodes of Animal Planet or Discovery Channel, and anyone can plainly see that yes, male and female he created them for a reason.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homosexuality_in_animals

Q.E.D.

139   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 1st, 2009 at 1:05 pm

There are many anomalies in nature due to the curse. Sometimes a lioness is violent toward cubs and has to be separated. Those are not the norm or even the effective design.

140   Break the Terror    http://breaktheterror.blogspot.com
September 1st, 2009 at 1:10 pm

Regardless of the interpretation of the facts, those are the facts. That’s all.

141   Paul C    http://thepathtolife.wordpress.com
September 1st, 2009 at 1:19 pm

and the still-living civil rights leaders who knew Martin best.

Like the Jesse Jacksons of the world? Some of them, sadly, will do anything for a buck.

Well, my experience is that homosexuality is often singled out as a super-sin of some sort

I can appreciate that it’s your experience, but it is not mine, nor the experience of many I know. But I will say that certain sins have more of an impact on us as people – especially sexual sins. I’m not saying that God sees them differently, but this is a fact.

Grace, my friends, is the only answer.

If that is the case, then we should no longer preach repentance, no longer preach holiness, no longer demand discipleship. It’s all grace.

142   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 1st, 2009 at 1:20 pm

In fact, repentance, holiness, and discipleship are all components of grace. :cool:

143   Brett S    
September 1st, 2009 at 1:26 pm

#138

Thank you for illustrating my point, Break the Terror.
What gay penguins has to do with the marriage of a man and woman created in the image of God is beyond me.

By the grace of God I am freed from the hopeless burden of being just another squirrel tryin’ to get a nut. As an adopted son of God I can be freed of the emptiness of viewing a fellow human being as a object that can give me pleasure. That’s a hope that penguins can not have.

144   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 1st, 2009 at 1:27 pm

The gay penguins were a pink bowtie. :cool:

145   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 1st, 2009 at 1:27 pm

“wear”. Sorry.

146   Paul C    http://thepathtolife.wordpress.com
September 1st, 2009 at 1:30 pm

In these discussions it is always a good idea to put things in perspective. Here Jesus:

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it…

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

Hmmm… sounds like works.

In fact, repentance, holiness, and discipleship are all components of grace.

Not by the definition you’re leaning toward here.

147   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 1st, 2009 at 1:30 pm

Homosexuality has become an easy evangelical hobbyhorse. Comparitively, precious little is said about divorce, adultery, pornography, greed, hedonism, nationalism, prayerlessness, etc., etc., and etc..

I have never been in a service where people were weeping with compassion about the gay community, however I have hear many a self righteous castigation of the same.

You say you see, therefore your sin remains.

148   Paul C    http://thepathtolife.wordpress.com
September 1st, 2009 at 1:32 pm

Repentance: a turning away from sin – turning away from what God hates and turning toward what he loves. It is not a snap of the finger – it is a lifetime struggle. But it is a struggle.

The goal of following Christ is not to simply “believe” (mental assent) but that Christ be formed in us over the course of a lifetime.

149   Paul C    http://thepathtolife.wordpress.com
September 1st, 2009 at 1:34 pm

Homosexuality has become an easy evangelical hobbyhorse. Comparitively, precious little is said about divorce, adultery, pornography, greed, hedonism, nationalism, prayerlessness, etc., etc., and etc..

Not sure what churches you attend, but this is just not the case. Peruse the Internet to get a cross-section of preaching that occurred just this past weekend and get a sense of reality.

150   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 1st, 2009 at 1:39 pm

“Hmmm… sounds like works.”

If any of it is works, none of it is grace.

151   Paul C    http://thepathtolife.wordpress.com
September 1st, 2009 at 1:40 pm

If any of it is works, none of it is grace.

That is a false dichotomy. Grace and works are compatible.

152   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 1st, 2009 at 1:43 pm

Paul makes it clear that the man in Corinth, even if he died in the sin that the Gentiles wouldn’t do, could be saved.

153   Paul C    http://thepathtolife.wordpress.com
September 1st, 2009 at 1:50 pm

He does not say that – it would be better to quote the scripture directly Rick, in order to get the proper context.

The bottom line: grace and works are not incompatible as you make it seem. They are both important.

154   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 1st, 2009 at 1:53 pm

“Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.

14If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.

15If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

No one shall be saved by works.

155   Brett S    
September 1st, 2009 at 1:57 pm

#154

Please don’t get him started on purgatory again.

156   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 1st, 2009 at 1:58 pm

For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one (Jesus) shall many be made righteous.

20Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:

21That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.

157   Paul C    http://thepathtolife.wordpress.com
September 1st, 2009 at 2:08 pm

Not sure about the congruity between your comment #152 (the immoral young man) and #154 which is specifically dealing with preachers.

Remember, in 1 Cor 3, Paul is basically warning those who were coming after him (which was a thorn in his side with all the churches) – reminding them (probably Apollos) he had laid the foundation in Corinth and they should not divert from it. Corinth had a “teachers” problem which was causing division.

So we’re dealing with 2 complete different scenarios here.

No one shall be saved by works.

We all would recognize that the Lord didn’t begin a work in our lives because of our works – it was solely grace and mercy… but when it pertains to what happens after this work has begun:

> Can you elaborate on the opening message to each of the 7 churches of Asia where Christ himself opens with, “I know your works…”

> What did Paul mean here: “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.”

followed by

“And let us not be weary in well doing [in behaving ourselves as Christians should]: for in due season we shall reap if we faint not.”

> or in Romans 2 “Who will render to every man according to his deeds: ” (in reference to eternal life “To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life”)

> James: “Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?”

> Peter: “And seeing you call on the Father, who, without respect of persons, judges according to every man’s work,–pass the time of your sojourning in fear…”

There are lots of other places as well where works are just brushed under the rug as unimportant. They are and anyone who says they are immaterial is preaching a false message with eternal consequences.

How do you reconcile these Rick?

158   Jerry    http://www.dangoldfinch.wordpress.com
September 1st, 2009 at 2:09 pm

Well, I think this conversation has run its course and now is veering off into other places. Thanks for all the input. I appreciate it very much.

If we get back to race, MLK, or how these things relate or compare to gay rights, let me know.

peace.

159   Jerry    http://www.dangoldfinch.wordpress.com
September 1st, 2009 at 2:11 pm

BTT,

I have posted the same question on FB and have gotten some good feedback. I’m looking for you, but it’s not easy. :-)

jerry

160   Break the Terror    http://breaktheterror.blogspot.com
September 1st, 2009 at 2:12 pm

Oh, hold on, I’ll find you.

161   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
September 1st, 2009 at 2:14 pm

The bottom line: grace and works are not incompatible as you make it seem. They are both important.

I find this statement very ironic when coming from someone who routinely speaks out against the RCC here…

The thing that seems to get lost in these discussions is the work of the Holy Spirit. If someone is in Christ, it isn’t that they’re doing good works on their own volition. It’s through the Holy Spirit working through them.

Likewise, if a believer sins, the Holy Spirit will convict him of sin. It is not necessarily our job to go and chastise professed Christians for sinning. Now, of course, if someone’s sin is having detrimental effect on the church body as a whole, as it seems was the case with the wackos in Corinth, then something needs to be done. Other than that, I don’t see that we need to constantly be trying to figure who is sinning in what way and who has crossed the line to the point where they aren’t a Christian.

It seems to me that somewhere during the last century Evangelicals decided the Holy Spirit wasn’t doing His job well enough and decided they would take it upon themselves to do His work.

162   Paul C    http://thepathtolife.wordpress.com
September 1st, 2009 at 2:35 pm

I find this statement very ironic

No problem Phil – just see the scriptures mentioned in #157 to get a sense of what I mean.

I don’t see that we need to constantly be trying to figure who is sinning in what way and who has crossed the line to the point where they aren’t a Christian.

The problem, at least with many I know, is that sin has been reduced largely to a matter of taste. Perhaps in other circles, everything has been reduced to sin (like Phil’s past). Sin must be preached against – not just pet sins that absolve us, but more importantly, the one’s we are guilty of. As Paul says, we are to examine ourselves to see whether we are in the faith, and make adjustments (repentance whenever needed).

163   Neil    
September 1st, 2009 at 2:45 pm

> Can you elaborate on the opening message to each of the 7 churches of Asia where Christ himself opens with, “I know your works…”

Written to churches, not individuals… just like the threat in the letter – to remove the lampstand – this does not mean loss of salvation of an individual, it means that local church ceases to exist.

