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This entry was posted on Friday, March 5th, 2010 at 1:00 am and is filed under It's Friday, Open Thread. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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985 Comments(+Add)

1   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 5th, 2010 at 6:35 am

The Holocaust is one of those events that highlights the spectacular evil hidden in the fallen nature of mankind. And how many times have I heard evangelicals attribute it to the “His blood be upon us and our children” quip, spoken by some obscure Jew, as if the Jews deserved it?

And as a reminder to us who eften seem preoccupied with doctrinal asides, genoicide continues in several areas of the world, and suffering on a massive scale is being experienced night and day by the millions. In light of that, I own myself a hypocrite.

Movies like Schindler’s list do provide convicting entertainment to westerners like me. In a morbid kind of way, we affluent westerners enjoy being made to feel sad once in a while, as long as it doesn’t require something significant from us in response.

Life marches on, but is it really His life?

2   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 5th, 2010 at 7:59 am

Speaking of genocide, my latest discussion with McLaren’s book is up, asking, Is God Violent?

3   pastorboy    http://www.crninfo.wordpress.com
March 5th, 2010 at 9:32 am

I feel the same way as Schindler, when I leave a place where I have proclaimed the Gospel; I cry for just one more. I envision myself on the day of judgment, where I know we all will weep before he wipes the tears from our eyes for what more we could have done for Him and His kingdom.

4   Neil    
March 5th, 2010 at 11:23 am

Chad,

That is an interesting question – if not a bit loaded. To label anyone, or anything, as violent is to imply it’s a regular characteristic, a defining attribute, in some minds it even brings with it thoughts of control issues and/or enjoyment of violence and it’s arbitrary nature.

In that sense God is certainly not violent.

On the other hand (and this is where the loaded aspect comes in). To deny God is violent as a label, as a dominant attribute, is not to say that he does not employ violence when it serves his purposes. The Scriptures make it clear that he does.

That said, the latter comment should not be taken and projected as if God were some capricious human or government. If and when he employs what we would call violence it is done so within his holiness.

5   corey    
March 5th, 2010 at 1:08 pm

Here’s the first two lines of John Piper’s take..

Why was it right for God to slaughter women and children in the Old Testament? How can that ever be right?

It’s right for God to slaughter women and children anytime he pleases. God gives life and he takes life. Everybody who dies, dies because God wills that they die.

http://tinyurl.com/ye8arhg

6   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 5th, 2010 at 1:12 pm

#5 – That’s the God of Calvinism. No mystery – no “I do not know”. Humankind are nothing more than windup toys to do God’s bidding. God wants to rape a two year old little girl, that’s His perogative.

Not the God I believe in, and not the God named Jesus. The Old Testament God is a mystery…the New Testament revelation named Jesus is superior and more complete than is His revelation in times past.

7   Neil    
March 5th, 2010 at 1:21 pm

Rick,

I think the comment about God raping children is overly extreme and certainly not in line with what Piper said.

In some respects you are right, we are God’s creation to do with as he pleases… even Paul said as much to the Romans.

The problem comes when we start projecting our thoughts of violence upon God… as if violence of any kind is beneath him.

Piper may have been overly blunt… and Corey only quoted the first two lines. But to a claim Piper is saying God can rape if he pleases is sensationalism run a muck.

You are correct that the revelation of God in the OT is much more mysterious than the NT – I guess this is the nature of progressive revelation.

That said, even Jesus returns yielding a sword… yet I doubt he’ll rape the little children in the process.

8   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 5th, 2010 at 1:32 pm

That said, even Jesus returns yielding a sword…

…from his mouth.

McLaren deals with this very nicely (I thought) in part 4 of the book (which I will be blogging about in the next day or 2).

9   Neil    
March 5th, 2010 at 2:08 pm

trued enough, but the concept of judgment is still present. The point remaining, we are not free to use progressive revelation to drive to fine a wedge between the testaments.

I would not say God is violent.
But it cannot be denied that he employs violence for his purposes when appropriate.

10   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 5th, 2010 at 2:47 pm

But it cannot be denied that he employs violence for his purposes when appropriate.

I disagree. God either thinks violence is an appropriate way to bring about a desired result or he does not. The cross (not to mention the entire life and ministry of Christ) refutes that notion. God does not use violence. Fallen humans, however, do.

And “judgment” should not be confused with “violence.” I discipline my children but would not call that “violence.”

11   Neil    
March 5th, 2010 at 2:58 pm

I agree that judgment and discipline should not be confused with violence. Neither should we compare how we deal with our children and how God deals with us.

It’s interesting that you mention the cross, since that is an obvious example of violence.

I guess maybe we need to define violence though. God killed people when he saw fit. Is that violence, or is it only violence if their death was in a certain manner? He sent plagues upon the Egyptians. Is that violent? God sent his son to be crucified – is God innocent of the violence on the technicality that it was the Romans who actually did it?

12   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 5th, 2010 at 3:15 pm

To say that God never employed violence is to render all Scriptures, including the gospels, as useless. Who struck the king in Acts with leprocy? Who struck the deputy in Acts with blindness? Why does Revelation say the Lamb will come to make war?

A discussion about God’s nature and how some violence was used, as well as what followers of Jesus should do now, is irrelevant with someone who denies God ever has used violence.

13   Eric    
March 5th, 2010 at 3:17 pm

No Rick, that is the God of the Bible.

14   Eric    
March 5th, 2010 at 3:18 pm

#13 is in RE #6, not #12

15   Neil    
March 5th, 2010 at 3:25 pm

God either thinks violence is an appropriate way to bring about a desired result or he does not.

Then I would vote he thinks it is appropriate – though this is not cart blanche.

God employed violence, as I and Rick pointed out – assuming these fulfill one’s definition of violence – when it fit his desire.

He allows human governments the authority to employ violence when necessary as well.

Of course his use is always perfect – by default… and the use of it by humans is always as a last resort.

16   Neil    
March 5th, 2010 at 3:27 pm

Re #3, I never have. I may focus on what I could have done better, but I never fret over the results. Not sure which one of us is right… maybe both. This is particularly true here in the States – given our Gospel saturation.

17   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 5th, 2010 at 3:28 pm

#15 – Exactly. Let us admit it is a mystery, but unless we eradicate any serious understanding of Scripture we must admit God has and will use violence.

My contention is that we as the followers of the Incarnate God are commanded not to use violence. But most violence is not of God.

18   Neil    
March 5th, 2010 at 3:34 pm

My contention is that we as the followers of the Incarnate God are commanded not to use violence. But most violence is not of God.

The degree to which we apply this differs between you and I… though you have challenged me to swing more in your direction.

I appreciate the challenge of Chad’s question as well – it would be good for many evangelicals to take heed.

That said, removing violence from God’s arsenal (pun intended) is to do violence to the historical record and swing the pendulum too far in the opposite direction.

19   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 5th, 2010 at 3:42 pm

“That said, removing violence from God’s arsenal (pun intended) is to do violence to the historical record and swing the pendulum too far in the opposite direction.”

Yes. It renders the Scriptures as fables. God admits that governments will use violence, but we are not the government. We are His bride. We live according to Jesus, and our lives should be radically – radically – different than the normal life lived by the unbeliever.

We should be remarkable in our culture. Not just some curiosity because of our clothes etc., but remarkable more loving and gracious and humble and not at odds with, but withdrawn from the manipulative affairs of fallen men.

What I am trying to say is that we should not attack and openly criticize the government or its elected officials, but our refusal to get entangled with that system should lead sinners to wonder why. Our lives should indicate a better best way.

20   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 5th, 2010 at 3:48 pm

I disagree. God either thinks violence is an appropriate way to bring about a desired result or he does not. The cross (not to mention the entire life and ministry of Christ) refutes that notion. God does not use violence.

Ah yes, more weirdness from the left…

…too bad Ananias, Sapphira and Herod (Acts 12:19-23) weren’t aware of this “fact”, that somehow the “violent” God of the “Old Testament” got replaced by “puppies and rainbows” God of the “New Testament”. Apparently that “old” God was still hangin’ around.

21   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 5th, 2010 at 3:51 pm

#19 – Mostly agreed, Rick. I can respect that, even if I disagree with whether or not Christians can be within the political system.

22   Neil    
March 5th, 2010 at 4:01 pm

There are at least two issues on the table – maybe three… God’s use of violence, our participation in violence, and what constitutes violence.

RE: 1) It can not, not credably so, be denied that God uses violence…

RE: 3) …if we say that causing someone to drop dead (and the like) is constituted as use of violence.

Re 2) Our participation in violence that is a result of human systems is a sliding scale and continuing argument.

23   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 5th, 2010 at 4:01 pm

#21 – OK, which one of Chris L’s sons has highjacked his IP? :)

24   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 5th, 2010 at 4:06 pm

No son, Rick. #20 is vintage Chris L.

not even worth discussing.

have fun.

25   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 5th, 2010 at 4:17 pm

#21 – I agree that Christians “can be” within the political system. My issue is whether they should be – but I do not want to open that up again.

26   Neil    
March 5th, 2010 at 4:19 pm

Chad,

I agree that the “weirdness” comment was unnecessarily and unhelpful. not every thought needs shared.

His example remains. That is, if you say that causing someone to drop dead in judgment is an act of violence.

27   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 5th, 2010 at 4:21 pm

Is swatting a mosquito an act of violence? Slaughtering a cow for food?

28   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 5th, 2010 at 4:24 pm

Hey Neil,
Thanks. But until your boss can respond to me in a way that is at least half as charitable as the Christ he claims to follow I think I’ll just shut up. But I’ll leave you with this…

That is, if you say that causing someone to drop dead in judgment is an act of violence.

That is what I am saying. Now, talk amongst yourselves.

29   Eric    
March 5th, 2010 at 4:27 pm

“It renders the Scriptures as fables”

So true. And, since this discussion started around Chad’s review of McLaren’s book, it can appropriately be noted that McLaren essentially makes that argument.

“not even worth discussing”

So much for conversation…unless one means conversation only on my terms where you eventually agree with my aberrant and fanciful depictions of God and Scripture.

30   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 5th, 2010 at 4:37 pm

The problem with McLaren is not the nonviolence issue, it’s the all relgions lead to eternal life issue.

That is rank heresy…as rank as it gets.

31   Eric    
March 5th, 2010 at 4:51 pm

Rick,

When McLaren’s desire to re-imagine God leads him to dismiss Biblical accounts as the equivalence of a fable, the same disregard for Scripture will bear itself out in other areas of theology, including soteriology.

32   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
March 6th, 2010 at 9:22 am

I should be posting my review of McLaren’s book here today or tomorrow. I actually think there is a lot of positive in the book, but I also have some disagreements. His chapters about the Greco-Roman conception of God versus the description of El Elohim are pretty good, in my opinion. Really, that part shouldn’t be that controversial.

The part where I disagree is with his assessment of other religions. I know he’s coming from a place where he assume that Christians condemning Muslims (or whoever) will inevitably lead to violence toward that group, but, ironically, it seems to me that he doesn’t follow up with his advice and come up with a viable “third way” in dealing with adherents to other faiths.

33   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 6th, 2010 at 10:04 am

Phil,
Actually, the GR narrative is very controversial and is not going down easily.

Check out Scot McKnight’s blog and the comments about this 6 line narrative.

http://blog.beliefnet.com/jesuscreed/2010/03/mcknight-on-mclarens-newest.html

34   John Hughes    
March 6th, 2010 at 11:29 am

Chad,

God’s righteousness indignation and wrath are not necessarily defined as violence.

In Righteousenss He judges and wages war.

You are playing a word game with your own rules and to intimate that the God who destroyed all mankind in the flood in Genesis and Who will personally destroy millions upon millions at the end of the Age is not “violent” boarders on disengenousness.

It’s like you ascribe to a new gnosticism where ALL is symbolic, nothing is as it seems, and you and the other high priests of this movement redefine plain words and narratives as you see fit and the common rabble must come to the new High Priests for the correct intrepretation of anything.

It’s like you are the step children of Mind Science where what we see isnt real but only a shadow and can be made it be whatever we will it.

You and most of us do not move in the same universe.

35   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 6th, 2010 at 11:36 am

You are welcome to that opinion, John.

36   Neil    
March 6th, 2010 at 11:40 am

Chad,

I don’t know why you would let Chris L.’s comment stop a conversation between your and I. And he is not my boss, while he does own this blog and I am a staff writer, he does not dictate what I write.

I do not understand your “parting” comment. If you agree that causing someone to drop dead in judgment constitutes an act of violence, then you cannot possibly say God never employs violence.

37   Neil    
March 6th, 2010 at 11:43 am

I think I see the word “disingenuous” used here more often than all other areas of my life combined.

38   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 6th, 2010 at 11:46 am

oh, but I should thank you, John H. You are a perfect example of what McLaren is pushing up against.

http://blog.beliefnet.com/jesuscreed/2010/03/mcknight-on-mclarens-newest.html

(see comment #197)

39   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 6th, 2010 at 11:49 am

#36 – Neil, when your watchdog stops jumping in to do nothing but belittle me or my ideas, I’ll be happy to continue talking with you.

By his own admission he is your “boss.” At least as it pertains to this site. That’s why I said what I said.

It just gets old, Neil. Surely you can appreciate that.

When you convince your boss to grow up and treat others the way he would like to be treated I’ll have a discussion.

40   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
March 6th, 2010 at 11:52 am

Not to be contrarian just for its own sake, but where in the story of Ananias and Sapphira does the text actually attribute their deaths to God? It simply says they both “fell down” and died. Is attributing their deaths as an active use of violence by God the only way to read that text?

41   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 6th, 2010 at 11:53 am

I meant to finish the above to read, “I’ll have a discussion about things that I know beforehand we already disagree about.”

Until then, however, I’ll just seek to find points of commonality so as to not give Chris L or Eric or John Chisham or John Hughes or anyone else an excuse to be a jerk. And to keep myself from being one as well.

42   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 6th, 2010 at 11:57 am

Phil,
What’s interesting is if I were to say of the people in Haiti, “God killed them,” (like Pat Robertson) most of the people claiming God is violent would have a hissy fit, and rightfully so.

It makes God out to be someone who acted one way at one time in history but now, apparently, has grown soft. In the past God would smite people without blinking an eye. Today, well, God must have gone to anger management class so we cannot say what Pat said.

43   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 6th, 2010 at 12:01 pm

Chad – Do you reject all Biblical references that God acted violent as misrepresentations?

44   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 6th, 2010 at 12:04 pm

Rick – depends on what you mean by “misrepresentations.”

45   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 6th, 2010 at 12:06 pm

Are all those references metaphors? And if so, are they inspired? And if so, why would the Spirit inspire a metaphor that portrays God as violent?

46   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 6th, 2010 at 12:14 pm

Rick,
I believe I address that on my blog here: http://chadholtz.net/?p=1097&cpage=1#comment-1710

So for the same reasons I won’t get into it with Neil, I won’t with you. If you are truly interested in talking about this you are welcome to do so at my blog.

47   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 6th, 2010 at 12:16 pm

I believe I have my answer.