164   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
September 1st, 2009 at 3:01 pm

Sin must be preached against

I don’t know that I necessarily agree with this. Sure in some sense, we shouldn’t be afraid to speak against sins, and to call the congregation to live in way that is honoring to God. But I simply do not think preaching against sin is a huge part of the Biblical mandate of spreading the Gospel.

A person’s sin will be dealt with by the Holy Spirit once they are in a right relationship with God. I truly don’t think many people believe this.

When the Apostle Paul was writing to churches and admonishing them about certain sins, it was not with the idea that if a person didn’t stop he would lose his salvation. It was with the hope that these Christians would start honoring God and living up to their calling. In fact, even in the verse where Paul tells them to “examine themselves”, he says this:

5Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?

“The test” is whether or not a person actually has faith in Christ – not whether they have somehow lost their salvation. Paul actually is assuming they are all saved.

I think some people approach the Father with the idea that He keeps some sort of heavenly balance sheet with our good deeds on one side and our bad ones on the other. Once the bad outweighs the good, then you’re toast. I find this idea very prevalent, and very damaging. If an earthly father did this, we would consider it abhorrent. Why do we expect our heavenly Father to act in such a way?

The reason God cares about sin isn’t so much because He’s personally offended by it. No, it’s because it’s self-destructive and ultimately causes bondage to those who do it. So if a Christian is struggling with a sin, God isn’t mad at Him. He wants to free him. Of course a person has to want to be freed to a big extent, but I’ve found that one of the biggest obstacles to a person getting free is a Church that spends inordinate amount of energy condemning them for their sin.

165   Paul C    http://thepathtolife.wordpress.com
September 1st, 2009 at 3:05 pm

Written to churches, not individuals

What are the churches if not made up of individuals? Whose “works” is Jesus referring to if not the members of the church?

And what do you think of the other scriptures mentioned?

Look what he says to various churches:

Pergamum: You have people (Christians presumably) there who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin by eating food sacrificed to idols and by committing sexual immorality. 15Likewise you also have those who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans. 16Repent therefore! Otherwise, I will soon come to you and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.

or Thyatira:

Then all the churches will know that I am he who searches hearts and minds, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds.

166   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
September 1st, 2009 at 3:06 pm

I will also add that another thing that happens when pastor or leaders harp on particular sins in a way that’s devoid of grace is that those people who struggle with those sins naturally become defensive. So perhaps one reason why there are a large number of people pushing back on the issue of homosexuality has to do in large part with the way it has been handled in the past. Maybe those chickens are coming home to roost, as they say.

167   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 1st, 2009 at 3:10 pm

We are always encouraged to do good works, however we are saved by faith without works. If works are necessary after salvation, then they are part of the original agreement.

God never says you are saved by faith initially as long as you have works afterward. That is works salvation.

168   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 1st, 2009 at 3:11 pm

BTW Paul, your denying deity to the Holy Spirit is considered serious sin and utter blasphemy in most evangelical circles. Probably worse that being gay!!

169   Paul C    http://thepathtolife.wordpress.com
September 1st, 2009 at 3:12 pm

A person’s sin will be dealt with by the Holy Spirit once they are in a right relationship with God

How do they get in a right relationship with God? Is it not through correct teaching to a very, very large extent?

Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?

We know he is speaking to believers. Why, if a person is “once saved always saved” would he be asking them to examine themselves to see if they are still on the foundation they were planted on? Similar to the Galatians there is a possibility to drift off the foundation of Christ and miss the mark entirely. This is why Paul and Peter warn repeatedly about steadfastness and vigilance. So does Christ (Rev 2 & 3).

I’ve found that one of the biggest obstacles to a person getting free is a Church that spends inordinate amount of energy condemning them for their sin.

Yes, this can be true. But a bigger obstacle is being told, “You’re a-OK.” (Believe it or not, this is quite common in terms of tone). There’s a lot of confusion in evangelicalism, I believe.

Jesus put it this way:

“To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

Some here would argue that this is “works-based” salvation. “If they believe that is sufficient. He should not require anything more, lest any man should boast.”

170   Neil    
September 1st, 2009 at 3:15 pm

Paul C.,

When Paul speaks of God repaying, or judging, or examining the deeds and/or works of a believer it is in the context of contemporary cause and effect, or loss of rewards. Yet the person’s salvation is not the issue.

171   Paul C    http://thepathtolife.wordpress.com
September 1st, 2009 at 3:15 pm

I will also add that another thing that happens when pastor or leaders harp on particular sins in a way that’s devoid of grace is that those people who struggle with those sins naturally become defensive.

A very wise comment and heeded.

So perhaps one reason why there are a large number of people pushing back on the issue of homosexuality has to do in large part with the way it has been handled in the past

Yes, I said that above (re Rick). And I can see why this is so. But here we’re just discussing it philosophically – not trying to nail someone to the wall.

172   Paul C    http://thepathtolife.wordpress.com
September 1st, 2009 at 3:19 pm

Rick – re #167, can you specifically address a couple of the scriptures I referenced in #157 as I am trying to see how works/grace are reconciled in the mind of Paul, Peter or Christ. How do you see this?

BTW Paul, your denying deity to the Holy Spirit is considered serious sin and utter blasphemy in most evangelical circles.

Too true – that is until we sit down with a Bible and go through it in some detail. Actually, just yesterday, I put up an article on this subject of “The Godhead” (any feedback would be genuinely appreciated).

173   Neil    
September 1st, 2009 at 3:20 pm

If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.

This is different than “If you hold my teachings the you will be saved…

The former indicates behavior reflects reality, the latter indicates behavior causes reality.

174   Neil    
September 1st, 2009 at 3:22 pm

I would say cans a person deny the Trinity and be a Christian is a much more relevant question than can they practice gay sex.

175   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
September 1st, 2009 at 3:22 pm

How do they get in a right relationship with God? Is it not through correct teaching to a very, very large extent?

Sorry, wrong. It’s only through the gracious work of the Holy Spirit convicting a person’s heart that a person enters into a right relationship with God. Yes, the Father has chosen to use different ways of communicating to people throughout history, but ultimately it’s only through the work of the Holy Spirit that a person can believe.

I actually think that many people have come to Christ despite some pretty horrid teaching.

We know he is speaking to believers. Why, if a person is “once saved always saved” would he be asking them to examine themselves to see if they are still on the foundation they were planted on? Similar to the Galatians there is a possibility to drift off the foundation of Christ and miss the mark entirely. This is why Paul and Peter warn repeatedly about steadfastness and vigilance. So does Christ (Rev 2 & 3).

I see the exhortations towards steadfastness and vigilance as more of a call for Christians to live in a way that announces they are Kingdom people. To live in a way that is not about the Kingdom is to live below our calling.

Yes, this can be true. But a bigger obstacle is being told, “You’re a-OK.” (Believe it or not, this is quite common in terms of tone). There’s a lot of confusion in evangelicalism, I believe.

I’ve heard very little in the way of people saying, “you’re a-OK”. I hear a lot in the way of “God is very, very angry with you for breaking His law”. What I don’t hear enough of is people announcing that God loves sinners.

“To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

Some here would argue that this is “works-based” salvation. “If they believe that is sufficient. He should not require anything more, lest any man should boast.”

Short answer to this is that a convert and a disciple are not necessarily the same thing. I would also add that it’s interesting that Jesus called the disciples prior to them demonstrating any sort of interest in Him for the most part. He called and they obeyed. They certainly messed up a lot during their time with Him, though.

176   Paul C    http://thepathtolife.wordpress.com
September 1st, 2009 at 3:23 pm

170: always good interacting with you Neil. I disagree with this statement though.

A good parallel, in my mind, is the parable of the Prodigal Son (or “Loving Father”). Notice the love of the father never ever diminishes. It is always present. But when we refuse God and live according to our own ways, even though we be a son,

“If we disown him,
he will also disown us”

The fault, the abandonment, the “disowning” is never initiated by God.

Yet, when the son “comes to himself” – he will find his Father ever ready to receive him. If not – there are eternal consequences.

177   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 1st, 2009 at 3:24 pm

#172 – There are Scriptures that mention works in relation to a manifestation of regeneration, and there are Scriptures that make it clear salvation is completely by faith in Christ’s works alone. In 30 years of ministry I have come to one incontrovertible truth:

Salvation is by faith alone in Jesus Christ.

Works are the frame, but the picture is all Jesus.

178   Neil    
September 1st, 2009 at 3:28 pm

Paul C.,

You are correct, the Prodigal Son is a good parallel to keep in mind. And even though the son was in a state of rebellion, he never ceased being the son, the relationship was never severed, and no work, or obedience, or deed was rendered to reestablish his son ship.

179   Paul C    http://thepathtolife.wordpress.com
September 1st, 2009 at 3:28 pm

Yes, the Father has chosen to use different ways of communicating to people throughout history, but ultimately it’s only through the work of the Holy Spirit that a person can believe.

Yes – agreed. Without the Spirit of God, nothing happens. And yet Paul saw it this way:

How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”

or in Timothy

And the Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. 25Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance

Probably why he saw himself as a co-worker, together with God. It is not man’s doing – God must turn on the lights in order for the delivered word to be received, no?

What I don’t enough of is people announcing that God loves sinners.

Amen.

Short answer to this is that a convert and a disciple are not necessarily the same thing.

Where do you see this distinction in scripture?

180   Neil    
September 1st, 2009 at 3:30 pm

Paul C.,

Of course you disagree, if works cause/maintian salvation… yet Paul himself, when he speaks of believers being judged makes it clear that salvation is not the issue… we are judged as through fire, but are very much saved – at least that is what Paul tells us through his letter to the Corinthians.

181   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 1st, 2009 at 3:32 pm

If works “maintain” salvation then Christ’s blood needs help.

182   Paul C    http://thepathtolife.wordpress.com
September 1st, 2009 at 3:32 pm

no work, or obedience, or deed was rendered to reestablish his son ship.

But that is not totally correct Neil.

“When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.’

Notice the repentance. This is like Zaccheus. Only when he made his declaration did Jesus encourage, “Today is salvation come to this house.”

Repentance is necessary (to some it is a work). If the son never repented, he would forever have been lost, though not to the pleasure of the father who was looking our everyday for him. God’s love is unsearchable.

In Ezekiel 33:

I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die, O house of Israel?’

183   Neil    
September 1st, 2009 at 3:33 pm
Short answer to this is that a convert and a disciple are not necessarily the same thing.

Where do you see this distinction in scripture?

I don’t think we need to see the distinction defined in Scripture… anymore than we need to see the distinction between dirt and water defined in Scripture.

The two nouns refer to two different things.

184   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 1st, 2009 at 3:35 pm

Repentance = change of mind.

Changing behavior is a struggle. After I was saved and was freed from drugs, violence, and immorality, I thought that was enough to show my fruit. Then I met some Mormons, Buddhists, and just generic rehab people and I realized that the fruit of Christ goes much deeper than forsaking some discernable sins.

185   Neil    
September 1st, 2009 at 3:36 pm
no work, or obedience, or deed was rendered to reestablish his son ship.

But that is not totally correct Neil.

“When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.’

Again, I believe you have provided an example of MY point… the son says “I am no longer worthy to be called you son….” it does not say he was no longer his son…

The whole point of the parable is the forgiving nature of the Father, based not on the son’s behavior, but on the nature of the Father.

You trying to use this parable to teach the very opposite of what it affirms.

186   Paul C    http://thepathtolife.wordpress.com
September 1st, 2009 at 3:37 pm

181: Rick, explain:

Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off.

187   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 1st, 2009 at 3:41 pm

Paul – you are mixing Paul speaking to doctrines and Paul dealing with specific people. Paul, speaking to the collection of believers in Rome (the church), makes sure they stay faithful to Christ in their preaching and teaching.

How much sin makes you lose your salvation? Why would God take one rebel home early and let another lose his salvation and go to hell?

188   Paul C    http://thepathtolife.wordpress.com
September 1st, 2009 at 3:42 pm

You trying to use this parable to teach the very opposite of what it affirms.

Neil – I fear you are misrepresenting my position somewhat and reading into the statement “I am no longer worthy to be called your son” too much. My point is that:

1. God’s love never ceases – he has demonstrated that
2. we have a responsibility to live for God and our eternal destiny is tied to this

The young man would NOT be saved without repentance. He would have died eating hog food, face down in the mud.

Again, read John 8:31-32.
Read some of the scriptures I mention in #157

189   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
September 1st, 2009 at 3:43 pm

Sounds like this guy is straight out of the school of Laodicea. Sounds like he has done his research. Sounds like someone who ought not to preach the gospel. What a loser.

Perhaps he is from the school of the Psalms. Have you ever heard of the Imprecatory Psalms?

Mennega’s excellent unpublished master’s thesis gives practical instruction on the prayer life of the Christian:

It is the peculiarly balanced prayer life that the Christian must foster. He is obligated to pray for the conversion of sinners, of those who are now identified with the kingdom of darkness; this he must do in the interest of God’s glory. At the same time and in the same interest he must pray for the coming of God’s kingdom which involves necessarily praying for the destruction of the kingdom of evil and those who are identified with it. It is in this tension that the Christian must live. Since he does not know who are permanently identified with the kingdom of evil he cannot pray for the doom of known individuals in the way the psalmists did and rather must show love to all people, even his enemies. Yet this prayer for their conversion is accompanied by a prayer for the overthrow of Satan’s kingdom, a kingdom which cannot be conceived of apart from its concrete embodiment in actual persons in history

So is it right to, for example, Echo the Psalmist in Psalm 83 for President Obama and other enemies of the Gospel?

Psalm 83
83 O God, do not keep silence;
h do not hold your peace or be still, O God!
2 For behold, your enemies make an uproar;
those who hate you have raised their heads.
3 They lay crafty plans against your people;
they consult together against your treasured ones.
4 They say, “Come, let us wipe them out as a nation; let the name of Israel be remembered no more!” 5 For they conspire with one accord;
against you they make a covenant—
6 the tents of n Edom and the Ishmaelites,
Moab and the Hagrites,
7 Gebal and Ammon and Amalek,
Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre;
8 Asshur also has joined them;
they are the strong arm of the children of Lot. Selah 9 Do to them as you did to Midian,
as to Sisera and Jabin at the river Kishon,
10 who were destroyed at a En-dor,
who became dung for the ground. 11 Make their nobles like Oreb and Zeeb, all their princes like Zebah and Zalmunna,
12 who said, “Let us take possession for ourselves of the pastures of God.” 13 O my God, make them like whirling dust, like chaff before the wind. 14 As fire consumes the forest, as the flame sets the mountains ablaze, 15 so may you pursue them with your tempest and terrify them with your hurricane! 16 Fill their faces with shame, that they may seek your name, O Lord. 17 Let them be l put to shame and dismayed forever; let them perish in disgrace, 18 that they may know that you alone, whose name is the Lord, are the Most High over all the earth.

I guess Asaph and David must have been out of the school of Laodecia as well.

190   Paul C    http://thepathtolife.wordpress.com
September 1st, 2009 at 3:45 pm

#187: as I said earlier, the church is nothing if not made up of individuals. The message delivered to the church is the message to the individuals in that church as well.

Rick, who was Paul warning about “Otherwise, you also will be cut off”? The church in Rome or the believers?

191   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 1st, 2009 at 3:45 pm

“The young man would NOT be saved without repentance.”

Where is the Scriptural proof for that? Paul says that if the man in Corinth did not repent and died in his sin, his flesh would be destroyed but his spirit could be saved.

192   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
September 1st, 2009 at 3:46 pm
no work, or obedience, or deed was rendered to reestablish his son ship.

But that is not totally correct Neil.

“When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.’

But it was because the son remembered the love of His father that he knew he could repent. The fact that he repented did not, as Neil pointed out, change his actual status as s son of his Father.

Now I do think the son could have chosen to never come back. He could have continued living his horrible life until the day he died. And the father would still have loved him. However, as Thomas Aquinas (I think) said, “there is no coercion in love”. So, yes, I do believe there is room for people to miss out on the love of God. I do think that there is even room for such a thing as apostasy. I just don’t think it’s as easy of a thing to fall into as you make it out to be, Paul.

193   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 1st, 2009 at 3:47 pm

Paul – Which individual Jews was Paul saying were already cut off? He was speaking of the transition from the Jews to the primarily Gentile church.

194   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 1st, 2009 at 3:49 pm

Grace is unmerited by definition. If our works earn or warrant grace, then it is a reward and not grace.

195   Paul C    http://thepathtolife.wordpress.com
September 1st, 2009 at 3:50 pm

Rick, is it not true you would call this works?

To those (individuals) who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life.

The best explanation of grace is emphasized in the parables of Matthew 18 (The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant). According to you, God was unjust. He received grace, yet because of his response, he was punished eternally.

Or what of Matthew 25: beautiful examples of grace, as well as making sure we are “stewards of the grace of God” (as Peter puts it).

Would you would also accuse Paul of works here?