48   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 6th, 2010 at 12:21 pm

I believe I have my answer.

Well, wasn’t that an illuminating discussion? I’m glad you satisfied yourself

49   Neil    
March 6th, 2010 at 12:26 pm

Phil,

You are correct in your observation (#40). But it’s not like it takes much effort to connect the dots… two people lie to God, two people drop dead. Two massively stunning coincidences – or something else…

50   Neil    
March 6th, 2010 at 12:29 pm

Chad,

I suppose if comments 42 & 44 are representative of how you are going to address the topic, I agree, it’s probably best we drop it.

Obviously we disagree, I was just hoping we could be serious and civil about it – guess not… not that you were not civil…

51   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 6th, 2010 at 12:31 pm

Neil,

I’m all for a serious and civil discussion about matters we disagree on. Past experience, however, has proven that this is not the site to do that.

It used to be, but not any more.

52   Neil    
March 6th, 2010 at 12:37 pm

Your choice. I thought we were doing fine, though…

I suspect it would have gotten down to a discussion about the veracity of Scripture; with me demanding we stick to what the text says and you coming up with reasons why we should not…

I stick by my original comment (based on a simple reading of the historical record) that one cannot possibly deny the fact that God employs (what we would say constitutes) violence when he deems it appropriate.

I see no possible way around it.

53   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 6th, 2010 at 12:42 pm

Maybe, maybe not, Neil.

You are welcome any time on my blog to discuss the issue of violence. And I promise that your ideas will never be belittled by me or others.

peace.

54   John Hughes    
March 6th, 2010 at 1:00 pm

#38 – Glad I could be of help.

55   John Hughes    
March 6th, 2010 at 1:04 pm

Chad: My conclusion is that no matter how you dress it up, if the end result is a Father who excludes or exterminates you still end up with a monster.

Oye vey. (To use a Hebrew quote vs one from those nasty Greco-Roman guys).

56   Neil    
March 6th, 2010 at 1:11 pm

Scot McKnight gives a lengthy review of McClaren’s book for CT.
Here is the bottom line as far as Scot is concerned:

Alas, A New Kind of Christianity shows us that Brian, though he is now thinking more systemically, has fallen for an old school of thought. I read this book carefully, and I found nothing new. It may be new for Brian, but it’s a rehash of ideas that grew into fruition with Adolf von Harnack and now find iterations in folks like Harvey Cox and Marcus Borg. For me, Brian’s new kind of Christianity is quite old. And the problem is that it’s not old enough.

The review is worth the read.

57   John Hughes    
March 6th, 2010 at 1:13 pm

Metaphor for the day:

Isa 29:6 From the LORD of hosts you will be punished with thunder and earthquake and loud noise, With whirlwind and tempest and the flame of a consuming fire.

58   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 6th, 2010 at 1:19 pm

Cut to the chase:

McLaren is a dangerous heretic.

59   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 6th, 2010 at 1:22 pm

Neil,

I don’t think Scot has it right on that final analysis. Brian answers that charge himself on Mike Clawson’s blog.

http://emergingpensees.blogspot.com/2010/03/brian-mclaren-clarifies-some-questions_05.html#c1103083548152862691

60   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 6th, 2010 at 1:27 pm

Rick says:

McLaren is a dangerous heretic.

Brian McLaren says:

But let me say it very bluntly: if by liberal, someone means naturalistic, rejecting the possibility of the mystical or miraculous, denying the authority of the Scriptures, denying the resurrection, blah, blah, blah – I’m not a liberal. If by liberal, someone means free to think, free to ask questions, free to seek truth and God, then I would hope all of us could be liberals. If by conservative, someone means unwilling to think or ask questions because one already has the truth nailed down in a pristine form, then I’m not a conservative. But if a conservative is someone who wants to learn from the past, someone who loves the Scriptures and respects the creeds and most importantly loves Jesus, then I would hope everyone could be conservative. But this is where I think “a new kind of Christianity” comes into play, because a lot of us don’t want to have to stay in the old dualism.

Source

61   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 6th, 2010 at 1:28 pm

“McLaren is a dangerous heretic”.

As is Shane Hipps.

62   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 6th, 2010 at 1:34 pm

history has shown that one persons or groups “dangerous heretic” is another’s savior.

So forgive me, Rick, if your judgment doesn’t hold much weight.

63   Neil    
March 6th, 2010 at 1:36 pm

Chad,

That’s a frustrating answer – that McClaren gave. I hate to delve into calling it typical blah blah blah – but it is tempting.

He spends too much time arguing against “those stereotypical neoplatonic terms” of liberal and conservative and too little time actually answering the question.

And when he says “Your question itself acknowledges that this kind of binary thinking is terribly unhelpful.” – it really smacks of condescension – as if only people who are two stupid to accept him would dare question his thinking.

Quick frankly, when someone spends so much time arguing the terms of a question, saying why the question is stupid and the terms unhelpful and irrelevant… instead of answering or addressing the gist of the question – I get suspicious.

Harnack would have claimed he held the Bible is authority as well – he just had to redefine a few dozen words first.

64   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 6th, 2010 at 1:40 pm

Some people think in binary terms while I think in concept calculus. :cool:

65   Neil    
March 6th, 2010 at 1:45 pm

Chad,

His definitions of conservative and liberal are useless. I can claim to be every bit as liberal and every bit as conservative as he says he wants to be… yet oppose his views completely.

Those are silly straw men.

It only further demonstrates his willingness to delve into semantical terms at the expense of answering a simple question.

66   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 6th, 2010 at 1:47 pm

I believe in the authority of Scripture.

I believe all religions lead to eternal life.

One of those statements is not true. Can you identify which one??

67   Neil    
March 6th, 2010 at 1:51 pm

Furthermore – it’s funny that McLaren spent so much time on the dualism of the terms when McKnight never brought that up. McKnight did not accuse McLaren of liberalism… McKnight did not set up this dualism.

Scot simply compared McLaren’s supposedly new ideas to someone else’s very old ideas. It is interesting how McLaren spends so much energy distancing himself from Harnak et. al…

68   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 6th, 2010 at 1:53 pm

Neil,

Equally arrogant are accusations that McLaren is simply rehashing early 20th century liberalism as if to say ALL of that is to be rejected en toto and anything that even looks like it as well. And why? Because now we know better.

What I hear him saying is, so what? Sure there are things he says that sounds like Harnack (I’ve read Harnack, What is Christianity? and not EVERYTHING he says is wrong).

Any theological reflection worth its salt is going to include some of the best ideas from any era and from numerous voices. Some of what the 20th century liberals had to say is worth hearing again. But there is also much more to say.

69   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 6th, 2010 at 1:57 pm

#66 – both can be equally true.

#67 – Neil, McKnight was not even mentioned in that post. Clawson is not talking about McKnight. So not sure what you are on about.

70   Neil    
March 6th, 2010 at 1:57 pm

Any theological reflection worth its salt is going to include some of the best ideas from any era and from numerous voices.

Scot never used the term Liberalism and never sounded as condescending as McLaren.

You are correct, we should include all the best ideas from the greats of the past. And equally true is the fact that we should reject the worst form the past as well.

McKnight is no where saying we do not learn from the past, he did not say we should not embrace the truth others expressed.

What he said was – McLaren is not saying anything new. And what was wrong then, is still wrong now.

71   Neil    
March 6th, 2010 at 1:58 pm

#67 – Neil, McKnight was not even mentioned in that post. Clawson is not talking about McKnight. So not sure what you are on about.

You offered that answer as a response to my quote of McKnight.

72   Neil    
March 6th, 2010 at 2:01 pm

As far as tone is concerned: comparing someone’s ideas to a great of the past is not condescending. Rejecting someone’s “not-new-idea” for the same reasons they were rejected when they were new is not condescending.

Dismissing someone’s question as terribly unhelpful is borderline condescension at best.

73   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 6th, 2010 at 2:05 pm

What he said was – McLaren is not saying anything new

Duh. Which, if you read my first review of the book I say the same thing:

The first thing that I think is important is to remind ourselves that McLaren is not saying anything new or radical here.

The difference is, the things that were wrong then are things McLaren is not focusing on now. Whereas many evangelicals have taken the bait to toss the baby with the bathwater, McLaren is not willing to do so as easily.

The answer on Clawson’s blog was not meant to respond to McKnight but to the general consensus about that critique (which is pervasive among many critics). So there is no reason to expect a point by point engagement of McKnight alone

74   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 6th, 2010 at 2:11 pm

Neil,

It’s a tired argument and one conservative evangelicals have been playing for decades. They LABEL someone as a retread of 20th century liberalism so that they can then ignore what is said (because they already know they know better than that) while making others afraid of what is said (because conservatives have done such a good job of making “liberal” a four-letter word).

I am glad McLaren is not getting sucked into that tired debate that only serves to divide.

As I said in my comment on Clawson’s blog, that is not even a discussion being had by many theological schools.

75   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
March 6th, 2010 at 2:49 pm

I do think that McLaren spends too much energy reacting against certain forms of Christianity (mainly, he seems to be reacting against hardcore Calvinism), and I wonder sometimes who he is writing for. But, on the other hand, I didn’t feel McKnight’s critique was really in line with what’s in the book, either. So, really, it sadly seems that Christians aren’t really able to discuss some of these things without talking past each other.

I think really that a big part of it is that Western Christianity is so based on Confessionalism at its roots, that we naturally hold someone suspect until they utter the words we want to them to say. And it actually happens all sides of the theological spectrum. To me, I don’t see much difference reading some of these reviews than reading about the Pharisees or Saducees trying to set verbal traps for Jesus. They want Him to say something that will prove He on their side or not. To me, it seems that’s way many people read these books – looking to prove if the author is for us or against us.

76   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 6th, 2010 at 2:53 pm

Phil,

I agree.

77   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
March 6th, 2010 at 2:53 pm

Phil,

You are correct in your observation (#40). But it’s not like it takes much effort to connect the dots… two people lie to God, two people drop dead. Two massively stunning coincidences – or something else…

Well, I’m not saying it was just a coincidence. All I am saying is that I don’t see anything that really said God was being violent in these deaths. We aren’t told how they died, or by what means, other than that they simply keeled over. We aren’t told it was the hand of God that smote them.

78   Neil    
March 6th, 2010 at 4:33 pm

I cannot find where McKnight labels McLaren then dismisses him without interaction.

79   Neil    
March 6th, 2010 at 4:35 pm

Well, I’m not saying it was just a coincidence. All I am saying is that I don’t see anything that really said God was being violent in these deaths. We aren’t told how they died, or by what means, other than that they simply keeled over. We aren’t told it was the hand of God that smote them.

The passage is silent about the means – they just dropped dead. How violent the death was or was not is not stated. I have a hunch though, that any dropping dead is too violent for Chad to ascribe to God… maybe not though.

That there was a cause and effect there is obvious… to deny otherwise is the pretty much say we cannot draw any inferential conclusions form the Scriptures.

80   Neil    
March 6th, 2010 at 4:41 pm

Phil,

I agree with the latter half of 75, there are certain code words that some people require. I hope I am not such a person. And I too am becoming considerably less systematic in my theology.

That said, there are certain nonnegotiables – such as not all roads leading to the same destination, etc…

We must maintain some connection with the historic orthodox faith.

81   Neil    
March 6th, 2010 at 4:42 pm

Chad,

re 69 – are you now affirming all religions lead to salvation?

82   Neil    
March 6th, 2010 at 4:47 pm

Phil,

We are splitting hairs on though with Ananias and Sapphira question, it’s but one example… it is impossible to even remotely suggest God never used violence, there are way too many other Scriptural references.

83   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 6th, 2010 at 4:47 pm

#81.

No.

I am affirming that Rick’s little equation is a joke.

84   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 6th, 2010 at 4:50 pm

Neil,
Do you think it’s possible that in the same way irresponsible “pastors” today attribute natural disasters to God’s “righteous judgment” (eg. Katrina, 9/11, Haiti, Chili, Burma, etc) that the same also occurred thousands of years ago amongst people who didn’t even know about things like tectonic plates and ocean currents and pressure systems and the like?

85   Neil    
March 6th, 2010 at 5:03 pm

83 – OK

86   Neil    
March 6th, 2010 at 5:06 pm

re: 84 – of course, unless the account is recorded in the Scriptures. If the Scriptures ascribe something to God, I have no choice but to live with it.

87   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 6th, 2010 at 5:11 pm

If the Scriptures ascribe something to God, I have no choice but to live with it.

Well, that is certainly a popular way of treating the Scriptures. BM calls it the “legal constitution” view. You would fall in that camp, apparently.

It’s not the only way to view them, however.

88   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 6th, 2010 at 5:21 pm

Neil, what your treatment of Scripture does, IMO, is puts God at odds with God’s self.
God acts violently to achieve God’s purposes through much of the OT but then in Jesus, who is supposedly the fullest and perfect image of the Father, we find someone who will not under any circumstances resort to violence to bring about his purposes. In fact, he instructs his followers to love their enemies rather than smite them. I would argue that in Jesus we do not get even a hint of the sort of God you claim is violent.

So I am left with this: Either Israel, in their nescient understanding of God, subscribed to God their own fallen purposes and desires thus providing a need (among others) for God to be incarnate in Christ to correct the errors, OR, Israel got it all right and knew God perfectly thus not only eliminating this particular need for Incarnation but also rendering Jesus as an impostor, one who is not accurately reflecting the full image of the Father. Either Israel reveals God rightly or Jesus does. I’ll put my money on the latter.

89   Neil    
March 6th, 2010 at 5:29 pm

RE 87 – Apparently? I suppose one could site all sorts of negative examples of “Legal Constitutional reading of the Scriptures… and that’s fine. They would probably embarrass me.

That said – I am not about to start second guessing the plain reading of passages.

90   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 6th, 2010 at 5:32 pm

What one person calls “second guessing” another might call seriously wrestling with.

91   Neil    
March 6th, 2010 at 5:40 pm

I must admit I have never seen correcting the errors of the Hebrew Bible given as a reason, even a tertiary reason, for the incarnation.

Here is what I am left with:
1) The OT accounts are at odds with Jesus. Therefore 2) we cannot trust the accounts of the OT since they were just mistaken interpretations by errant Jews. 3) Jesus came to set the record straight. 4) Yet, his validity, the claim to his authority, was/is based on the Old Testament prophecies… which cannot be trusted. 5) and neither can the interpretations of those who claim he fulfilled OT prophecies.

Therefore – let’s just chuck the whole Jesus thing since it is built upon an unreliable foundation… and quite frankly, it would free me up to pursue my favorite sins.

Damn – now where am I gonna get a real job with a Th.M. in Historic Theology and 20 years as a pastor?

92   Neil    
March 6th, 2010 at 5:42 pm

What one person calls “second guessing” another might call seriously wrestling with.

True enough… but what another might call “seriously wrestling with” the one may call “gutting of all literal authority” – cf. comment 91.

It’s one thing to wrestle with the what the Scriptures say about God. It’s categorically something else to say it’s a record of Jewish misinterpretations.

93   Neil    
March 6th, 2010 at 5:43 pm

I believe McKnight briefly addresses this issue in his review. He pretty much guts the premise.

Source

94   Neil    
March 6th, 2010 at 5:44 pm

Does McLaren openly believe that other religions lead to salvation, to eternal life?

95   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 6th, 2010 at 5:48 pm

Neil,

The problem with that entire string of logic is that just because there is error in something doesn’t mean the entire bunch should be tossed. I’m sure you would not think it fair that just because you may have reflected God’s image poorly in one area of your life that we chuck all of Neil to the curb and call everything else you do pointless, right?

So I see no problem with the OT stuttering to speak fully and accurately what only the WORD of God could do perfectly. The temptation narrative after Jesus’ baptism is a perfect illustration of this – where Israel stumbled and failed, Jesus did not. Jesus articulates perfectly what Israel could or would not.

And it should be no surprise to find Israel acknowledging this throughout her Scriptures, looking forward to a day of redemption and a day where a Messiah would come. So yes Jesus did come to set the record straight. Unless you want to argue that Israel had it all perfectly figured out. Then what was the need for Christ?

96   Neil    
March 6th, 2010 at 5:50 pm

Israel, in their nescient understanding of God, subscribed to God their own fallen purposes and desires… – Chad

I knew you had to deal with these passages somehow… somehow their literal meaning needed to be rebutted and dismissed (dismissed in the sense they are not to be taken seriously – not dismissed as in they were not dealt with). I was just not sure how you would do it.

Apparently Rick was right… they are seen as misrepresentations of God.

97   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 6th, 2010 at 5:51 pm

#94 – No.

He says pretty much the same thing I have been saying here, so you won’t agree with that, either.

.

98   Neil    
March 6th, 2010 at 5:53 pm

Your example of me is invalid since no one should expect me to perfectly reflect God.

So I see no problem with the OT stuttering to speak fully and accurately what only the WORD of God could do perfectly.

So the OT is not the Word of God?

99   Neil    
March 6th, 2010 at 5:57 pm

The Old and New Testaments clearly contain records of what people erroneously thought about God. Yet, these errors are always pointed out… that is the point in including them… as a foil against which to show the truth.

To open the door to say that the OT contains errors that people henceforth believed – is to gut it of all credibility.

I know your motives are true… but can you see where one might say you are just gutting the Bible of the bits you don’t like?

100   Neil    
March 6th, 2010 at 5:59 pm

#94 – No.

He says pretty much the same thing I have been saying here, so you won’t agree with that, either.

If I am going to disagree with someone I want to make sure I disagree with what he actually says.

So you are saying McLaren follows a “Universal Redemption” as you do?

101   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 6th, 2010 at 6:00 pm

Your example of me is invalid since no one should expect me to perfectly reflect God.

Same can be said for Israel.

So the OT is not the Word of God?

I never said that.

You seem to be acting under the impression that the OT was dictated by God to some scribe who wrote down a formula. You wouldn’t call it that, but your responses lead me to believe this is how you view inspiration. I don’t hold to such a view.

Yes, it’s all the word of God. But the word of God comes about in conversation and in community in the midst of people living life. The word of God is also present where 2 or 3 are gathered and wrestling with this sacred story – sometimes Israel gets it right, sometimes they don’t. What is beautiful about it all is that the warts aren’t covered up or expunged. It’s all there for us to see and deal with.

Jesus helps us see what can accurately be ascribed to the Father and what cannot. If you think Jesus is violent and kills people to get his way, than you will have no problem believing Israel was right to ascribe their wars to God. But if you think Jesus had a different way (his ways are higher than our ways) and his kingdom comes in ways that are not like our own, than you realize a critical need for God to become flesh – as Athanasius said, “to fix our sorry state.”

102   Neil    
March 6th, 2010 at 6:02 pm
Your example of me is invalid since no one should expect me to perfectly reflect God. – Neil

Same can be said for Israel. – Chad

But we are not talking about Israel – we are talking about the Word of God.

103   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 6th, 2010 at 6:02 pm

#99- that’s not entirely true. There are plenty of places where no moral judgment is made on all sorts of things Israel (or their neighbors) do.

Read Judges, for example.

And I can see where someone would jump to the conclusion that I am just “gutting” the Bible, but they would be wrong.

#100- yes

104   Neil    
March 6th, 2010 at 6:04 pm

I believe the Old and New Testaments are accurate, valid, and authoritative in their entirety. They serve as a complete and wholly trustworthy description of God and his historical dealing. If the Old Testament say God did something – I believe he did it. If there is some apparent contradiction there, it is up to me to figure out where I have gone into error. If there is something that affornts my sensabilities – tough… my sensabilities are not standard.

If this is an archaic view labeled “legal constitutional” then so be it.

105   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 6th, 2010 at 6:06 pm

I believe the Old and New testaments are accurate, valid, and authoritative in their entirety.

So polygamy is cool?

What about forcing the woman who is raped to marry her rapist? (see Deut. 28)

Careful when you use words like “authoritative” and “entirety”

106   Neil    
March 6th, 2010 at 6:09 pm

Application is different from interpretation and questions of veracity. You know this.

I will not be moved from my belief that we can trust the word of God in its entirety.

If I cannot trust all of it, there is not point trusting any of it.

107   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 6th, 2010 at 6:48 pm

Neil, I’m not asking you to move from that. I trust the word of God in its entirety as well. But obviously, you, like myself, deem which parts are “authoritative” for you today and which are not. How do you decide?

At the risk of you dismissing me again and calling my questions absurd, I’ll ask you a few. I am genuinely interested in how you answer. Assume you are my pastor and I come to you and ask the following:

1- I want to marry several women. The OT is my example and God never condemns it there. Tell me why I shouldn’t.

2 – I want to own some slaves. The OT is my example (and the NT) and it’s never condemned. Why shouldn’t I own slaves?

3 – (pretend I am president and you are my spiritual advisor) – Neil, I had a dream last night that God wants me to attack country X because they are infidels and refuse to honor the living God. We shall strike tomorrow. Is that OK with you?

How would you counsel me in these?

108   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
March 6th, 2010 at 6:52 pm

Sorry I couldn’t interact more today. I didn’t mean to post and run. I had two practices today and I’ve had to do some stuff around the house.

I’d say the way I see progressive revelation isn’t so much in the vein of the authors of Scripture were wrong, but more in the vein that because of the way people were at the time, God chose to interact with them in a way they could understand. I imagine something like someone going to work with a gang today – they may not be able to get them to stop using violence cold turkey, but they could slowly ween them off.

So in the OT, it seems that God had the Israelites rely on violence less and less as time progressed. Finally, when Jesus came, that was the final revelation of who God is to people, and I really don’t see that we can look at Christ and say He ever relied on violence. Now, I will admit that there are different ways to extrapolate that to how violence can be used in the world now, but if the question is, “is God violent?”, I would be pretty comfortable saying “no”. But that doesn’t mean He’s tame, to quote C.S. Lewis.

109   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 6th, 2010 at 7:34 pm

The New Testament trumps the Old Testament. Any seeming inconsistencies must bow to the New Testament and the final and complete revelation of God in Christ.

Let us admit that some of things in the OT are mysteries and are difficlut to process.

110   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 6th, 2010 at 7:39 pm

“So polygamy is cool?”

No, it stinks!

111   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 6th, 2010 at 9:22 pm

Phil,

That sounds like a view of accommodation. Dr. Chapman, whom I cited in my last blog post on violence, stopped me in the hall yesterday after reading it and asked, “Progressive revelation or accommodation?” We then discussed the merits of both and it got me thinking about the latter (I had not before). While doing some research I found McKnight holding a discussion on his blog that is about this HERE.

What I am not sure I understand yet is how what you describe is all that different from progressive revelation. Even if we say that God was dealing with them in ways they would understand and making allowances for that knowledge (or lack of) are we not still talking about a progressive revelation? At first blush it seems to me that they are not so different. Maybe it is why I am attracted to both.

Just out of curiosity, what does an untame God look like? I assume it does not mean wild or impulsive.

112   John Hughes    
March 6th, 2010 at 11:22 pm

Daryl Dash:

Finally – and most importantly – this is not a minor tweak of Christianity. It is a repudiation of the church’s understanding of the gospel. It really is tearing up the contract and starting all over again. McLaren says we’ve got the whole Biblical storyline, as well as our ideas of God and Scripture, all wrong. He’d rather be an atheist, he says, than believe in the God that many of us think is found in the Bible. You don’t get any more basic. We are talking about two fundamentally different versions of Christianity and the gospel.

That’s what makes this book so hard to critique. Supporters of the book will say that I’m critiquing it from a Greco-Roman mindset, using the Bible as a constitution text rather than as a community library. So my criticisms will be expected. McLaren’s proposals go all the way back to the level of presuppositions, and unless you share his presuppositions it will be like complaining that the color red isn’t blue enough. Fine, they will say, but it wasn’t meant to be blue. He’s not only giving us a new version of the Christian story, but he’s making it very difficult to critique his new version using the resources of the old one. But I’m simply not convinced that he’s made the case that he thinks he has.

113   John Hughes    
March 6th, 2010 at 11:26 pm

Meaningless:

contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints.

114   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 6th, 2010 at 11:26 pm

Never heard of Daryl Dash.

How many times have I said I’d rather be an atheist than believe in the sort of God John Chisham preaches?

Yep.

115   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 6th, 2010 at 11:29 pm

#113
How do you know McLaren isn’t doing exactly that? Why do you assume your faith is that faith?

116   John Hughes    
March 6th, 2010 at 11:29 pm

Meaningless:

I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ.
Gal 1:8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed!

117   John Hughes    
March 6th, 2010 at 11:33 pm

Why do you assume your faith is that faith?

Probably for the same reasons you assume McClaren has it “right” when thousands of years of church history has it all wrong.

Fortunately in your world view my having it wrong doesn’t affect my eternal destiny in any shape form or fashion (it just annoys you in the meantime).

118   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
March 6th, 2010 at 11:57 pm

What I am not sure I understand yet is how what you describe is all that different from progressive revelation. Even if we say that God was dealing with them in ways they would understand and making allowances for that knowledge (or lack of) are we not still talking about a progressive revelation? At first blush it seems to me that they are not so different. Maybe it is why I am attracted to both.

I guess if that’s the definition of accommodation, than that seems to fit what I describe. I guess progressive revelation may entail the idea the Biblical authors themselves were purveying wrong ideas, i.e., some parts of Scripture aren’t as inspired as others.

Just out of curiosity, what does an untame God look like? I assume it does not mean wild or impulsive.

Just out of curiosity, what does an untame God look like? I assume it does not mean wild or impulsive.

No, I’m not saying that. I’m just saying that I think that when we encounter God in a real way it will mess up our lives to an extent. Rich Mullins had a line in a song referring to the “reckless raging fury” of the love of God. So the violence that is in God is a good violence, if that makes sense. It’s like a fire that burns away the dross of our lives.

119   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 6th, 2010 at 11:57 pm

Well, McLaren doesn’t say everyone in the past has it “wrong.” (You probably didn’t read the book but have no shortage of judgments, right?)

The only thing “meaningless” here is your consistent proof-texting, using verses devoid of any context to pass judgments you have no business making.

The “faith” Scripture talks about contending for and not to desert is a one that confesses Jesus is Lord, came in the flesh, died and rose again. Paul is not speaking of particular atonement theories or reformed vs. arminian or catholic vs. protestant or liberal vs. conservative or John H. vs. Chad Holtz.

120   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 6th, 2010 at 11:59 pm

No, I’m not saying that. I’m just saying that I think that when we encounter God in a real way it will mess up our lives to an extent. Rich Mullins had a line in a song referring to the “reckless raging fury” of the love of God. So the violence that is in God is a good violence, if that makes sense. It’s like a fire that burns away the dross of our lives.

I like that.

121   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 7th, 2010 at 3:09 am

God acts violently to achieve God’s purposes through much of the OT but then in Jesus, who is supposedly the fullest and perfect image of the Father, we find someone who will not under any circumstances resort to violence to bring about his purposes.

On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple area and began driving out giving puppies to those who were buying and selling there. He overturned put daisies on the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves, and would not allow anyone helped them to carry merchandise through the temple courts.

So I am left with this: [WARNING: FALSE DICHOTOMY AHEAD] Either Israel, in their nescient understanding of God, subscribed to God their own fallen purposes and desires thus providing a need (among others) for God to be incarnate in Christ to correct the errors, OR, Israel got it all right and knew God perfectly thus not only eliminating this particular need for Incarnation but also rendering Jesus as an impostor, one who is not accurately reflecting the full image of the Father. [END OF FALSE CHOICE]

Or, God does sometimes use ‘violence’ within his will, and just as the harsh, heartless hard-right of today cannot accept God’s mercy toward sinners, the pantywaist left cannot accept that He might use “violent” means against them at some point. And again, as usual, God shows up somewhere in the middle, rather with the bomb-throwers or unicorn-riders on the extremes…

My conclusion is that no matter how you dress it up, if the end result is a Father who excludes or exterminates you still end up with a monster.

Reminds me of her conclusions…

122   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 7th, 2010 at 7:36 am

If you suggest that God never has, and never could, use violence, then you must dismiss many, if not most, of the Biblical narratives. When that occues, then we are left with our own thoughts and concoctions about the nature of God.

It is true that Jesus is THE revelation of God, but to dismiss the entire OT narratives of God is to also dismiss the words of Jesus Himself. It is this same wish theology that suggests universal redemption. In the end it is an open rejection and diminishment of Scripture itself.

The argument is especially curious when its proponents will not openly and honestly deny the veracity of the Scipyures, but instead seem to dance around the issue with all sorts of slippery and nebulous verbiage in an attempt to soften their view of Scripture to others.

Even if all the charcterizations of God in the Old Testament are metaphorical and not literal, then they cannot be inspired by the Holy Spirit since He would not create stories that revealed YHWY as violent, even in fiction. That would be called a mischaracterization, or in moral parlance, a lie.

123   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 7th, 2010 at 7:40 am

Neil,

It’s a shame your boss has to show up and ruin what was a good conversation with more of his usual antics.

124   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 7th, 2010 at 7:49 am

Neil, at least you did not resort to proof-texting, using a story about overturning tables to “prove” that God must in some way be “violent.”

The text doesn’t tell us, but I’m sure there were hundreds, if not thousands, of lives slaughtered in that episode as Jesus unleashed his fury.

125   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 7th, 2010 at 8:20 am

I do believe that “bomb-throwers” and “pantywaists” and “unicorn riders” is unhelpful and demonstrates a risidual atmosphere usually seen in the political arena. I recall a post on labels that has obviously has had less than a substantive affect.

126   chris    
March 7th, 2010 at 12:51 pm

I do believe that “bomb-throwers” and “pantywaists” and “unicorn riders” is unhelpful and demonstrates a risidual atmosphere usually seen in the political arena.

]

That’s the harsh reality Rick. It’s hard to separate our view with God with how we choose to operate. Whenever we view God’s violence as necessary for his plans it’s real easy to deal harshly with those with whom we disagree.

Funny how we can label and characterize with impunity and when others either return the favor or ignore us we can just ban them.