No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.

196   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 1st, 2009 at 3:56 pm

“Would you would also accuse Paul of works here?”

Nope, just a passion to remain faithful to Christ and not his flesh.

197   Paul C    http://thepathtolife.wordpress.com
September 1st, 2009 at 3:58 pm

Paul says that if the man in Corinth did not repent and died in his sin, his flesh would be destroyed but his spirit could be saved.

No he didn’t. He told them to take this route so that (perchance/perhaps) he would eventually “come to his senses” (like the prodigal) and repent – which he did. He was wonderfully restored by the grace of God.

So, yes, I do believe there is room for people to miss out on the love of God.

That’s what I’m saying. God’s love is immeasureable toward us (demonstrated by giving the best he had). But when we refuse it, live in unrepentant sin and so forth, we will not reap eternal life.

Grace is unmerited by definition.

Yes it is. But where I think the confusion lies is here: God gave us grace through Christ. We were worthy of nothing but damnation (condemned already, as John 3 puts it). The parables of Matthew 25 hit the balance perfectly. These parables have meaning and absolutely parallel the rest of scripture.

Could you explain the parable in Matthew 18?

198   Paul C    http://thepathtolife.wordpress.com
September 1st, 2009 at 4:00 pm

Nope, just a passion to remain faithful to Christ and not his flesh.

Rick, what of the last phrase. Do you see any tie whatsoever in terms of how he saw the prize (eternal life)?

Again – or Romans 2:7. Is that works?

Or Galatians 6 (what we sow we reap – to the saints)?

Or heaps of other scriptures?

The problem here is that I don’t see any incongruity whatsoever between grace and works. That is the challenge some here are having.

199   Neil    
September 1st, 2009 at 4:06 pm

…My point is that:

1. God’s love never ceases – he has demonstrated that
2. we have a responsibility to live for God and our eternal destiny is tied to this

And I reject unequivocally #2… we are saved by grace… we remain saved by grace… our eternal destiny is not tied to our performance reviews.

The young man would NOT be saved without repentance. He would have died eating hog food, face down in the mud.

Again, the parable is not about salvation, and you cannot force particulars – it is a parable not an allegory. The point of the parable is the nature of God in relation to those who are his – not how to become and/or remain his.

Again, read John 8:31-32.

I addressed this in comment 173

Read some of the scriptures I mention in #157

Again, behavior has consequences apart from the issue of salvation.

200   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
September 1st, 2009 at 4:08 pm

No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.

Not every mention of reward and/or punishment in the eschaton is a reference to one’s final state. It seems clear in several places that Paul believes there will be rewards or lack thereof based on what we do in this life. These rewards/punishment are above and beyond our actual participation in the resurrection, i.e., they are not talking about our final state as “saved” or “unsaved”.

201   Neil    
September 1st, 2009 at 4:10 pm

Paul C.,

you are asking us to explain a lot of Scriptures, yet I ask you to explain, in light of works salvation or losing salvation – Paul’s security of the believer in Romans 8, Jesus saying those who hear his words and believe in John 5:24, the fact that we are saved by grace so no one can boast in Ephesians, that believers who have their deeds judged are still saved in Corinthians, and that Paul says women can be saved by having a baby.

202   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 1st, 2009 at 4:11 pm

“The problem here is that I don’t see any incongruity whatsoever between grace and works.”

I see an eternal disconnect only bridged by the cross.

203   Neil    
September 1st, 2009 at 4:12 pm

The problem here is that I don’t see any incongruity whatsoever between grace and works.

I agree – the problem is you do not see the incongruity between being saved by grace and keeping it by works.

It is either unmerited or it is merited.

The wages of sin is death, but the free gift is salvation… no earning it.

204   Paul C    http://thepathtolife.wordpress.com
September 1st, 2009 at 4:15 pm

199: in the context of the verse quoted, he is speaking of eternal life (similar to Philippians: “attainto the resurrection of the dead.”) That is the very prize he was seeking. That’s also highlighted in 2 Timothy 4 (his final chapter on this earth).

Read some of the scriptures I mention in #157

Again, behavior has consequences apart from the issue of salvation.

In all honesty, I didn’t understand that comment. Then Phil said:

Short answer to this is that a convert and a disciple are not necessarily the same thing.

Which I asked for a scriptural basis for this. As far as I know, this is not correct. I would be interested to know where the differences lie.

205   Neil    
September 1st, 2009 at 4:17 pm

convert – someone who switched religions, someone who makes a statement of adherence

disciple – a leaner, a follower, someone who follows after the teachings of a mentor

206   Nathanael    http://www.borrowedbreath.com/
September 1st, 2009 at 4:18 pm

Paul,
The last time you and I engaged in this exercise, I mentioned that your stance could lead to living in fear lest at any moment I sin then die and then perish eternally.

You assured me you do not live in this fear.

But as I read your comments here, which are almost carbon-copies of the previous comments you’ve made on this topic, I am saddened by your interpretation.
It just seems like a burden that you ought not bear. Jesus paid it all. Walk in that. Bask in His love.

Maybe I’m reading too much into this, but I can’t imagine living this way, always wondering if my salvation is secure based on what I am doing or not doing.

Shalom, dear brother.

207   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
September 1st, 2009 at 4:19 pm

I agree – the problem is you do not see the incongruity between being saved by grace and keeping it by works.

It is either unmerited or it is merited.

The wages of sin is death, but the free gift is salvation… no earning it.

Yes, exactly.

If Warren Buffet chose to give me a billion dollars, I could accept the gift and choose to continue to live my current lifestyle, i.e., not as a billionaire. That doesn’t mean I don’t possess the gift, however.

I could on the other hand, completely refuse the gift.

It’s hard to imagine how I could at some point accept the gift and then at a later point refuse it, though. Perhaps in some way I could choose to give the gift back, but I don’t think Mr. Buffet could come and say to me, “hey, you’re not using that money correctly, I’m taking it back!” If that were the case, it wasn’t a gift in the first place.

208   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 1st, 2009 at 4:21 pm

If salvation is only kept by works I am doomed; and I am serious.

209   Neil    
September 1st, 2009 at 4:21 pm
Read some of the scriptures I mention in #157

Again, behavior has consequences apart from the issue of salvation.

You may sow what you reap – if you have an affairs it will ruin your marriage – sin has consequences.

Believers will be judged based on their deeds – yet they will be saved – sin has eschatological consequences.

Yet they are saved – 1 Corinthians 3:15 – loss AND salvation.

210   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
September 1st, 2009 at 4:26 pm
Short answer to this is that a convert and a disciple are not necessarily the same thing.

Which I asked for a scriptural basis for this. As far as I know, this is not correct. I would be interested to know where the differences lie.

I don’t necessarily think there is a sharp line of distinction, but I do believe there is a difference between someone first believing and then following up through obedience as a disciple. I think a person can “get stuck” as convert or immature Christian for a while and not truly be a disciple. Paul sort of makes this distinction in 1 Timothy 3:

1Here is a trustworthy saying: If anyone sets his heart on being an overseer,[a] he desires a noble task. 2Now the overseer must be above reproach, the husband of but one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. 4He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect. 5(If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?) 6He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. 7He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap.

211   Paul C    http://thepathtolife.wordpress.com
September 1st, 2009 at 4:26 pm

205 – Neil. I was asking for a scriptural example. Where does this distinction arise in the bible?

206 – thanks for your kind comment Nathanael and your genuine concern. But I do not live in fear of losing my salvation at any moment. The issue is that I believe the view I take is very scriptural.

A simple thing like the parable in Matthew 18 (Unmerciful Servant) or the parables in Matthew 24 accurately describe this relationship between works and grace.

If you read James 2, you see a perfect relationship between works and grace.

212   Paul C    http://thepathtolife.wordpress.com
September 1st, 2009 at 4:32 pm

207: Phil, I would prefer you address the parables in Matthew 25. I like your example, but I think the parables do a better job of outlining this relationship.

Neil: You may sow what you reap – if you have an affairs it will ruin your marriage – sin has consequences.

Neil – you are missing the fact that Paul was talking about eternal consequences in this very verse (not natural consequences). He is saying – to believers – that how you live impacts your future.

I don’t necessarily think there is a sharp line of distinction

But you said there was. I see no distinction whatsoever – especially in the Bible.

Your quoting of Timothy is misplaced here Phil. Paul is simply saying that he mustn’t be new to the faith, which is sound advice (like giving a toddler a driver’s license).

213   Neil    
September 1st, 2009 at 4:32 pm

205 – Neil. I was asking for a scriptural example. Where does this distinction arise in the bible?