127   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 7th, 2010 at 1:38 pm

“It’s hard to separate our view with God with how we choose to operate.”

Very good point for all.

128   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 7th, 2010 at 2:00 pm

chris,
I believe another way to say that is “we become what we worship.”

If we believe that God uses violence as a means to an end than ultimately, so will those who worship such a god. It will not matter that God tells us to love our enemies or pray for those who persecute us turn the other cheek. That will all take a back seat to how we imagine God acting as God.

Parents, try raising your kids with the “Do as I say, not as I do” mentality and see how that works for ya.

129   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 7th, 2010 at 2:12 pm

#128 – But that still leaves the Old Testament in question. Hebrews 1 deals with the new reality through Jesus, but it also alludes to the OT prophets and ways through which God spoke.

Did anyone in the OT ever slay an animal in sacrifice according to God’s will?

130   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 7th, 2010 at 3:17 pm

Rick,
I don’t think that leaves the OT “in question.” Whatever it is that that means.

The OT faithfully records the story of Israel trying to follow YHWH. Sometimes they got it right, sometimes wrong. In Jesus we see with far more clarity what before was only hinted upon.

131   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 7th, 2010 at 3:35 pm

Very simplistic and makes all the God narratives as fabrications by Israel. You are openly suggesting that the stories in the OT were written by Israel and not inspired by God. Even the commandments must have been made up by Israel since some of them commanded captitol punishment.

132   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 7th, 2010 at 3:52 pm

Not fabrications – real life, real people, wrestling with what it means to be the people of God.

Not too unlike our lives today.

All is inspired by God. That does not mean it is God.

133   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 7th, 2010 at 4:25 pm

Wrestling with what reference point? How can we know Who we are wrestling with?

134   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 7th, 2010 at 4:27 pm

“All is inspired by God. That does not mean it is God.”

?

I love the smell of “What?” in the mornin’.

135   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 7th, 2010 at 4:33 pm

Neil, at least you did not resort to proof-texting, using a story about overturning tables to “prove” that God must in some way be “violent.”

Let’s see:

Statement A) Jesus, who is supposedly the fullest and perfect image of the Father, we find someone who will not under any circumstances resort to violence to bring about his purposes.

Statement B) On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple area and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves, and would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts.

While Statement B makes no claims about killing anyone, it certainly contradicts the abject naivete of Statement A.

I do believe that “bomb-throwers” and “pantywaists” and “unicorn riders” is unhelpful and demonstrates a risidual atmosphere usually seen in the political arena.

Actually, I was trying to characterize both ends of the political scale – “heartless” and “bomb-throwers” (from the far ideological right) and “pantywaists” and “unicorn riders” (from the far ideological left).

The OT faithfully records the story of Israel trying to follow YHWH. Sometimes they got it right, sometimes wrong. In Jesus we see with far more clarity what before was only hinted upon.

Very simplistic and makes all the God narratives as fabrications by Israel. You are openly suggesting that the stories in the OT were written by Israel and not inspired by God. Even the commandments must have been made up by Israel since some of them commanded cap[ital] punishment.

Exactly, Rick.

If you’ve already determined what the Bible MUST say about God, if He’s going to fit into the box you’ve created for Him, then any contradictions must be wished away as mistaken impressions…

136   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 7th, 2010 at 4:35 pm

I love the smell of “What?” in the mornin’.

I know what I’m smelling in that statement…

137   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 7th, 2010 at 4:36 pm

Wrestling with what reference point? How can we know Who we are wrestling with?

I can see why this would be the question considering it is coming from someone who distrusts everyone and everything but his own personal experience.

God is not a “reference point.”

138   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 7th, 2010 at 4:42 pm

I was referring to Scripture. But they are irrelevant and immaterial if their authority rests upon metaphorical interpretation. Your metaphor is as good as mine.

Without Scripture God becomes what my serotonin has decided He is.

139   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 7th, 2010 at 4:43 pm

Those who wish to use Jesus’ prophetic sign act of overturning tables to justify their own use of violence are free to do so, so long as you don’t do anything more than flip over a table.

140   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 7th, 2010 at 5:05 pm

Keeping with the adage that we become what we worship, what sort of Christian is formed when rooted in a perception of a violent God?

I can appreciate that I could be charged with determining that God is not violent and then making Scripture fit that determination (however, I would argue that this determination is rooted in my Christocentric theology and my desire to read Scripture through the lens Christ gives us, not something or someone else).

But that aside, I have watched it played out the other way as well – here on this site, even. From a writer here who makes it a past time to mock others whom he disagrees with, a post is written that conveniently makes mockery a theological “good.” Or, because one writer is convinced that “just war” is a political necessity and “good,” a post is written to make it a theological “good” as well.

Somehow, God manages to look a lot like a certain writer here.

A theology that confesses a non-violent God and that this God calls us to be the same is not something I can write about with a clear conscious knowing that I am like this. Non-violence does not come naturally to me. In fact, when I am angry I would LOVE to believe my God is a God of wrath and one who will unleash fury on my foes if I don’t do it first. I would love to make God in my own image.

But I can’t. And I won’t. So when I confess a God who is non-violent I am confessing that I am not, yet desire to be. I am confessing that I fall way short of the God who is perfect, and calls me to be likewise.

But if a person is happy to envisage a God who affirms where they already are, than that is their choice. To such people I believe Christ said, “You already have your reward.”

141   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 7th, 2010 at 5:39 pm

From a writer here who makes it a past time to mock others whom he disagrees with, a post is written that conveniently makes mockery a theological “good.”

I think its appropriate usage (and yes, there are appropriate usages, primarily in dealing with false gods) is much narrower than how I sometimes utilize it…

Or, because one writer is convinced that “just war” is a political necessity and “good,” a post is written to make it a theological “good” as well.

I don’t recall anyone here writing an article declaring that wars – just or not – are “good”, nor simply political necessities. I do recall an article I wrote in which I noted that there is a such thing as “just war” that could be morally supported by Christians as a “lesser evil”, without condoning sin. I also noted that its use is as a preventative defense and not as a positive advancement of the kingdom.

As such, I would agree that violence cannot be used by man in advancing the kingdom of God, even if God might use it – whether in striking down a blasphemous king Herod, wiping out pagan nations in the time of Joshua, creating a worldwide flood, or sending the wicked to destruction at the end of days. Even so, we are not given the charge or the wisdom to utilize violence by any positive means in advancing the kingdom. Our only approved usage is as a prophylactic means in incredibly narrow circumstances where all other just possibilities have failed.

142   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 7th, 2010 at 5:48 pm

As such, I would agree that violence cannot be used by man in advancing the kingdom of God, even if God might use it

Be perfect, then, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.

I realize many parents employ the “Do as I say, not as I do” method when raising their kids. I assume many of them ascribe the same method to God. I do not.

143   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 7th, 2010 at 6:23 pm

I realize many parents employ the “Do as I say, not as I do” method when raising their kids. I assume many of them ascribe the same method to God. I do not.

Conversely, I try not to anthromorphize God to the point that He no longer resembles who He is represented as in Scripture.

“Do as I say, not as I do” CAN be hypocrisy, but it can also be a proper differentiation of role and authority.

Example: “Vengeance is mine,” says the Lord, “I will repay”.

This is not God acting as a hypocrite, but rather as One in ultimate authority, from whom the authority for vengeance has not been delegated to us.

So, while we should strive for perfection, as God is perfect, we can never be God, nor can we ever expect to be given his authority. In the case of the use of violence, our only authority is in pursuit of justice (which is not an individual authority, but a community one), or in immediate defense of the innocent (in absence of community authority).

Thus, the God-as-parent metaphor breaks down when something that “belongs” to the “parent” is something that can’t eventually “belong” to the “child”. So, in the case of violence, vengeance, etc. – where we will never have God’s authority – there parent analogy is irrelevant.

144   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 7th, 2010 at 6:26 pm

I think the “just war” discussion is different than the “Does God ever use violence” discussion.

145   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 7th, 2010 at 6:54 pm

I think the “just war” discussion is different than the “Does God ever use violence” discussion.

I would agree, Rick, but they become conflated when you assume that anything God can do man should be able to model, and therefore God using ANY violence would make it OK for man to use violence. Thus, if you believe in complete non-violence and that God is completely modelable, then the “just war” discussion and the “does God ever use violence” discussion become one in the same.

Systematic theology for the non-Reformed.

146   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 7th, 2010 at 7:28 pm

Chris L,
That is one way to look at it.

147   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 7th, 2010 at 9:06 pm

For the Open Thread:

A headline that needs no parody:

Gay Catholic Ex-Stripper Awaits Birth of Twins Carried by Husband’s Sister

148   John Hughes    
March 7th, 2010 at 9:26 pm

Chris L. Actually, the parent example is a good one. Dad comes home and sees son giving sister a spanking. Dad STOPS son and explains that spanking his sister is not something that is proper or in his shpere of authority to do, that is reserved for the father. This fits right in with your assertion.

149   John Hughes    
March 7th, 2010 at 9:29 pm

Of course the Jesus of Revelation does not use violence to achieve His ends . . .

pregnant pause.

But of course if the old testament is metaphorical then we might as well rip Revlation right out of the Bible.

150   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 7th, 2010 at 10:00 pm

Of course the Jesus of Revelation does not use violence to achieve His ends

agreed

151   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 7th, 2010 at 10:17 pm

Gay Catholic Ex-Stripper Awaits Birth of Twins Carried by Husband’s Sister

The church he pastor’s is planning a lavish shower.

152   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 7th, 2010 at 11:23 pm

The future of US healthcare if the gov’t takes over…

153   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 8th, 2010 at 12:18 am

John H –

Do you think the Jesus portrayed in Revelation is a factual picture of a Jesus who decides the way of the cross was, in hindsight, for “pantywaists” and in the end, ultimately resorts to violence to bring about God’s new creation?

Why didn’t he just do that in the 1st century?

154   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 8th, 2010 at 12:21 am

Neil,
If you are still interested in chatting I would be interested to hear your answers to my questions in #107.

155   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 8th, 2010 at 2:38 am

Do you think the Jesus portrayed in Revelation is a factual picture of a Jesus who decides the way of the cross was, in hindsight, for “pantywaists” and in the end, ultimately resorts to violence to bring about God’s new creation?

Rather than choose from the incomplete set of (A) or (B), I think I’ll let the Book speak for itself:

I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.” He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written:

KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.

And I saw an angel standing in the sun, who cried in a loud voice to all the birds flying in midair, “Come, gather together for the great supper of God, so that you may eat the flesh of kings, generals, and mighty men, of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, small and great.”

Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to make war against the rider on the horse and his army. But the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who had performed the miraculous signs on his behalf. With these signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped his image. The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur. The rest of them were killed with the sword that came out of the mouth of the rider on the horse, and all the birds gorged themselves on their flesh.

So let’s see… The cross wasn’t for pantywaists AND violence seems like its an acceptable tool for him to use… Option (C) seems to be the correct answer.

156   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 8th, 2010 at 2:43 am

Or – We could jump ahead another chapter (if you want to take an amillennial or post-millennial view):

Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

Hmmmm… I guess the answer is still (C).

157   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 8th, 2010 at 7:49 am

#151 – A strawman. That has happened throughout the healthcare in America and without any new governmental regulations. I could present some sad guy who died because he did not have health insurance.

Thankfully, our JehovahJireh is not private healthcare of governmental healthcare. I am glad, Chris L., that you did not use some Obama slur, that is spiritual progress!

158   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 8th, 2010 at 7:52 am

Chris L- I don’t believe I was asking you.

Rick – don’t let him suck you into that. He’s only trying to provoke.

159   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 8th, 2010 at 8:49 am

I believe Chris L’s employment genre renders him as “slightly” biased.

What does it say about a society that has enough money for a 4 trillion dollar per-emptive war, hunderds of billions for sports, hundreds of billions for movies, thousands of restaurants in each town, hundreds of billions of fashion, hundereds of billions on pets, and yet will not extend healthcare to all its citizens?

In a word it says “fallen”.

If that is the heart of Jesus then I am a Muslim.

160   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 8th, 2010 at 9:03 am

What does it say about a church that supports and participates in such a society?

Fallen, again.

161   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 8th, 2010 at 10:10 am

What does it say about a society that has enough money for a 4 trillion dollar per-emptive war, hunderds of billions for sports, hundreds of billions for movies, thousands of restaurants in each town, hundreds of billions of fashion, hundereds of billions on pets, and yet will not extend healthcare to all its citizens?

Access to healthcare is already available to all of its citizens, just not to unlimited health insurance.

Nobody’s stopping the church or other private individuals from providing more to those with less, but that is not the function the government was created to provide. Rather, it was created to protect its citizenry from the confiscation of certain rights (speech, religion, assembly, self-defense) and to provide a common defense – to protect an equality of opportunity, not an equality of outcome.

It has no more business providing health insurance than it does free movie tickets, restaurant payments, fashionable clothing or pets, yet if its citizens can afford such things, it is not the job of the government to play Robin Hood by punishing the rich to give handouts to the poor. Rather – just as with Christ and Ancient Israel – each citizen is given the freedom to provide for the poor to the degree they are led, or to selfishly hold on to everything they earn. If benevolence is coerced, it is no longer benevolence.

162   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 8th, 2010 at 10:11 am

Chris L- I don’t believe I was asking you.

My apologies, I thought I was addressing a question on a public messageboard, not one in a private email.

163   Neil    
March 8th, 2010 at 10:21 am

RE 107

Chad,

Sorry for the delay – Sunday and all…

I’ll answer your questions from a pastoral and missiological point of view since it sounds like a good exercise. That said, the scenario are irrelevant to our discussion on how trustworthy and literal to take the OT historical accounts.

How we would apply such things today has no bearing on the historical accuracy of the OT.

164   Neil    
March 8th, 2010 at 10:31 am

RE 107b

Chad,

Instead of modern day application to hypothetical situations (although the first two may not be that hypothetical to some missionaries) let’s take an actual biblical account.

According to the author of Exodus 11 God promises a plague that will kill the first born males of Egypt. In Exodus 12 we see the historical account of the plague. In exodus 14 we see God given direct credit for the drowning of Pharaoh’s army.

The biblical account of this is very clear – the author quotes God and Moses. and the things God does would constitute violence – as we have been defining it.

So – did this happen? And if it did, is the author correct is attributing it to God?

If we say that this was an erroneous account by a human author applying his fallen and sinful attitudes onto God. If we say that the author was mistaken – then why should I trust the same author when he quotes Moses in the great “Shema.”

If the author has just “subscribed to God [the author's] own fallen purposes and desires” (cf Chad in 88) then why should I rust anything he says about God – even his “Oneness”?

165   Neil    
March 8th, 2010 at 10:40 am

Yes, [the OT is] all the word of God. But the word of God comes about in conversation and in community in the midst of people living life. The word of God is also present where 2 or 3 are gathered and wrestling with this sacred story – sometimes Israel gets it right, sometimes they don’t. What is beautiful about it all is that the warts aren’t covered up or expunged. It’s all there for us to see and deal with. – Chad

The word of God comes from God. It was not dropped from heaven, of course, and it did “develop” in a community.

That said, God carried his authors along by the power of the Holy Spirit so that it is 100% accurate – whether it speaks of God’s history with mankind, or the accounts of Jesus. They stand and fall together.

You cannot say that these bits are good – Jesus and love and everything sensible… and these bits are wrong – a God who kills people.

In a sense this is exactly the error of Harnack and other which McKnight accuses Mclaren. They so wanted to hold on to both their modernist sensibilities and the Bible that they were forced into a corner.

And in the end they gave up the embarrassing parts of the Bible as a sacrifice to modernism.

You are not sacrificing the Bible on the altar of modernism, but you are sacrificing it’s trustworthiness on an altar of sensibility. What must this God be like to be sensible.

166   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 8th, 2010 at 10:45 am

#165 – There is no middle ground. Either all, or even some, of the OT narratives are literal and historical or they are all metaphorical. But as I have said before, even if they are metaphors when they depict God as using violence, then they cannot be inspired by thye Spirit.

In that case everyone is welcome to toss in their own opinion and swear it is absolutely true.

167   Neil    
March 8th, 2010 at 10:46 am

As for warts and all – this is true. But also irrelevant. The warts are ours, not God’s.

And if the Bible ascribes something to God that is not true… that he did not do… then how do we even know the resurrection is true?

Maybe it is just four guys subscribing to Jesus their own personal desires and purposes.

168   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
March 8th, 2010 at 10:56 am

The question, at least in my mind, isn’t so much whether or not God can use violence for His purposes – I believe it’s pretty clear in the OT narrative that He did at many times, but rather if He perpetrated the violence. And if He did in the past, will He continue to do so in the future. So it really becomes a discussion of divine immutability.

Does the fact that God used violence in the OT mean that He will use it in the future. Not necessarily. Especially, when you consider that Jesus is the ultimate revelation of God. So, personally, the question of whether or not God used violence in the past isn’t really that relevant to me. As Christians living under the Law of Christ, our standard for behavior is based in an NT ethic that goes above and beyond the OT law.

As far as whether the final judgment will be an act of divine violence, I’d say it depends on how we define violence. I do believe it will awe-inspiring, and it will bring fear to the hearts of some, but I don’t think that it will be God finally exacting His revenge. It’s interesting in that passage from Revelation quoted above that Jesus’ robes are dipped in blood before He even meets any of His enemies. The blood isn’t the blood of His enemies, but rather His own. Also, the sword isn’t in His hand – it’s coming out of His mouth. It’s His word. So this isn’t a typical picture of a warrior overcoming His enemies in the conventional way. He’s overcoming them through His own suffering and through the Word of God.

I guess in the ontological sense, God does have the “right” to use violence, but it seems to me that Jesus took the route of absorbing all the violence on Himself rather than perpetrate on His enemies.

169   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 8th, 2010 at 11:06 am

Phil,

Well said, particularly the entire second half of your above comment.

Neil, I’m sorry you don’t see my question in 107 worth answering.

I tried.

170   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 8th, 2010 at 11:07 am

But Phil,

When you extend the definition of “violence” to include the act of sending souls to eternal damnation/destruction, then in the future Jesus will still be using “violence”… It comes down to operational definitions of “violence”.

171   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 8th, 2010 at 11:10 am

Paul uses the metaphor of a boxer. A violent sport. Rejection of the Old Testament narratives of divine violence is to create your own religion. Even Jesus referred to Sodom and Gomoraha without correcting the OT version.

172   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 8th, 2010 at 11:14 am

Rick – it’s called accommodation

173   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 8th, 2010 at 11:15 am

No, it’s called “goofy”. :cool:

174   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 8th, 2010 at 11:16 am

Well, I was trying to be kind to your thoughts. If you think they are “goofy,” well….

175   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
March 8th, 2010 at 11:22 am

When you extend the definition of “violence” to include the act of sending souls to eternal damnation/destruction, then in the future Jesus will still be using “violence”… It comes down to operational definitions of “violence”.

Well, the way some people describe hell, it does make God out to be a monster. I do agree, though, I think there’s room for a correct view somewhere in the middle. I think what a lot of people react against are the Christians who have the idea that in some sense humans can enact God’s judgment on His enemies. I’d like to say that these people don’t exist and just strawmen, but unfortunately, I’ve met far too many of them in real life.

176   Neil    
March 8th, 2010 at 11:31 am

Re 108:

Phil,

Have you read Slaves, Women & Homosexuals – Exploring the Hermeneutics of Cultural Analysis by William Webb?

177   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
March 8th, 2010 at 11:36 am

Have you read Slaves, Women & Homosexuals – Exploring the Hermeneutics of Cultural Analysis by William Webb?

No, I haven’t.

178   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 8th, 2010 at 11:43 am

Phil,

A couple thoughts…

First, if by “violence” we only mean that God sends his “enemies” to an eternal place of torment in the end, then yes, God is not “violent.”

However, those who make the move that God does not send people to hell but people send themselves, OR, that hell is not an eternal place of horrible torment and suffering, are already leaving the “plain reading” of Scripture that I am accused of doing. Wouldn’t you agree?

For those who make hell little more than a place that is seperate from God I would agree that this is not “violent” on God’s part. However, it would appear to be a change of course from the way Jesus Chrsit himself lived. Jesus did not exclude but included. He would even forgive people who didn’t even ask for it. So the image of him, in the end, changing so drastically doesn’t seem to fit either.

179   Neil    
March 8th, 2010 at 11:48 am

The OT faithfully records the story of Israel trying to follow YHWH. Sometimes they got it right, sometimes wrong. In Jesus we see with far more clarity what before was only hinted upon. – Chad

And by extension, this throws the whole NT into play as well. If… if we say declarative statements about God in the OT may be wrong (based on the erroneous thoughts of OT Jews ascribing things to God that were wrong/false/their own sinful thoughts) then what’s to say the record about Jesus is correct?

You are saying the NT is correct and we must use it to deem what is erroneous about the OT… that the OT has statements that are incorrect… the Muslim would say exactly the same thing – just add a layer.

The Muslim would say that the Jews of the First Century projected their false theology onto Jesus. And the Quaran is just God correcting their mistakes.

I don’t mean to be inflammatory by comparing your thoughts to Muslims… or set up a logical fallacy. But they do say the exact same thing as you… so do the Mormons for that matter.

Where does it stop? How can we have any trust in any scripture if all we need do is claim new revelation that reveals the errors of the authors of the old?

180   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 8th, 2010 at 11:52 am

then what’s to say the record about Jesus is correct?

Well, one thing (and an important thing) is we are talking about different genres and totally different eras in history. Progressively, over time, the way history gets narrated changes. Surely you don’t dispute that, do you?

But even more importantly, I would answer with this: Faith.

To quote one of my favorite hymns,
You ask me how I know he lives…He lives within my heart.

181   Neil    
March 8th, 2010 at 11:52 am

Phil,

You should then… it’s an interesting book, if not really difficult to plow through. I am in the midst of it.

His premise is that the Scriptures ar not so much a final product as they are God bringing people along… moving them from one point to the next… then the next…

His point is that we are then free to envision the end goal and move even farther if possible.

I know not of the “accommodation” you speak of – but it sound like this could be a way of negatively describing Webb’s hermeneutic – that God accommodated his word to the culture of the people.

182   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
March 8th, 2010 at 11:59 am

However, those who make the move that God does not send people to hell but people send themselves, OR, that hell is not an eternal place of horrible torment and suffering, are already leaving the “plain reading” of Scripture that I am accused of doing. Wouldn’t you agree?

I don’t really agree with that, no. The idea that people send themselves to Hell is something that I think that a person reading the Scripture themselves could come up with. If you look at a passage like Matthew 7:21-23:

21″Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ 23Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

It seems to me that a “plain reading” of that passage places the responsibility to choose at the feet of those being sent away. To call Jesus “Lord” means you have to willfully submit to Him as Lord.

Jesus did not exclude but included. He would even forgive people who didn’t even ask for it. So the image of him, in the end, changing so drastically doesn’t seem to fit either.

Well, Jesus said the Kingdom was open for whoever wanted to be in, i.e., He didn’t reject anyone who genuinely wanted to follow Him. But, He also didn’t force anyone to follow Him, and He made it clear that were ethical expectations for those that wanted to follow Him.

183   Neil    
March 8th, 2010 at 12:00 pm

Those who wish to use Jesus’ prophetic sign act of overturning tables to justify their own use of violence are free to do so, so long as you don’t do anything more than flip over a table.

Chad,

This is not the point. You cannot argue against something being an historical event based on the fact that people have applied it erroneously. That is pretty much what you did in 140 as well.

Either it happened or it did not.
Either God killed a bunch of Egyptians or he did not.

And if the Bible says he did. But he did not. Then let’s chuck the whole thing, eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we die!

184   Neil    
March 8th, 2010 at 12:04 pm

I think the “just war” discussion is different than the “Does God ever use violence” discussion. Rick

As well, there is a difference between the discussion that God used violence and whether or not he is a violent God.

185   Neil    
March 8th, 2010 at 12:11 pm

Neil, I’m sorry you don’t see my question in 107 worth answering.

I tried.

i will answer them, but they are not the issue at had. How people may have mistakenly applied the scriptures is not the question. The question is whether or not the OT historical record is accurate. Please see comment 164 for more relevant scenarios.

186   Neil    
March 8th, 2010 at 12:12 pm

The question, at least in my mind, isn’t so much whether or not God can use violence for His purposes – I believe it’s pretty clear in the OT narrative that He did at many times…

it may be clear to you and I… but chad says these accounts are just erroneous – the event may have happened – but ascribing them to God is error.

187   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
March 8th, 2010 at 12:13 pm

Btw, I have to say, I don’t really see the overturning of the table in the temple courts as an act of violence, at least not in the sense of violence against people. It was more an act of violence against furniture, I guess… :-)

It was a prophetic act indicating the future judgment coming against the temple.

188   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 8th, 2010 at 12:14 pm

#184 – Excellent point.

And upon a set day Herod, arrayed in royal apparel, sat upon his throne, and made an oration unto them. And the people gave a shout, saying, It is the voice of a god, and not of a man.

And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost.

* The former paragraphs were written by the Brothers Grimm.

189   Neil    
March 8th, 2010 at 12:18 pm

Re 188:

I think it was written by Luke… but, if Chad be right, then Luke was only ascribing to God his own sinful purposes. Again, calling into question everything else Luke ascribed to God – like… say… resurrecting the Son from the dead.

190   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 8th, 2010 at 12:20 pm

Neil,
I don’t recall how you interpret Gen. 1-3, but I know many here are like myself and even though the OT attributes to God a particular way of creating (in 7 days) I do not believe it happened that way. Yet I (and Chris L and others) still believe it to be the word of God.

In a similar way, violence is attributed to God. I don’t believe this to be entirely factual, yet I still believe it to be the word of God.

191   Neil    
March 8th, 2010 at 12:22 pm

Chad,

I find your comment 180 fascinating. You say that we should trust the NT accounts because of progress – over time, the way history gets narrated changes.

Yet as Rick pointed out – God seems prone to violence and vengeful even according to Luke.

Again, the Muslim, the Mormon, the 19th Century German theologian, the Jesus seminar – they all say the same as you. they just fix a different point in time as the new, the progressively better.

and as you, they all believe it on faith.

192   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
March 8th, 2010 at 12:25 pm

In a similar way, violence is attributed to God. I don’t believe this to be entirely factual, yet I still believe it to be the word of God.

I have to agree with Neil on this. I don’t see that deferring to higher criticism really gets us anywhere. What is the standard to decide what is factual and what isn’t?

The example of the creation account is a bit different. The author’s intent wasn’t to provide a historical narrative detailing the facts of the event, but rather it was to present a poetic account of the motivations and heart behind creation. It’s an entirely different genre than a book like 1 & 2 Chronicles or 1 & 2 Kings.

193   Neil    
March 8th, 2010 at 12:26 pm

In a similar way, violence is attributed to God. I don’t believe this to be entirely factual, yet I still believe it to be the word of God.

While i am willing to live with mystical paradoxes about God. I am not willing to ascribe to him historical inaccuracies.

Those who hold to a non-literal interpretation of Genesis 1-3 do it on grounds of genre.

But when the Bible records an historcal event and ascribes it to God we have two choiced – believe it is tru and accurate or deny it as false.

And if we deny the historical accuracy of the Exodus, we put into play the historical accuracy of the resurrection.

If Luke is wrong about Herod, why trust him about Jesus?

194   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 8th, 2010 at 12:27 pm

The example of the creation account is a bit different. The author’s intent wasn’t to provide a historical narrative detailing the facts of the event, but rather it was to present a poetic account of the motivations and heart behind creation.

Really? How do you know that? Where is this stated in Scripture? Even Paul alludes to the creation narrative (so does Jesus) and doesn’t correct its veracity.

So I can ask your question to me right back at you:

What is the standard to decide what is factual and what isn’t?

195   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 8th, 2010 at 12:30 pm

However, it would appear to be a change of course from the way Jesus Chrsit himself lived. Jesus did not exclude but included. He would even forgive people who didn’t even ask for it. So the image of him, in the end, changing so drastically doesn’t seem to fit either.

Not accurate at all.

Example 1:

“But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut.

“Later the others also came. ‘Sir! Sir!’ they said. ‘Open the door for us!’

“But he replied, ‘I tell you the truth, I don’t know you.’

“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.

Example 2:

“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. [...]

“Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

Example 3:

He answered, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.

“As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.

SO:

Exclusion and selective Inclusion are completely within his character. Again, though, the authority to do so only rests with him – it is not passed on to us, and in fact (per the wheat/tares example) it is not up to us to do the separation of wheat from the tares.

196   Neil    
March 8th, 2010 at 12:31 pm

Chad,

You are right and that is why there is an argument over whether or not Genesis 1-3 is poetical or historical. But Exodus and Acts are not in play in this discussion.

If Luke is wrong about God killing Herod, why trust him about Jesus being resurrected?

197   Neil    
March 8th, 2010 at 12:34 pm

The example John H gave of the boy spanking his sister is spot on.

Just because does something does not give us free reign to do the same.

Just because some use God’s use of violence as license does not mean God does not use violence.

198   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 8th, 2010 at 12:35 pm

Genesis 1 – 3 do not in ant way suggest a literal 24 hour creation day, although that MAY be true. (I do not believe that.) But to use that as an example is a strawman and not a congruent illustration of something specific that was just allegorical.

In order for you to suggest that God never used violence is to dismiss an incredible amount of Scripture and render them metaphorical while retaining other specifics like the resurrection as literal.

At least Marcus Borg is consistent because he suggests the resurrection is allegorical as well.

199   Neil    
March 8th, 2010 at 12:38 pm

Chad,

Do you believe the historical account of God killing the first-borns in Egypt, of his drowning the army’s of Pharaoh, of his striking down Herod are accurate historical depictions of the acts of God.

Did he do these things, or are they the false projections of sinful people?

Are these historical records right… in these cases did God use use violence, or is the historical record wrong?