Off hand I cannot think of one. With the possible exception of Paul himself, who was converted then took time in Arabia and returned a disciple… but as Phil said in 210…

214   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 1st, 2009 at 4:32 pm

It is ironic that a large part of evangelical churches would suggest that Paul is not svaed due to his denial of the Trinity. When all is said and done, Christ and Christ alone can save and sustain us. We have a tendency to elevate our own works and minimize the works of others.

Suppose a gay sinner believes on CHrist and his life is changed. He quits drugs, he stops cursing, he reconciles with his parents, he reads the Scriptures, he prays, he becomes an excellent worker at his job, he gives his savings to the inner city poor, he becomes involved with a church, and he actively gives to New Tribes Mission and takes several mission trips to Africa.

But he cannot seem to see his gayness as a sin, or at least he seems helpless to change in that area since he has genuine same sex attractions. Can that man actually be saved?

215   Neil    
September 1st, 2009 at 4:34 pm
Neil: You may sow what you reap – if you have an affairs it will ruin your marriage – sin has consequences.

Neil – you are missing the fact that Paul was talking about eternal consequences in this very verse (not natural consequences). He is saying – to believers – that how you live impacts your future.

Maybe – but the fact remains that – Yet he will be saved.

You insist on talking parables but have yet to address Romans 8, Ephesian 2, John 5:24, 1 Corinthians 3:15…

216   Paul C    http://thepathtolife.wordpress.com
September 1st, 2009 at 4:35 pm

Also – if you take a good look at Rev 2 & 3 again… you will see that these letters were to the churches.

Churches are made up of individuals. When Christ told them to “Repent!” who did he mean if not the people IN the church? The church is a body of believers, is it not?

When Jesus says, “I know your works” (or “I know what you are doing with the grace bestowed to you”) it meshes perfectly with the body of scripture that shows we have a human responsibility (not to save ourselves of course).

Again – please explain how a hearer of Matt 18 or Matt 25 might have interpreted Jesus’ words?

Also, where do you see “works” condemned in the NT? Nowhere. But we do see works promoted in dozens of instances – pointing to eternity.

217   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 1st, 2009 at 4:37 pm

Revelation and the gospels cannot be foundational for church doctrines, only supportive.

218   Neil    
September 1st, 2009 at 4:37 pm

Again – please explain how a hearer of Matt 18 or Matt 25 might have interpreted Jesus’ words?

I for one will no longer address the verses you throw out until you address my questions.

219   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
September 1st, 2009 at 4:39 pm

207: Phil, I would prefer you address the parables in Matthew 25. I like your example, but I think the parables do a better job of outlining this relationship.

Well, my answer would be that those parables come right after the disciples’ questions to Jesus about the destruction of the temple, and the coming judgment on the Jewish nation. I don’t think we can extrapolate them into saying something universally about salvation/damnation. The Jews had failed at their God-given task of representing the Father throughout the earth, and they were going to be judged for it. However, even though God was judging them, He was still offering them hope through Christ.

The parable just don’t make sense if you strip from the historic narrative of the covenant and Israel’s unfaithfulness to it.

220   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
September 1st, 2009 at 4:40 pm

Paul, I answered your questions. Now answer me this. Can God take back a gift once He has given it? If He can, was it truly a gift in the first place?

221   Neil    
September 1st, 2009 at 4:41 pm

Also, where do you see “works” condemned in the NT? Nowhere. But we do see works promoted in dozens of instances – pointing to eternity.

…pointing to eternal consequences – yes… and he will suffer loss… yet he himself is saved!

As Rick said – if anyone’s salvation is depended on a performance review we are ALL going to Hell!

222   Paul C    http://thepathtolife.wordpress.com
September 1st, 2009 at 4:42 pm

Off hand I cannot think of one.

There are none. I appreciate your honesty here, as usual.

It is ironic that a large part of evangelical churches would suggest that Paul is not svaed due to his denial of the Trinity.

Why do you “ironic”?

Maybe – but the fact remains that – Yet he will be saved.

Nice brush off :) But seriously Neil.

Paul is talking to Christians. He then tells them to not mock God basically. “Don’t you know that how you live will have an impact on your eternal destination?”

That’s the proper and accurate interpretation of this scripture. And there are dozens more that work seamlessly with it.

You insist on talking parables but have yet to address Romans 8, Ephesian 2, John 5:24, 1 Corinthians 3:15…

Sorry if I missed some of these. I honestly didn’t see any reference to Romans 8, etc. I did address 1 Cor 3 already (#157).

223   Paul C    http://thepathtolife.wordpress.com
September 1st, 2009 at 4:44 pm

Revelation and the gospels cannot be foundational for church doctrines, only supportive.

According to?

I see no disconnect whatsoever between the gospels (Jesus’ DIRECT words), Revelation (Jesus’ DIRECT words), and the epistles (corrective letters that were never intended to be theological treatise).

Apparently, you see a disconnect, otherwise there is no need to distinguish.

224   Paul C    http://thepathtolife.wordpress.com
September 1st, 2009 at 4:47 pm

Can God take back a gift once He has given it? If He can, was it truly a gift in the first place?

He has given us grace – he has turned on the lights, if you will, so that we can know him through Christ as our Father. Truly astounding. He has given the promise of eternal life to all who endure to the end. That is grace.

Hebrews says it better than I, regarding what we do with this marvelous grace:

If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.

He then says:

So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.

Followed by:

You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, [THEN] you will receive what he has promised.

Does that help?

225   Paul C    http://thepathtolife.wordpress.com
September 1st, 2009 at 4:50 pm

As Rick said – if anyone’s salvation is depended on a performance review we are ALL going to Hell!

That would be the case if salvation = perfection.

But that is not the case. Every man is given a measure of faith (as the epistles state, as do the parables of the Talents, or the Sheep and Goats, for example).

I am confident I will be a sinner when my last breath is drawn and I will be wholly dependent on the mercy of God.

226   Neil    
September 1st, 2009 at 4:50 pm
Off hand I cannot think of one.

There are none. I appreciate your honesty here, as usual.

That there are no specific examples set forth is Scripture does not mean there are no differences between converts and disciples. The words mean two different things, they are both nouns, they refer to two different things. No biblical examples are needed.

While I am being honest, as I always am – here – I am also giving up nothing in saying so…

227   Neil    
September 1st, 2009 at 4:53 pm

I see nothing in 157 that addressed Paul’s point that believers will be judged, that deeds and works have eternal consequences – but yet they shall remain saved.

228   Neil    
September 1st, 2009 at 4:54 pm

I am confident I will be a sinner when my last breath is drawn and I will be wholly dependent on the mercy of God.

Exactly.

Grace.

Not works.

No performance review necessary to determine our eternal destination.

229   Paul C    http://thepathtolife.wordpress.com
September 1st, 2009 at 4:54 pm

#226: so scripture – in no place – makes any distinction whatsoever between a disciple and a convert. But you will give no quarter on this?

That’s odd. Phil’s reference to 1 Tim 3 was misplaced, yet you still maintain there is a difference.

If there is one, and it has some bearing in any way, it is strangely absent from scripture. I find that odd.

230   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
September 1st, 2009 at 4:55 pm

He has given us grace – he has turned on the lights, if you will, so that we can know him through Christ as our Father. Truly astounding. He has given the promise of eternal life to all who endure to the end. That is grace.

So you’re basically saying that God has given a gift with an “if”…

I’m sorry, but making my salvation conditional on my endurance does not inspire much hope in me. If anything it inspires endless worrying.

I’m sorry Paul, I don’t buy what you’re selling.

If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.

This is describing a conscience choice to reject Christ’s sacrifice. Basically, it’s saying if a person comes to the conclusion that Christ’s sacrifice isn’t needed or enough, there’s no where else for him to turn. He has, in essence, decided to not accept God’s gift.

By the way, none of us is arguing for some sort of univeralism here. A person can choose not to accept a gift. But once a gift is accepted, the person who gave the gift cannot revoke it, or else it was never a gift. So if the gift is eternal life, God cannot choose to take back the gift down the road.

231   Neil    
September 1st, 2009 at 4:58 pm

Re 225:

Paul C.,

I do not see how you cannot live in fear except for that fact that you believe none of your sins are bad enough… and you believe you have done enough good.

If one can lose their salvation through sinning – then what sins qualify, and how many? How many times can I view porn before it becomes “practicing” and therefor I loose my salvation?

If one must keep their free gift through works and deeds (and how does this not negate its freedom?) then how much is enough?