200   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
March 8th, 2010 at 12:38 pm

Really? How do you know that? Where is this stated in Scripture? Even Paul alludes to the creation narrative (so does Jesus) and doesn’t correct its veracity.

So I can ask your question to me right back at you:

Is what stated in Scripture? Well there’s nowhere in Scripture that explicitly stated what genre of literature the different books are, but we can certainly decide that through study.

As far as what Jesus and Paul believed about Creation, I’d say they probably did accept much of it as factual. They probably accepted the idea that the earth was flat as well. Those things don’t inherently affect anything they say, though. Even when Paul is discussing Adam, one’s view of Genesis doesn’t change the thrust of his argument.

I do actually agree with you, Chad, in the fact that I do think that it’s more helpful to look at Scripture as the ongoing narrative of God’s interaction with His people. However, I also think that being a Christian means that we are submitting ourselves to that narrative. So I have a hard time understanding how we can submit ourselves to something when we aren’t willing to accept that the authors of Scripture were basically correct. If they said God did something, than I guess I’m willing to believe that He did it. Now, I will grant that there can be valid discussion about what that means, and the mechanism behind it.

201   Neil    
March 8th, 2010 at 12:41 pm

In order for you to suggest that God never used violence is to dismiss an incredible amount of Scripture and render them metaphorical while retaining other specifics like the resurrection as literal.

Rick,

Chad does not render them metaphorical. He says that the authors were wrong to ascribe such things to God. They were projecting their own sinful desires onto God.

That said, you conclusion about the resurrection is correct.

202   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 8th, 2010 at 12:44 pm

To be clear about my position: I believe the Scriptures about God exercising violence at times; however, I do not believe God is usuing violence during this gospel age and I do not believe we should.

The Scriptures clearly indicate some divine violence in the future, however we should not revel in that or project God in that light.

203   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 8th, 2010 at 12:46 pm

I know many here are like myself and even though the OT attributes to God a particular way of creating (in 7 days) I do not believe it happened that way. Yet I (and Chris L and others) still believe it to be the word of God.

In a similar way, violence is attributed to God. I don’t believe this to be entirely factual, yet I still believe it to be the word of God.

AND

What is the standard to decide what is factual and what isn’t?

Whether something is “factual” is not an issue. I would say that Gen 1-3 is factual, even if Gen 1-3 is not a scientific explanation.

Perhaps the intent of your question is “what is the standard to decide if something is scientific information, what is historical information, and what is allegorical information?”

In that case, I would say that a consistent hermeutical approach is important in answering that question. In the case of Genesis 1-3, as Phil & Neil note, it is an issue of genre that might lead some Christians to choose allegorical/symbological truth over historical truth as a lens of interpretation. There are a number of textual clues to this in addition the historical ones.

In many/most cases of commands that involve “violence” (including capital punishment, whole destruction of cities, punishment for not killing Agag, etc., etc.) there is no hermeneutical suggestion that would lead to the choice of allegory over history.

204   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 8th, 2010 at 12:50 pm

Phil – You note Chronicles and Kings as examples of history over and against, say, Genesis. Here are just a few things Peter Enns points out about the diversity in those books:

1. Chronicles greatly diminishes the sins of David. They do not mention the sin of David with Bathsheba – rather, David and Solomon are both portrayed as glorified figures, models of ideal kingship.

2. Chronicles emphasizes the unity of God’s people. The transition of power from David to Solomon is smooth and receives enthusiastic support from ALL people. There is nothing about the power struggles recorded in 1 Kings 1-2.

3. Chronicles strongly emphasizes the temple and Solomon’s role in building it – it wants to emphasize the central importance of proper worship and the king’s role in bringing this about, which is precisely what the preexilic kings of Samuel – Kings did not do.

4. Chronicles emphasizes a theology of “immediate retribution” much more than Samuel – Kings.

And these are just examples of theological diversity – there is also diversity in law, sacrifice, passover and even the 10 commandments (the differences in Exodus and Deut).

Or, what about how Scripture, the word of God, says,

Among the gods there is none like you, O Lord (Psm 86:8)

or

The Lord is the great God, the great King above all gods (95:3)

and see, 96:4, 97:9, 135:5 and 136:2

So while there is scripture that makes the claim that YHWH is the only God and none other exist there are also those that boast that YHWH is the greatest among a pantheon of gods.

Obviously the OT is full of diversity. If you want to argue it is “God’s Word” and define this as having to be in some way exact and factual ONE thing if it is to be factual about ALL things, than you have big problems.

205   Neil    
March 8th, 2010 at 12:50 pm

Re 107

Question 1:

1- I want to marry several women. The OT is my example and God never condemns it there. Tell me why I shouldn’t. – Chad

(pastoral answer) I would recommend against it. For starters it is illegal and although you subscribe to the OT as your example, you should also subscribe to the NT as well. In the NT it is clear that we are to live according to the laws of the land as long as they do not contradict the laws of God. God no where commands we have multiple wives… so I suggest we do not.

(missiological answer) I would recommend against it. Although you subscribe to the OT as your example, you should also subscribe to the NT as well. Although it is your legal right to take more than one wife, it seems clear from both testaments that this is not how God set us up to live.

To be sure, there are lots of examples in the OT in which men took things into their own hands and did not follow God’s pattern; sometimes this worked out, lots of times it did not.

I recommend learning from the many times this did not work out… I recommend ascribing to the pattern God set forth at creation and reinforced throughout the OT and the NT. I recommend but one wife.

206   Neil    
March 8th, 2010 at 1:01 pm

RE 107

Question 2

2 – I want to own some slaves. The OT is my example (and the NT) and it’s never condemned. Why shouldn’t I own slaves?- Chad

(pastoral answer) I would recommend against it. For starters it is illegal. In the NT it is clear that we are to live according to the laws of the land as long as they do not contradict the laws of God. God no where commands we have slaves… so I suggest we do not.

(missiological answer) I would recommend against it. You are correct God does not prohibit the ownership of slaves. yet, it does seem inconsistent with the fact that all are created in the image of God. That said, if you do choose own slaves you must treat them in accordance with the Scriptures. Yet, I recommend against is all together.

207   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
March 8th, 2010 at 1:08 pm

Obviously the OT is full of diversity. If you want to argue it is “God’s Word” and define this as having to be in some way exact and factual ONE thing if it is to be factual about ALL things, than you have big problems.

Well, the word “factual” was probably not the best choice. Perhaps, the word “truthful”would be better. In all those instances you point to, you can’t really point to one and say that what he wrote wasn’t true. It’s much like what would happen if you asked a bunch of eyewitnesses about an event today. Each one would describe it differently, leave out some details, add some details, etc. If there were some people who were obviously out in left field compared to the rest, than you would know not to trust them. There’s no book in the Bible that you can point as being out in left field. Also, regarding the different descriptions of the events, the solution isn’t to just throw are hands up and say that nothing happened or that the descriptions were totally wrong.

208   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 8th, 2010 at 1:11 pm

If the Scriptures gace some advice as to how to treat your numerous wives as equals because your culture permits such, that doesn’t necessarily mean God approves or that the Spirit will not lead believers out of that lifestyle later.

That statement must give all of us some thought concerning gays, doesn’t it?

209   Neil    
March 8th, 2010 at 1:11 pm

Re 107;

Question 3

3 – (pretend I am president and you are my spiritual advisor) – Neil, I had a dream last night that God wants me to attack country X because they are infidels and refuse to honor the living God. We shall strike tomorrow. Is that OK with you? – Chad

Mr President, while I tread lightly I suggest you are in error in your interpretation of this dream. Whether it was from God or not is another matter. While it is true that God commanded the armies if Israel to destroy pagans, this does not appear to be his way of dealing with nations since. I can think of no examples, after the occupation of the land by the Israelites, in which he commanded one nation to attack another for this reason. Furthermore, historically we see God only employing such measures through Israel, and even then at very limited times.

Just as God no longer limits the label “Chosen People” to ethnic Hebrews… just as God no longer deals with mankind through one nation… just as God has changed and expanded what it means to live in his Kingdom… so I suggest that he has not commanded you to attack the so-called infidels.

[I do not think this scenario has a corresponding missiological answer]

210   Neil    
March 8th, 2010 at 1:13 pm

Chad,

OK, there are my answers – as you can see they are not relevant to the discussion at hand. Now, will you please answer me this:

Do you believe the historical account of God killing the first-borns in Egypt, of his drowning the army’s of Pharaoh, of his striking down Herod are accurate historical depictions of the acts of God.

Did he do these things, or are they the false projections of sinful people?

Are these historical records right… in these cases did God use violence, or is the historical record wrong?

211   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 8th, 2010 at 1:14 pm

Could a slave owner get saved and keep his slaves even though God is against it? Can a gay person get saved and still practice the gay lifestyle even though God is against it? Can a man who has piled up loads of money get saved and keep his money piled up for himself even though God is against it?

The answer to all of the above is yes.

212   Neil    
March 8th, 2010 at 1:15 pm

Obviously the OT is full of diversity. If you want to argue it is “God’s Word” and define this as having to be in some way exact and factual ONE thing if it is to be factual about ALL things, than you have big problems.

I can live with it being factual. If it is not we have even BIGGER problems. Or none at all, we just eat, drink and be merry – for tomorrow we die!

213   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 8th, 2010 at 1:16 pm

“Neil, I had a dream last night that God wants me to attack country X because they are infidels and refuse to honor the living God. We shall strike tomorrow. Is that OK with you?”

No, but I have no say in the matter. Let me tell you about Jesus, Mr. President.

214   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 8th, 2010 at 1:22 pm

Neil,

re: 205. What if I responded…

I’m sorry, pastor, but you mistakingly assumed I am American. In my country there are not such laws forbidding me to have more than one wife so long as I can treat them each equally.

So, in learning from the mistakes of those in the OT, perhaps I will not take as many as Solomon? While it is true that God no where commands we have multiple wives, nor does God command that I have one wife. And while not commanding either, God does not forbid polygamy anywhere in the OT – God only warns against kings have “too many” (along with horses).

So if I have half the wives Solomon had, will this be OK?

I have heard you say, pastor, that the OT is every much inspired and God’s Word as the NT, so why would God allow men to marry so many wives in the OT if that is not pleasing to God?

215   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 8th, 2010 at 1:29 pm

re: 206.

Again, pastor, in my country it is not illegal to own slaves (sidenote: I find this answer of yours terrible weak and lacking any grit – as if to say should our laws change and slavery be “legal” the church would have no real response but to say, “I recommend against it.” Really? All you can do based on what you know of the Gospel is that you recommend against it?)

True, all are created in the image of God. This was true in the OT, NT and today. Yet God did not mind slave ownership. Based on your answer, pastor, and given that it is legal in my country, I think I will buy some slaves.

(I’m surprised, again, that your response has nothign to say of Jesus or even sin, for that matter. Neil, do you believe the institution of slavery in all its forms is sinful and a product of fallen humanity? Why not just say that?)

216   Neil    
March 8th, 2010 at 1:30 pm

I’m sorry, pastor, but you mistakingly assumed I am American. In my country there are not such laws forbidding me to have more than one wife so long as I can treat them each equally.

See missiological answer.

I have heard you say, pastor, that the OT is every much inspired and God’s Word as the NT, so why would God allow men to marry so many wives in the OT if that is not pleasing to God?

God allows people all to do all sorts of things that he finds unpleasing.

What’s the point in this exercise?

217   Neil    
March 8th, 2010 at 1:33 pm

Chad,

I gave you my answers. We could go back and forth on the oughtness of polygamy, the sinfuness of slavery, blah blah blah.

These questions are fascinating from a missiological pov – but absolutley irrelevant to the issue of the historical accuracy and trustworthiness of the scriptures.

I ask again.

Do you believe the historical account of God killing the first-borns in Egypt, of his drowning the army’s of Pharaoh, of his striking down Herod are accurate historical depictions of the acts of God.

Did he do these things, or are they the false projections of sinful people?

Are these historical records right… in these cases did God use violence, or is the historical record wrong?

218   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 8th, 2010 at 1:36 pm

Slaves and polygamy? God doesn’t specifically forbid men from wearing lipstick but as a pastor I advise against it.

219   Neil    
March 8th, 2010 at 1:40 pm

Slaves and polygamy? God doesn’t specifically forbid men from wearing lipstick but as a pastor I advise against it.

unless it’s Goth Friday and the lipstick is black.

220   John Hughes    
March 8th, 2010 at 1:58 pm

Chad: Do you think the Jesus portrayed in Revelation is a factual picture of a Jesus who decides the way of the cross was, in hindsight, for “pantywaists” and in the end, ultimately resorts to violence to bring about God’s new creation?

Why didn’t he just do that in the 1st century?

I will let St. Peter answer that question:

2 Peter 3:7-9 – 7But by His word (R)the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.

Also, you might as well ask why God even created man knowing we would fall.

221   Neil    
March 8th, 2010 at 2:37 pm

The problem with siting the Jesus of Revelation is how to take the book – literally, figuratively, past, presnt, future…

If we stick to the original question (Does God ever use violence as an end to his means?) the historical passages (such I and others have sited from Exodus and Acts) are a better “battleground.”

222   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 8th, 2010 at 2:54 pm

It is quite a curiosity when men attempt to be more compassionate than God, which suggests that any characterization of God other than theirs is portraying God as less compassionate as He should be.

We are limited to revelation from God Himself, and all our speculations and utopian caricatures must bow to what God syas about Himself.

223   Paul C    http://www.thepath.cc
March 8th, 2010 at 3:06 pm

Honestly, this absolutely fascinating. Are we actually trying to prove God used and uses violence and someone is debating against this?

If you look beneath the surface though, the actual argument being made is challenging the validity of the Bible. If someone, especially a pastor, doubts its validity, then you’re up the creek trying to use scripture to make a point.

224   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 8th, 2010 at 3:17 pm

re: 209,

Well, with all due respect, pastor, I know what I dreamed and I know my Bible. My dream is perfectly consistent with the OT, which you yourself taught me is every much inspired and the Word of God as anything else. If God waged war against infidels then why should he not use me to do the same now? Perhaps God is tired of their sin, finally, and it is time to clear the land of them.

just as God has changed and expanded what it means to live in his Kingdom

Pastor, are you saying God changes? Are you suggesting that God has evolved over time? Do you mean to tell me that God used to use violence to achieve his goals but does not anymore? How do you know this?

225   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 8th, 2010 at 3:29 pm

Neil,

You answered each of those questions in ways I would not (completely so).

Can you explain to me why Jesus or sin does not enter into anything you offer as an answer? Reading over your responses again it dawns on me that you could say all that even without the incarnation, death or resurrection of Christ. That’s problematic for me.

226   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 8th, 2010 at 3:32 pm

God does change in His approach. (Hebrews 1:1, law now grace, spoken communication now written communication, Israel now the church)

227   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 8th, 2010 at 3:33 pm

Earthly high priest now heavenly high priest, animal sacrifice now no more sacrifice, etc..

228   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 8th, 2010 at 3:34 pm

God does change in His approach.

Some would call this progressive revelation :)

Thanks, Rick.

229   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 8th, 2010 at 3:39 pm

So Rick, lets assume God accommodates to our culture and changes his approach with us as we are able to comprehend God.

Would you say God allowed violence to be used in a confined way at one time in history but that this was never intended to describe who God is and how God acts definitively? Rather, Jesus was supremely necessary to, amongst other things, reveal to us the full image of God at such a time we could perceive it (in the fullness of time, God sent his Son) demonstrating to us that this is who God is – not that (that which preceded Christ).

I would think this would still render the answer to the question “Is God Violent?” as “no.”

230   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 8th, 2010 at 3:41 pm

On another note, being open thread:

Glen Beck, the fool

231   Jerry    http://www.dongoldfish.wordpress.com
March 8th, 2010 at 3:51 pm

Chad,

Beck is becoming more and more of a rambling idiot every time he opens his mouth. He is so profoundly negative and depressing and full of bad news that it is really not even funny.

That article shows a pic of him holding a swastika and a hammer/sickle pic and him saying something about naziism and communism being about the same thing. And yet, from all I have read about Hitler, he hated communists and persecuted them as hardily as he did anyone.

Whatever. I have no use for his ‘commentary’ which is just unhinged from reality.

jerry

232   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 8th, 2010 at 3:54 pm

Jerry,

What I find even worse is his exhortations for people to leave their churches if they teach or preach “social justice” (gasp! Beck never read Jesus or the prophets, obviously). I can dismiss Beck as an idiot but sadly many Christians watch that crap and believe it like its gospel and may just take his advice.

In a way I hope they do and pastors and church leaders everywhere will confront this fear-based stupidity.

233   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 8th, 2010 at 3:54 pm

Beck is just the magnification of talk show politics in general. The sad thing is that there is no redeeming, kingdom essence in any of it. People from Bell to McArthur are rapidly seeing it in that light.

It is so obvious.

234   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 8th, 2010 at 3:56 pm

oh, and Jerry,

it’s nice to see we can agree on something political in nature for once :)

235   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 8th, 2010 at 4:01 pm

Chad: Can you explain to me why Jesus or sin does not enter into anything you offer as an answer? Reading over your responses again it dawns on me that you could say all that even without the incarnation, death or resurrection of Christ. That’s problematic for me.

Ingrid: How can you even listen to that song? It didn’t have the word Jesus in it, even once?

Different argument, same tune. Just pick the next illogical argument from the bin until one (hopefully) sticks.

236   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 8th, 2010 at 4:02 pm

#235 – doesn’t negate anything I said. Just more of the same from you.

(and again, I wasn’t asking you).

237   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 8th, 2010 at 4:05 pm

But Chad – Many Scriptures seem problematic to you.

238   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 8th, 2010 at 4:08 pm

Rick,
Not at all.

Neil,

To clarify my last question to you, I am curious why you refrain from simply naming polygamy, slavery and violence as sin (missing the mark of God’s shalom) nor make any mention of what we know of God through Jesus Christ (which is how I would answer the same questions)

Rather, you make appeals to the law of the land (which is forever in flux) and then make nothing but mere “recommendations.”

239   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
March 8th, 2010 at 4:09 pm

Pastor, are you saying God changes? Are you suggesting that God has evolved over time? Do you mean to tell me that God used to use violence to achieve his goals but does not anymore? How do you know this?

That’s actually why I said further up in this thread that this discussion comes down to more a discussion of divine immutability and how it’s expressed. It seems to me that looking at any of the OT passages as a description of how God really is is problematic. They can tell us part of the story, but it isn’t the whole story. It’s like reading on the first two acts of a five act play, to steal a metaphor from N.T. Wright.

240   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 8th, 2010 at 4:13 pm

Phil,

I agree.

And if St. Paul admitted that even now we see through a glass dimly (and this even with the revelation in Jesus Christ) how much more so is this the case prior to Christ?

Contrary to the rosy pictures Chris L paints of Israel there was a poignant need for the incarnation. We were mucking up the image of God in the way we were reflecting it. Jesus offers a stark corrective to that.

You have heard it said…but I say to you…

241   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 8th, 2010 at 4:21 pm

Rick says: But Chad – Many Scriptures seem problematic to you.

Chad says: Not at all.
____________________

I hold up a green piece of paper and ask someone, “What color is this?”

They say, “Orange”.

I say, “How can you say this paper is orange?”

They say,”I didn’t”.

The Twilight Zone has arrived.

242   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 8th, 2010 at 4:23 pm

Rick,

Just because you say many texts are problematic to me does not make it so.

You may have a problem with how I read Scripture and interpret certain texts but that is your problem, not mine.

243   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 8th, 2010 at 4:27 pm

I have a difficult time discussing with a moving and mercurial target. The best I can do is point out that targets continuing mobility, or, slipperiness.

244   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 8th, 2010 at 4:31 pm

I have a difficult time discussing with a moving and mercurial target

Than how on earth do you engage Scripture? :) Or any human being?

Life is messy, Rick. It’s one of the reasons why faith is not a solitary activity but done in community, those alive and those who have gone before us.

245   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 8th, 2010 at 4:32 pm

Jesus: No one knows where the Spirit blows, or from where it came…

Rick: I have a difficult time discussing with a moving and mercurial target…

246   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 8th, 2010 at 4:34 pm

Are you familiar with the term “wresting Scripture”?

Never mind…

247   Neil    
March 8th, 2010 at 4:46 pm

Neil,

You answered each of those questions in ways I would not (completely so).

Can you explain to me why…

No. I will not!Everything I believe is based on the incarnation and resurrection and I find your response questions that to be highly offense.
I will pursue them no further. They are absolutely and utter tangential to the discussion. They were not intended to be the final answer. They were not intended to be everything I had to to say on the matter.

Everything I believe is based on the incarnation and resurrection and I find your response questions that to be highly offense.

I answered your

248   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 8th, 2010 at 4:50 pm

Chill out, Neil.

My questions in response are quite natural and I would think you would even expect them.

If you have nothing to say in response to my questions, so be it.

“Discussion” with you tends to be something that happens up until the point someone asks a question you don’t like, or can’t or won’t answer.

249   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 8th, 2010 at 4:51 pm

Everything I believe is based on the incarnation and resurrection

FTR, I don’t doubt that for a second.
Which is why I found it odd that your responses had nothing to do with that.

But oh well.

250   Neil    
March 8th, 2010 at 4:51 pm

Neil,

You answered each of those questions in ways I would not (completely so).

Can you explain to me why…

No. I will not!

Everything I believe is based on the incarnation and resurrection (as well as the absolute accuracy of the Bible) and I find your response to be highly condescending, petty, and maddening.

I will pursue them no further.

They are absolutely and utter tangential to the discussion.

They were not intended to be the final answer. They were not intended to be everything I had to to say on those matters.

I ask yet again.

Do you believe the historical account of God killing the first-borns in Egypt, of his drowning the army’s of Pharaoh, of his striking down Herod are accurate historical depictions of the acts of God.

Did he do these things, or are they the false projections of sinful people?

Are these historical records right… in these cases did God use violence, or is the historical record wrong?

251   John Hughes    
March 8th, 2010 at 4:54 pm

Chad for Pete’s sake. God had a specific reason for ordering the wholesale destruction of all the heathen nations in the Promised Land i.e., (1) He was establishing Israel in the land promised them and 2, He was using Israel as His sword for punishment and irradication of these sinful nations. This was for a specific timespan in Biblical history. (and it is interesting to note that Israel did not follow all God’s instructions in this regard which caused them many problems later).

The answer to question is God ONLY used national Israel in this regard and ONLY gave these commands through Moses (and confirmed them through Joshua and the Judges which were just carrying out the original commands given to Moses) and they were given for a specific and limited mission (i.e., establishment of the Promised Land for Israel).

therefore there is no Biblical precedent for any subsequent ruler to say God has instructed him to do similarly. Also. we are now in the Dispensation of Grace and God does not operate in this manner during this present dispensation (gasp! the “D” word).

252   Neil    
March 8th, 2010 at 4:54 pm

FTR, I don’t doubt that for a second.
Which is why I found it odd that your responses had nothing to do with that.

But oh well.

I appreciate that Chad.

253   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 8th, 2010 at 4:55 pm

I do not believe God would honor the violent act of crucifixion by suggesting that act of violence leads to eternal life. God will not use violence in any form. :cool:

(That is why I do not believe the gospel narratives are literal.)

254   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 8th, 2010 at 5:02 pm

I do not believe God would honor the violent act of crucifixion by suggesting that act of violence leads to eternal life. God will not use violence in any form.

Rick, I’m sorry, but this makes no sense. If anything, the cross is proof that God is not one who employs violence for his ends. Resurrection is a denunciation of an act of violence committed by fallen humanity. By raising Jesus to life God said “NO!” to this way of being in the world and said “YES!” to a new way – the kingdom way.

255   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 8th, 2010 at 5:06 pm

Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.

Are you familiar with wresting Scripture?

256   Neil    
March 8th, 2010 at 5:10 pm

Chill out, Neil.

Fine.
You set up three hypothetical tangential scenarios.
I answered them all and ask ONE question in response.
You ask follow questions within the scenarios.
I responded to one and ask my single question again.
You ask several more questions within your hypothetical scenarios and started editorializing on how weak and disappointing my response was.
You demand (”can you explain…” “Why not say…”) answers in depth to tangential hypothetical that are irrelevant to the one question we are discussing.

Then, when I start to push back and insist we stick to the subject you get even more condescending with
If you have nothing to say in response to my questions, so be it.

“Discussion” with you tends to be something that happens up until the point someone asks a question you don’t like, or can’t or won’t answer.

This is not true and you damn well know it! I stop answering questions when they are irrelevant and/or when my return question are ignored. And you known that to be fact!.

Show me otherwise!

I do not give a rats ass what you think about slavery. I do not give a rats ass what you think about polygamy.

I want to know what you think about the accounts in the historical record of the Bible regarding the final plague over Egypt, the destruction of Pharaoh’s army and the death of Herod. Did God do these things?

Up until now I have resisted saying that you probably deny these things. I wanted you to speak for yourself.

I could have said “discussion” with you tends to be something that happens up until the point someone asks a question you don’t like, or can’t or won’t answer. And then you start with the diversionay hypotheticals.
I could have said you won’t answer my question because you faith or logic or trust is faulty.

BUT I DID NOT!

And then you have the nerve to pull this on me.

You are damned right I am mad.

I will chill. I will chill when you answer my simple single question and we get back to the original topic and off these interesting but tangential issues… or when some time has passed.

I leave it up to you.

257   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 8th, 2010 at 5:10 pm

Do you believe the historical account of God killing the first-borns in Egypt, of his drowning the army’s of Pharaoh, of his striking down Herod are accurate historical depictions of the acts of God.

Neil (if you are still talking to me),

Maybe.

It’s important, first and foremost, to remember that these stories are not told for the purpose of defining God’s character as a violent or war-like God. They are told to tell the story of a God who delivers captives from bondage. How, specifically, this happens could be more or less as the so-called historical record shows. But it need not be to be true (My faith would not be shaken in the least if it is determined beyond any doubt today that the plagues did not happen as described in Exodus).

Even if God acted as such in that period (accommodating) than we can be sure of one thing: Jesus Christ sets the record straight. Perhaps in a tribal culture where land had to be marked out God did what had to be done then. But this does not define who God is over and against the revelation we have in Jesus – who is not violent and refuses violence as a means to an end.

258   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 8th, 2010 at 5:13 pm

wow, Neil. You’re a mess, dude

259   Neil    
March 8th, 2010 at 5:15 pm

Even if God acted as such in that period (accommodating) than we can be sure of one thing: Jesus Christ sets the record straight. Perhaps in a tribal culture where land had to be marked out God did what had to be done then. But this does not define who God is over and against the revelation we have in Jesus – who is not violent and refuses violence as a means to an end.

This is a point separate from the original. It is also a point I would tend to agree upon. I think it would be interesting to pursue it. Yet, I am fearful and tired.

260   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 8th, 2010 at 5:17 pm

#259 – Again, the target moves.

261   Neil    
March 8th, 2010 at 5:17 pm

wow, Neil. You’re a mess, dude

I can think of no response that would be more condescending and less compassionate.

262   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 8th, 2010 at 5:20 pm

I was posting my answer in 258 while you were typing your tirade above, Neil.

Truth is, you do tend to get offended very easily and you stop answering questions whenever they become “sticky.” You brush stuff off as irrelevant quite often, and it always seems to be when I ask questions about applying what you believe to real life.

I don’t know why it always goes this way but it does with you.

Every scenario I asked about has direct roots to the OT through the NT and require one to imagine how something that was OK in the Bible can be seen as sinful today. My questions are an attempt to see how you marry the two.

The responses I got had nothing to do with Jesus but everything to do with legalities of the land and your own personal recommendations. As I said then, I will say again, I find that unsatisfactory.

You are welcome to say MORE or respond to my follow up questions but spare me the hissy fit and the brush offs of irrelevancy. It’s old.

263   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 8th, 2010 at 5:20 pm

“I can think of no response that would be more condescending and less compassionate.”

I can.

Neil, you continue to exist in an ever constricting world of ignorance and self blinding perspectives that are leading sincere men into the abyss.

More.

264   Neil    
March 8th, 2010 at 5:23 pm

If the accounts of the plagues and Herods death are not accurate… I have no reason to trust the “Shema” or the resurrection accounts as well.

265   Neil    
March 8th, 2010 at 5:26 pm

Truth is, you do tend to get offended very easily and you stop answering questions whenever they become “sticky.” You brush stuff off as irrelevant quite often, and it always seems to be when I ask questions about applying what you believe to real life.

This happens most often when you refuse to answer questions and/or are condescending when I do respond to your hypothetical. Remeber – if we do not respond as you think we should at a funeral we’re just hypocrites?

266   Neil    
March 8th, 2010 at 5:27 pm

Every scenario I asked about has direct roots to the OT through the NT and require one to imagine how something that was OK in the Bible can be seen as sinful today. My questions are an attempt to see how you marry the two.

The responses I got had nothing to do with Jesus but everything to do with legalities of the land and your own personal recommendations. As I said then, I will say again, I find that unsatisfactory.

You are correct. But they are tangential to the issue of God employing violence and the trustworthiness of his word.

Maybe I am just too simple and wish to take on one… maybe two issues at a time.

267   John Hughes    
March 8th, 2010 at 5:29 pm

Chad:

If anything, the cross is proof that God is not one who employs violence for his ends. Resurrection is a denunciation of an act of violence committed by fallen humanity. By raising Jesus to life God said “NO!” to this way of being in the world and said “YES!” to a new way – the kingdom way.

Chad, Jesus was slain from the foundation of the world, sort of hard for humans to do that before we were even created.

Isaiah 53.4-6 -Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed. All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him.

Acts 2:23 – this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death.

But of course the honorific title “Lamb of God” has nothing to do with Christ being the ultimate sacrifice for sin (you know the penal substitution thing). It was just a cutesy familiartive And you can throw Hebrews

268   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 8th, 2010 at 5:30 pm

“Maybe I am just too simple…”

Finally, the truth.