232   Paul C    http://thepathtolife.wordpress.com
September 1st, 2009 at 4:59 pm

No performance review necessary to determine our eternal destination.

We will all be judged according to our works Neil. We will give an account. That is scriptural. I am not reducing it to a “performance review” as you put it.

And you are Galatians 6 (and all the other scriptures referenced) when you say that.

I looked at Romans 8, and when you read it all, you also see this – pertaining to eternity:

Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation—but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. 13For if you (BELIEVERS) live according to the sinful nature, you will die(ETERNAL); but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live (ETERNAL), 14because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.

That was one I missed, but beautifully portrays my point better than I could. The wages of sin is death – but the gift of God is eternal life.

233   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
September 1st, 2009 at 4:59 pm

#226: so scripture – in no place – makes any distinction whatsoever between a disciple and a convert. But you will give no quarter on this?

There’s no specific passage that exactly states how one is different from the other, but I would think it’s safe to assume that the writers meant different things when they were using different words for different things.

You’re basically making an argument from silence, which is inherently very weak.

234   Neil    
September 1st, 2009 at 5:00 pm

Re 229:

I was simply pointing out that “disciple” and “convert” are two different English words that mean different things. That much is elemental.

How relevant that is is not my point.

235   Neil    
September 1st, 2009 at 5:01 pm

yet again, I find myself answering your question while you do not answer my references to 1 Corinthians 3:15 (which was not addressed in 157), Ephesians 2, Romans 8, John 5:24, and women being saved through having a baby…

236   Neil    
September 1st, 2009 at 5:02 pm

We will all be judged according to our works Neil. We will give an account. That is scriptural.

SIGH… as I have been saying ALL along… but it is not relevant to our salvation!

237   Paul C    http://thepathtolife.wordpress.com
September 1st, 2009 at 5:03 pm

I’m sorry, but making my salvation conditional on my endurance does not inspire much hope in me.

That’s why we have the Holy Spirit. That’s why God chastises us. But we can refuse to live in accordance to him. Neil pointed to Romans 8 which I covered in #232.

If anything it inspires endless worrying.

Not so Phil. I am a testament that I do not worry. I trust and lean on my Lord for everything.

Basically, it’s saying if a person comes to the conclusion that Christ’s sacrifice isn’t needed or enough, there’s no where else for him to turn.

No – read it again. It is talking about “If we deliberately keep on sinning…”

I do not see how you cannot live in fear except for that fact that you believe none of your sins are bad enough… and you believe you have done enough good.

I don’t – I’m probably the most joyful person I know – honestly.

Gotta head home gents, but I sincerely appreciate the interaction. I’ll pick up your comments later tonight or tomorrow morning.

238   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 1st, 2009 at 5:03 pm

Our understanding of grace is profoundly myopic and captured by our limited resources to comprehend that which we usually do not afford to others, even on a limited level. If works must support grace, then deathbed conversions are most desirable.

We are much more accomplished at defining or understanding judgment than we are at defining and understanding grace.

239   Neil    
September 1st, 2009 at 5:03 pm

The wages of sin is death – but the gift of God is eternal life.

Exactly – it is a gift and it is free… free to get… free to keep.

240   Neil    
September 1st, 2009 at 5:05 pm

I am not reducing it to a “performance review” as you put it.

Unless I have completely misunderstood you – are you not saying that one must perform works to remain saved? Are you not saying that our deeds and works play into our eternal destiny? If so, then you are advocating a performance review for salvation theology.

241   Neil    
September 1st, 2009 at 5:06 pm

Neil pointed to Romans 8 which I covered in #232.

Except you omitted verses 31 – 39

242   Neil    
September 1st, 2009 at 5:09 pm

I notice you like to add words to Scriptures… e.g. 224 and 232…

243   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
September 1st, 2009 at 5:12 pm

That was one I missed, but beautifully portrays my point better than I could. The wages of sin is death – but the gift of God is eternal life.

ARRRGGHHHHH!!!!!!!

So frustrating. You’re basically proving our point. A gift is something you DON’T EARN. It’s freely given. That’s why Paul is contrasting it to a wage – something that is earned.

If I give someone a gift – something which is by definition not earned – how can they “un-earn” the gift? A gift has to be irrevocable or it is by definition not a gift…. It can’t be called a gift if I can take it back.

244   Neil    
September 1st, 2009 at 5:14 pm
Basically, it’s saying if a person comes to the conclusion that Christ’s sacrifice isn’t needed or enough, there’s no where else for him to turn.

No – read it again. It is talking about “If we deliberately keep on sinning…”

If we deliberatley keep on sinning… we what? loose our salvation?

So I asked again;

How many times can I deliberately view pornography until I am “keep on”

We all sin daily, which means we all keep on sinning… so how do we not all loose our salvation every day?

245   Neil    
September 1st, 2009 at 5:16 pm
That was one I missed, but beautifully portrays my point better than I could. The wages of sin is death – but the gift of God is eternal life.

ARRRGGHHHHH!!!!!!!

So frustrating. You’re basically proving our point. A gift is something you DON’T EARN. It’s freely given. That’s why Paul is contrasting it to a wage – something that is earned.

If I give someone a gift – something which is by definition not earned – how can they “un-earn” the gift? A gift has to be irrevocable or it is by definition not a gift…. It can’t be called a gift if I can take it back.

Further – if someone is given a gift it is not expected they must earn the right to keep it.

246   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 1st, 2009 at 5:17 pm

“How many times can I deliberately view pornography until I am “keep on”?”

Unlimited, unless they are gay sites. Then only one time and you are doomed.

247   Brett S    
September 1st, 2009 at 5:23 pm

Neil,

I don’t always agree with Paul C, and he’s quite capable of defending himself, but I think your critique of him in unfair.

You seem to constantly make separations between faith/grace (the truly spiritual things) vs. merely physical deeds (like receiving sacraments, or helping old ladies cross the street). Contrary to modern myth it’s not Christianity, but gnosticism that slices the universe up into these categories. I think God still maintains the ability to manifest grace through creation, and his purest expression of grace is Jesus of Nazareth, the spiritual Word made very physical flesh. I always see a combination of faith and works in the bible, and forcibly pitting them against each other is like asking which blade on the scissors does the cutting.

I don’t see where he inferred that we could be saved by reaching that magic number of old ladies helped across the road.

248   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
September 1st, 2009 at 5:27 pm

Further – if someone is given a gift it is not expected they must earn the right to keep it.

Yes, and there is nothing preventing me from saying, “I will give you further rewards or withhold them in the future based on what you do with the gift”. The future rewards, however, don’t have anything to do with the fact that the person maintains possession of the gift regardless of what they do with it.

I do hold out that there may be a possibility of a person willfully returning a gift, but that’s something different than losing it through accidental means.

249   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 1st, 2009 at 5:32 pm

True conversion always results in a change of life on some level. However we are still colossally in need of grace because we still sin every day. people fall into major sin and all of us see our brother in need and turn away EVERY SINGLE DAY.

All of us save up treasures here on earth, and all of us have at least two coats. All of us live substantially above what we need, and all of our prayer lives could be significantly increased without much sacrifice. None of us measures up to the Sermon on the Mount, and yet none of us are very upset about it.

The world around us screams for help; girls cut themselves; children are molested and mistreated; millions have no health care; children’s hospitals are full of cancer patients; jails house millions in need of Christian visitors; millions suffer with AIDS; children die of starvation daily; and yet we all sleep comfortably with the air conditioner on and a great mattress.

Now who is in sin? All of us.

250   Neil    
September 1st, 2009 at 7:24 pm

You seem to constantly make separations between faith/grace (the truly spiritual things) vs. merely physical deeds (like receiving sacraments, or helping old ladies cross the street). Contrary to modern myth it’s not Christianity, but gnosticism that slices the universe up into these categories.

Brett,

I have no idea what you mean by this, nor what I argued for or against to illicit comments about separation of spiritual and physical deeds. I never mentioned sacraments, nor am I driving a wedge between the spiritual and physical.

I think God still maintains the ability to manifest grace through creation, and his purest expression of grace is Jesus of Nazareth, the spiritual Word made very physical flesh. I always see a combination of faith and works in the bible, and forcibly pitting them against each other is like asking which blade on the scissors does the cutting.

I agree completely… if you are saying both faith and works are expected of the believer. Yet only faith saves, and works are the result of faith and salvation not that which secures it.

I don’t see where he inferred that we could be saved by reaching that magic number of old ladies helped across the road.

I have asked him to clarify this as well. But as far as I can tell he is saying if we perform works THEN we will be saved.

251   Neil    
September 1st, 2009 at 7:27 pm

I do hold out that there may be a possibility of a person willfully returning a gift, but that’s something different than losing it through accidental means.

Although even this is contrary to Romans 8 in which Paul declare that no created this has the ability to separate us from Christ.

252   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 1st, 2009 at 7:39 pm

Most generations of Christians have their view and definition of sin and sins altered by their culture, environment, and the theological perspective they have been taught. So then we as American believers see certain moral issues as colossal sins while we are blind to the seriousness of our own cultural transgressions, some of which we teach are even God’s will.

So the gay lifestyle is sin while heaping up treasures for retirement cruises are “God’s blessings”. And ultimately we suggest a practicing gay person cannot be saved but a hedonistic believer is secure. The irony of such a thing is breathtaking in its duplicity.

The capitolistic culture in which we live is anti-christ at its core and yet most of the evangelical world embraces it as God’s design. People like Ingrid embrace slave owners as Christian patriots and vulgar antisemites like Luther as models of Christian truth. Murderers like Calvin are exalted and gluutonous Christian cruises are sponsered by men like John MacArthur and still the gays are relentlessly attacked and demeaned.

I find the self righteousness utterly revolting and the moral police as well as the “we love America” crowd as completely at odds with redemptive Christianty. I see men like Peter Rollins as void of the gospel, but I also see the “right wing” ecclesiastical armada as misrepresenting Christ and His mission. It is a giagantic mess with the church in dire need of a deep humbling that brings us to our faces before the cross once more and to rise in His resurrection power that illuminates the darkness with grace, love, and redemption.

253   Neil    
September 1st, 2009 at 7:39 pm

RE 189:

Pastorboy,

C’mon… seriously? – are you actually even hinting that praying for our President to die prematurely of brain cancer is remotely Christian – and something acceptable from the pulpit?

Even the quote your posted said:

Since [the Christian] does not know who are permanently identified with the kingdom of evil [we] cannot pray for the doom of known individuals in the way the psalmists did and rather must show love to all people, even [our] enemies.

As well as Paul’s admonition to pray for (not against) our leaders.

Furthermore, if you want to pray Psalm 83 – do so literally, pray against “the enemies of God” and let him decide to whom that applies.

Also – on what grounds is Obama an enemy of the Gospel anyway… he may support abortion – but that is a separate issue… he may be a socialist – but so what, that’s not a biblical issue anyway. On what grounds is Obama any more an enemy to the Gospel than any other President?

254   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 1st, 2009 at 7:48 pm

#189 – a pristine example of melding the OT God with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Men pick out verses that they like to use from the OT but leave those which are too absurd and uncomfortable. And the hatred for Obama is unchristian at its core.

If men cannot practice sin and be saved then men like PB and the YouTube preacher are forever lost. Fortunately grace will cover all, even the deepest of self righteousness.

The Psalmist only had a limited view of redemption, we have the Christ as our example. Do good to your enemies, and pray for them who despitefully use you. The Old Testament was the prophetic revelation of the coming Christ, and verses that suggest killing children are not to be untimely ripped from their context and used as self righteous weapons toward others.

Its rhetoric like that which causes actual violence against others.

255   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 1st, 2009 at 7:52 pm

Show me how to connect these two issues.

“God will laugh at their calamity”

and

“How often would I have gathered you as a hen gathers her chicks”.

256   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
September 1st, 2009 at 8:05 pm

Although even this is contrary to Romans 8 in which Paul declare that no created this has the ability to separate us from Christ.

Yes, this is true.

I guess my thoughts are that true love really requires love to be both freely given and freely received. So the Father is always giving love, but are we always freely receiving it? It seems to me that God has created us with the ability to reject Him, and He actually respects that decision.

Now I guess the question to me (that I don’t completely claim to know the answer to) is whether or someone who has really partaken in this love can then choose to reject it? It seems to me there is room for that in Scripture. Although, it does seem like it is very hard place to reach.

I’ve been reading Greg Boyd’s more philosophical stuff recently (particularly Satan and the Problem of Evil), so this stuff is all pretty fresh in my mind. Boyd makes a convincing case when it comes to free will and non-determinism.

257   Neil    
September 1st, 2009 at 8:13 pm

Phil,

When is comes to losing salvation, a person willingly rejecting their salvation would be the only case I can see with any merit or possibility whatsoever.

258   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 1st, 2009 at 8:24 pm

#257 – You read my book. That is my position as well. In my view the boundaries of grace are testedproven with people like Ingrid just as much as a professing gay person.

259   Brett S    
September 1st, 2009 at 8:46 pm

Brett, I have no idea what you mean by this, nor what I argued for or against to illicit comments about separation of spiritual and physical deeds – Neil

RE: #228

Exactly.

Grace.

Not works.

You say exactly, like it is a given that grace and works are 2 different things. Like grace is responsible for faith but not works. Like the fact that I got a warm fuzzy feeling one day when I realized what happened on the cross, was all that Jesus cares about. Hopefully grace will continue to work as I work out my salvation in fear and trembling.

ps; don’t read to much into that, like Paul C I’m a pretty joyful guy!

260   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 1st, 2009 at 8:54 pm

“Like the fact that I got a warm fuzzy feeling one day when I realized what happened on the cross, was all that Jesus cares about.”

Yes and Amen. (March 1975) He did ALL the work.

261   Jerry    http://www.dangoldfinch.wordpress.com
September 1st, 2009 at 10:48 pm

I was hoping John’s comment would go unnoticed since it was absurd at best and indefensible at worst. More pap. More wasted bit-space. More wasted energy.

On a separate note, Rick wrote:

#189 – a pristine example of melding the OT God with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

I’m not sure what this means entirely, but there is no difference between the ‘OT God’ and the ‘Gospel of Jesus Christ.’ At face value you seem to be suggesting something sinister. It’s another subject, and I’m not going to carry on further than this reply, but perhaps someday we will discuss it in another thread. :)

jerry

262   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 1st, 2009 at 11:49 pm

There is a marked difference in revelation and manifestation between the Old Testament God and the New Testament God. I do not pretend to understand that mystery, but it is obvious that that same God deals with people differently, significantly, than He did in the Old Testament.

Gone is the violence; gone is the divine disease on groups of people; gone is the wiping out of entire cities; gone is the first born killing; gone is the fire from heaven; so even though it is the same God, it is not the same revelation and methodology of dealing with people.

Some New Testament people want the Old Testament God to come back.

263   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 2nd, 2009 at 12:01 am

And allow me to illustrate this inconsistent gospel. Here is a request for prayer for Mike Ratliff concerning his seizure. A reasonable request.

But these same people (PB) pray for Obama to get brain cancer?? And they quote the Old Testament while igoring the direct teachings of Jesus. That is what I mean when people attempt to drag the Old Testament revelation of God into the age of grace through Jesus Christ.

264   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
September 2nd, 2009 at 8:34 am

#263
I never said I prayed for anybody to get brain cancer.

But to pray that his agenda would not succeed? To pray that God according to his will, would stop him from killing babies, from making decisions that slow the spread of the Gospel? Absolutely. That may also mean his death, unfortunately.

I do believe that praying for the enemies of the Gospel to be saved or destroyed is entirely appropriate.

Sometimes praying for God’s will to be done is praying for just that, without your knowledge.

And Jerry, I would be glad to engage that on another thread.

265   Neil    
September 2nd, 2009 at 9:00 am

Pastorboy,

You defended the idea, you defended a pastor who is openly praying for our Presidents death.

I wonder if you prayed the same regarding his predecessor?

266   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
September 2nd, 2009 at 9:10 am

George W Bush is no friend of the Gospel.

There is no hope in politics- only Christ. We must pray God’s will be done.

267   M.G.    
September 2nd, 2009 at 9:30 am

I’m interested to know how Obama could slow the spread of the gospel.

If Obama actually has some type of *effect* on the gospel, does that mean the gospel is *dependent* upon government for transmission?

Specific examples would be very helpful.

268   Jerry    http://www.dongoldfish.wordpress.com
September 2nd, 2009 at 9:37 am

But to pray that his agenda would not succeed?

That is not what you said. That is not what that loser in Arizona said.

You cannot defend a prayer like this from anyone claiming to be speaking as an ordained pastor.

269   Paul C    http://thepathtolife.wordpress.com
September 2nd, 2009 at 9:40 am

#242: not sure if this is an attempted slight of some sort, but I would advise that if “adding to the scripture” only serves to clarify, then a statement like this is immaterial, and only seeks to subtlely detract. If this wasn’t the intent, then no worries.

Sorry for the delay in getting back to some of these thoughts (father or 3, one more in the oven due anyday now, plus a busy schedule after work).

I believe there is an inseparable relationship, as revealed in Scripture, between grace and works.

Jesus is emphatic that there is a component of responsibility that every believer bares. In comment 217 Rick basically says that it is not suitable to build doctrine upon the gospels or Jesus’ words in Revelation which is completely false (where do we draw this conclusion? By who’s authority?).

Interesting observation: I am told not to use the parables of our Lord (or Rev 2 & 3 – his direct words) to build doctrine, only to be presented with a PLETHORA of man-made sentiment, analogies and metaphors to prove the opposite point. Amazing.

I simply maintain there is NO conflict between Christ and the apostle(s).

But when it comes to our responsibility, it is clear several times through the gospels (feel free to reject if it doesn’t chord with a held doctrine):

Parables of the Seed & Sower:
The one who received the seed that fell on rocky places is the man who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. 21But since he has no root, he lasts only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away.

Notice, he receives the word. We would call this man a “convert” and some would get him into Discipleship 101 classes, but after a time, he falls away from the faith due to circumstances around him. Lost.

Matt 18: Parable of the Unmerciful Servant:
Was the servant completely forgiven? Yes.
And yet – how does the parable conclude?

“Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. 33Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ 34In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.

35″This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart.”

Notice how the actions (the servant’s) illicited the response from the Lord. There are drastic consequences to what we do with the grace given to us. If we receive grace and yet are not stewards of it, there’s a price.

Matt 24: Parable of the Servant
But suppose that servant is wicked and says to himself, ‘My master is staying away a long time,’ 49and he then begins to beat his fellow servants and to eat and drink with drunkards. 50The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. 51He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Is God unjust? Here’s a believer having God’s grace withdrawn based on his actions.

Matt 25: Parable of the Ten Virgins
How dare Jesus insinuate that once I’m saved, there’s a possibility I could still be lost! Received the grace but did nothing with it.

“Later the others also came. ‘Sir! Sir!’ they said. ‘Open the door for us!’

12″But he replied, ‘I tell you the truth, I don’t know you.’

Matt 25: Parable of the Talents
Grace – But the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money…

He basically replies “Grace did it all!”

“Then the man who had received the one talent came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’

What did Jesus say? “Well, you claim the blood. Enter into the joys of the Lord.”? No.

‘You wicked, lazy servant!… throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

I’ll pause here for a second. Can we warp and twist what Christ meant in each of these accounts to fit some man-made teaching of “once saved always saved.” What do you suppose the hearers of these messages received?

“Jesus paid it all – no matter what I do I’m OK.” Hardly. They understood the relationship between grace and their responsibility as stewards of that grace.

But there’s tons more…

Luke 6: “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?”

In other words. He’s not satisfied with us giving mental assent with no resulting obedience or works (read what follows as well regarding the wise and foolish builders). Serious stuff.

Luke 13:
Someone asked him, “Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?”

Rick & Neil might have this response blacked out in his bible. :)

He said to them, 24″Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to.

What do you mean EVERY EFFORT, Lord?

John 6: Jesus defines just what he means when he says “faith”:

Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.

In other words – you need to imbibe my ways and allow me to be formed in you. It’s a process. And again, notice how it’s tied to eternal destination (life).

John 8:
This is where Phil and Neil suppose there is a distinction between a CONVERT and a DISCIPLE – even though there is absolutely no distinction in scripture.

To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

What does this mean – without twisting the meaning?

John 15:
He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes[a] so that it will be even more fruitful.

Again – without twisting his meaning (and what the hearers would understand), we cannot say our works are immaterial.

270   Paul C    http://thepathtolife.wordpress.com
September 2nd, 2009 at 9:40 am

Possibly – my longest comment ever – sorry about that. :)

271   Paul C    http://thepathtolife.wordpress.com
September 2nd, 2009 at 9:52 am

A few more scriptures can be pointed to – in fact dozens.

Here’s a couple more:

2 Peter 1:
For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith…

What do you mean ‘add to your faith’ Peter?

For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

My goodness – and then this whopper:

But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.

10Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall, 11and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

According to some this is borderline blasphemy. Should Peter even be an apostle?

ALSO, can a person live a life so as to lose out what God has so graciously given? Some here would argue “NEVER”. Peter says:

If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. 21It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them. 22Of them the proverbs are true: “A dog returns to its vomit,”[f]and, “A sow that is washed goes back to her wallowing in the mud.”

Simply staggering.

In conclusion, he ends his letter:

So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him.

Works, works, works!

And, let us not forget Jesus words to all 7 churches in Asia where he opens each with a declarative:

“I know your works…”

To Ephesus:

Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.

Some here will say, these warnings are to the church. To which I say, what is the church if it is not a body of people?

We must conclude works are important. If they are important to the Lord, should we not consider this more deeply?

Is this blasphemy?

God “will give to each person according to what he has done.”[a] 7To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life.

272   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 2nd, 2009 at 9:55 am

An overreliance on parables and the gospels can easily lead to a wrong doctrine, especially soteriology.

273   Paul C    http://thepathtolife.wordpress.com
September 2nd, 2009 at 10:04 am

An overreliance on parables and the gospels can easily lead to a wrong doctrine

No offense Rick, but you believe in Hell don’t you? Where did you derive this doctrine?

After all, where does it appear in the epistles?

See how one-sided this can be. It’s basically cafeteria-style Christianity. Take what appeals and discard the rest.

274   Neil    
September 2nd, 2009 at 10:11 am

#242: not sure if this is an attempted slight of some sort, but I would advise that if “adding to the scripture” only serves to clarify, then a statement like this is immaterial, and only seeks to subtlely detract. If this wasn’t the intent, then no worries.

My point was you added words, albeit in brackets, that I assume were meant to clarify the meaning of the verses – in other words you added interpretive words.

275   Neil    
September 2nd, 2009 at 10:17 am

OK – another list of Scriptures, more questions, and a slight jab followed by a ” :) ” – yet… my questions from comment 240 is unanswered and the Scriptures I brought up (Romans 8: 31-39, Ephesians 2, 1 Corinthians 3:15, etc etc etc) still ignored.

I am bowing out unless this becomes a discussion not a continual barrage.

276   Paul C    http://thepathtolife.wordpress.com
September 2nd, 2009 at 11:17 am

#274: no, I didn’t add “interpretive words” and even if I did, if it did not distort the meaning, why make a comment insinuating I might be doing so. I would request that if I ever do distort the meaning of a scripture, please call me on it.

#275: not just a list of scriptures, but an outline that tells a story if approached with an open mind. If you read my comment you will see that it addresses your questions in #240. That was my intent at least.

What concerns me is this conflict that some seem to have with the Author of our faith and some of the authors of the epistles – I see no conflict. Obviously some do, which is very curious to me.

277   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 2nd, 2009 at 12:23 pm

Jerry – For some reason I cannot open the current post on grace.

278   Break the Terror    http://breaktheterror.blogspot.com
September 2nd, 2009 at 12:38 pm

If Obama actually has some type of *effect* on the gospel, does that mean the gospel is *dependent* upon government for transmission?

Hahahahahahaha. The gospel is socialized!

Well played.

279   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 2nd, 2009 at 12:41 pm

Some camps have to have a fresh batch of human enemies to retain their raison d’être .

280   Neil    
September 2nd, 2009 at 12:48 pm

#274: no, I didn’t add “interpretive words” and even if I did, if it did not distort the meaning, why make a comment insinuating I might be doing so. I would request that if I ever do distort the meaning of a scripture, please call me on it.

It was not my intent to say or imply you were distorting the Scriptures. It was simply an observation, when you quoted Scripture you included words in brackets that interpreted them.

281   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 2nd, 2009 at 12:50 pm

All interpretations of Scripture that do not agree with mine are distortions. :cool:

282   Jerry    http://www.dangoldfinch.wordpress.com
September 2nd, 2009 at 2:14 pm

#277–did you get it yet? I did some editing to clean it up a little sorry.

Anyone else having trouble?

283   nc    
September 2nd, 2009 at 3:21 pm

#266 is a non-answer.

acknowledging that W was no friend of the gospel is not the same as praying for his death.

if the tables were turned…i wonder how philosophical people would be…

284   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 2nd, 2009 at 3:31 pm

There have been many times that I felt, and thought God would agree, that I was no friend of the gospel either. In those times I received grace and forgiveness, surely not brain cancer.

Is Christianity even present on the earth these days?