269   John Hughes    
March 8th, 2010 at 5:31 pm

You can throw Hebrews 9 and Isaiah 53 out and the entire sacrificial and bloody system out as God is never violent and never told Israel to do that.

270   Neil    
March 8th, 2010 at 5:31 pm

Chad,

I apologize for the tirade. I should not have responded to your condescension that way. I am sorry you find my answers insufficient. Maybe sometime in the future we may delve into them deeper.

271   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 8th, 2010 at 5:34 pm

Just kiddin with you, Neil. There comes a time where some arguments disintegrate so completely that I resort to self entertainment.

This argument is like the flat earth discussion.

272   Neil    
March 8th, 2010 at 5:35 pm

Every scenario I asked about has direct roots to the OT through the NT and require one to imagine how something that was OK in the Bible can be seen as sinful today. My questions are an attempt to see how you marry the two.

They may have been seen as OK in the times that the books were written, and therefore were incorporated into th accounts. But I see nowhere that the Bible approves of or condemns either slavery nor polygamy.

I still do not see what that has to do with God and violence. But those are my thoughts.

273   Neil    
March 8th, 2010 at 5:38 pm

Just kiddin with you, Neil. There comes a time where some arguments disintegrate so completely that I resort to self entertainment.

I understand, Rick. In some respects I am much simpler… I believe that the things the Bible attributes to God – God actually did.

That of course sets up other issues… issues I must deal with… but my simplicity means I must deal with them on God’s terms… not the otherwise.

274   John Hughes    
March 8th, 2010 at 5:40 pm

I find it all too convenient that one can just dismiss The Revelation of Jesus Christ as totally irrelevant to the argument because it contains a lot of symbolism. It also contains future history. Of all the books of the bible the Revelation of Jesus Christ comes closest to being “dictated” and dropped from heaven, so to speak, and yet it is conventienly dismissed with the wave of a hand and will not even be given the time of day and allowed to address the question at hand.

Sad.

275   Neil    
March 8th, 2010 at 5:42 pm

The responses I got had nothing to do with Jesus but everything to do with legalities of the land and your own personal recommendations. As I said then, I will say again, I find that unsatisfactory.

The use of “I recommend” was tongue-in-cheek. You as a pastor know full well that after they hear us out – people do what they want. All we can do is recommend. I went to the legalities of the land as the quickest and easiest answer… it was also biblical. I did not realize my answer was suppose to incorporate direct references to Jesus. I did site the Bible – I thought that would suffice.

276   Neil    
March 8th, 2010 at 5:44 pm

Chad,

Do you not see how I refrained from playing the “You will not answer because the question is too hard” card against you? That is why I responded in anger when you played the very card against me.

277   Neil    
March 8th, 2010 at 5:51 pm

Chad,

Here is my take on our trends.

We get into a discussion.
You eventually ask hypothetical scenario questions (sometimes they are relevant sometimes they are not – from my pov)
Sometimes we answer.
When we/I do – you always find the answer insufficient because we come from two different starting positions…
And once the answer is out there the follow-ups begin as well as the accusations of being a hypocritical or inconsistent or whatever.
And when I/we try and stop the cycle you claim we do so because the questions are too tough.

So in the process you do the following:
YOU create the scenario.
YOU determine what answers are appropriate and consistent.
YOU set up the quiz, you create the answers, you grade the papers.
It has to be played on your terms…

OK – I have given this way too much thought

Damn – I am messed up.

Throw me something Chad – an apology for condescending. An acknowledgment that you refused to answer until I got hissy. An admission that you tried to make me mad…

something…

anything…?

278   Zan    
March 8th, 2010 at 6:07 pm

It is impossible for God to do something that is outside His character. “Gee, that was very out-of character for God”? no. If he does it (which the OT AND NT says He does), then that must be some facet of His character.

If we can’t rely on the scriptures to be inerrant, than we can’t accept anything. This goes to the POMO argument of “there is no absolute truth”. If God isn’t capable of preserving the Bible as absolute truth, then Big “G” becomes little “g”, and he is rendered weak.

Chad said earlier: “In the past God would smite people without blinking an eye.” Firstly, that is quite an indicator of Chad’s feelings for the God of the OT, and why he may feel the need to whitewash him. Secondly, IF God is love, and patience, and mercy, but he is also omniscient and just judge, then there must be (amazingly enough) a side of the story or God that we don’t understand, but it is still within the framework of the absolute truth of the scriptures. It isn’t really about how we feel about what the text says about God, but the fact of what it says. We can feel “bad” or “uneasy” or even “appalled” by the character of God as witnessed to in the Bible, but that doesn’t give us permission to change the text. Ever.

279   John Hughes    
March 8th, 2010 at 6:08 pm

2 Peter 4 For if God did not spare angels when they sinned,

5 and did not spare the ancient world,

6 and if He condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to destruction by reducing them to ashes,

7 But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.

Matthew 14 – “Whoever does not receive you, nor heed your words, as you go out of that house or that city, shake the dust off your feet. “Truly I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city.

These New Testament Scriptures (and many more) prove that the [righteous] “violence” we claim was perpetrated by God in the Old Testament was, indeed, performed by God as the Righteous Judge of all.

280   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 8th, 2010 at 6:09 pm

I should not have responded to your condescension

Oh Neil, grow up.

I wasn’t condescending to you. You throw that word around whenever you get in a hizzy.

There has never been a time I have not answered questions asked of me. You, however, do this ALL the time.

If you can’t handle real life hypotheticals with your theology than don’t get mad at me when I point that out.

281   Neil    
March 8th, 2010 at 6:10 pm

Now that that is settled…

…is slavery always sinful?

282   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 8th, 2010 at 6:14 pm

An acknowledgment that you refused to answer until I got hissy.

Nope.

I was answering the question and posted it before I even read your hissy fit.

283   Neil    
March 8th, 2010 at 6:15 pm

If you can’t handle real life hypotheticals with your theology than don’t get mad at me when I point that out.

I can handle them just fine. Chad, I am sorry it came to this once again.

I think you impose onto me your expectations.

You think I dodge your questions.

So be it.

If you cannot see how you condescended to me – I cannot convince you.

If you have nothing kind to say to me after all this – I cannot change you.

If you believe you have done nothing wrong and have nothing to apologize or retract – I will move on none-the-less.

284   Neil    
March 8th, 2010 at 6:16 pm

OK – is it hissy or hizzy?

What am I?

285   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 8th, 2010 at 6:16 pm

281-

That you would even have to ask this question reveals much.

Which is why I asked the questions I did.

If you cannot confess that slavery is always sinful than I surely don’t expect you to see or understand why violence is.

Again, what you dismiss as irrelevant is nothing more than smoke screens.

286   John Hughes    
March 8th, 2010 at 6:18 pm

Chad, I have recently stopped to think why do you keep your [to me] very unorthodox view and attack of historic christianity going on this site. It must be exhausting to you because it is to me with just my input. I could only surmise that your interaction here must be a part of some term paper or thesis that you are writing regarding the historical orthodox response to your beliefs.

Are we your test subjects?

287   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
March 8th, 2010 at 6:19 pm

…real life hypotheticals…

Isn’t that an oxymoron? :-)

Personally, I have a hard time imagining a pastoral conversation where anyone would honestly ask me if slavery or polygamy were right, at least in America.

288   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 8th, 2010 at 6:24 pm

PHil – lol.

By “real life” hypothetical I mean they are not entirely abstract or devoid of reality.

As for America, well, our theology ought to transcend our cultural barriers, at least in some aspects (like who is God and what is God doing). As I responded to Neil, I said he was assuming I am American in his answers (by making a legal move) Are we saying that if America changes its laws that some of you will buy slaves? If not, why?

289   Zan    
March 8th, 2010 at 6:24 pm

Was slavery ever condemned in the bible? I am not saying it is the best choice, but did the bible, in this instance, possibly allow for some cultural differences through the ages?

290   Neil    
March 8th, 2010 at 6:24 pm

The question was tongue-in-cheek.

But then again, maybe your refusal to answer it is just proof that you cannot.

Again, that is also tongue-in-cheek… for I do not believe that, but it is a tempting card to play.

291   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 8th, 2010 at 6:27 pm

Zan, just because the Bible doesn’t condemn something outright doesn’t mean it can’t be sinful.

Your argument (and Neil’s) isn’t too different from the anti-abolitionists. If you don’t believe me I’d be happy to send you letters from pastors and theologians from the 1800’s who make the same claims. They were wrong then, too.

292   Neil    
March 8th, 2010 at 6:30 pm

Phil,

I would appeal to you for your rendering. Have I been evasive? Have I been immature? Was I wrong to take Chad’s comments as condescending?

293   Neil    
March 8th, 2010 at 6:31 pm

“Your argument (and Neil’s) isn’t…”

Chad – please to reread comment 290 again and put no further words in my mouth.

294   Neil    
March 8th, 2010 at 6:34 pm

As for America, well, our theology ought to transcend our cultural barriers, at least in some aspects (like who is God and what is God doing). As I responded to Neil, I said he was assuming I am American in his answers (by making a legal move) Are we saying that if America changes its laws that some of you will buy slaves? If not, why?

This is why I gave two answer to each question… one from a pastoral pov and one from a missiological pov.

I was unaware that references to Jesus would be required… I simply appealed to the Bible as a whole.

295   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
March 8th, 2010 at 6:40 pm

Are we saying that if America changes its laws that some of you will buy slaves? If not, why?

Personally, I’d like to invest in some oompa-loompas…

Seriously, there plenty to be gleaned about what Paul says about slavery in various to realize that he wasn’t saying that the institution of slavery as it existed at the time was A-ok. For instance, in Philemon when Paul sends Onesimus back to Philemon, he calls him his son and says that Philemon should welcome him as a brother. There are plenty of other examples where the social strata is flattened in the Kingdom.

As far as why Paul didn’t advocate a complete overthrow, I’d say the issue is complicated. Paul was trying to make the best out of a bad situation, and he saw the spread of the Gospel tantamount to what he was doing on earth.

296   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 8th, 2010 at 6:48 pm

“Your argument (and Neil’s) isn’t…”
Chad – please to reread comment 290 again and put no further words in my mouth.

Neil,
I don’t know what you mean by 290.

I’m not putting words in your mouth. You said in your “missiological” answer about slavery that if I do have slaves, treat them in a biblical, decent way.

I can cite verbatim that same argument by those in the church who fought abolitionists. The argued that they would stop abusing their slaves and treat them the way they ought, hoping this would win them more support.

297   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
March 8th, 2010 at 6:52 pm

Phil,

I would appeal to you for your rendering. Have I been evasive? Have I been immature? Was I wrong to take Chad’s comments as condescending?

I honestly didn’t think that you were being evasive. I could see how someone could interpret Chad’s questions as inquisitorial in nature. It would tick me off a bit to give someone an answer and then proceed to tell my why I was wrong.

So, yeah, I can see why it could come off as condescending. It’s hard not to sound condescending here many times. These conversations would probably be very different in real life. At least, I hope they would…

298   Neil    
March 8th, 2010 at 6:55 pm

Chad,

I was addressing the slavery issue in the same manner I would address the polygamy question – and I answered it from the pov that someone may actually already own a slave… as some already have multiple wives.

When it comes to wives, the easy answer is – keep the first and send the others away. But this raises a lot of issues as I hope you could imagine. Sometimes the better situation for all is for the wives to stay. Yet still acknowledge to others that this is not a best case scenario.

I was just imagining a similar scenario with slaves.

I admit, I did not answer the scenarios fully or with a lot of depth since I thought them tangential to our discussion on the reliability of Scripture.

299   Neil    
March 8th, 2010 at 6:56 pm

These conversations would probably be very different in real life. At least, I hope they would…

Hence my F2F post. I need to read my own words.

300   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 8th, 2010 at 6:57 pm

I believe slaves should be paid.

301   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 8th, 2010 at 6:58 pm

Slaves and polygamy. Can it get anymore ridiculous?

302   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 8th, 2010 at 7:00 pm

Phil,
I think it’s deeper than that. Just like the way women were seen and treated in society then I don’t doubt that Paul say slavery as a social given. Not to mention he anticipated the imminent return of Christ and therefore some things, quite naturally, would be given a back seat (his pastoral advice about marriage is a good example).

Either the Spirit is leading us into deeper truth or not. We have come to see that patriarchy, misogyny, polygamy, slavery, segregation and violence (some of us) are not acceptable and are sinful – they are not actions congruent with our prayer, “Thy kingdom come, on earth as it is in heaven.”

I have no problems saying slavery is sinful in all its forms. It was then, it is now. It wasn’t realized then in the way it is now, but it is still a product of fallen humanity and does not reflect the shalom of God. There will be no slaves in heaven.

Frankly, I find Christians that tip-toe around this and demure rather than name slavery as sin, an offense to the gospel of Christ.

303   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
March 8th, 2010 at 7:02 pm

I believe slaves should be paid.

I have to remind my boss of that all the time!

304   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
March 8th, 2010 at 7:06 pm

Frankly, I find Christians that tip-toe around this and demure rather than name slavery as sin, an offense to the gospel of Christ.

I don’t see anyone here doing that. Do you really think some people here are honestly saying that slavery isn’t a sin?

Just because something is a sin, though, doesn’t mean that we don’t deal with in a realistic way. I have no problem saying that divorce is a sin and isn’t “congruent with our prayer, “Thy kingdom come, on earth as it is in heaven.” That doesn’t mean that there aren’t real pastoral considerations to consider when dealing with divorce.

I guess I’m just confused as to what you’re actually trying to get at.

305   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 8th, 2010 at 7:07 pm

Who tip toes around slavery? What a strawman.

306   John Hughes    
March 8th, 2010 at 7:47 pm

Heaven is populated by nothing but slaves as we are all slaves of Christ.

And what a mis-directed argument. Neither are there husbands or wives in heaven for example, nor lenders or borrowers, nor kings or peasants. It’s a new order.

However, the Kingdom is not egalatarian as there are elders and various rewards and some “shine” more brightly than others and there are different rewards. Who knows with certainty how it will be?

And to Neils’ point what does slavery and polygamy have to do with the interpretation of scripture or dismissal thereof? Who is advocating slavery and why is that such a touchstone?

307   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 8th, 2010 at 8:41 pm

Phil: I guess I’m just confused as to what you’re actually trying to get at.

AND

Rick: Who tip toes around slavery? What a strawman.

AND

John: And to Neils’ point what does slavery and polygamy have to do with the interpretation of scripture or dismissal thereof? Who is advocating slavery and why is that such a touchstone?

You see, “slavery” is the gateway “bible drug” of choice for the left. So the (discredited) argument goes:

1) Surely we can all agree that slavery is abhorrent (using the slavery of 18th-19th century America as the cultural touchstone for defining “slavery”).
2) The Bible doesn’t outright condemn slavery. In fact, you might argue it condones slavery (especially the OT) since it gives instructions for both slaves and slave owners w/o telling the slave owners they must immediately set their slaves free!
3) Therefore, anything the Bible says – particularly in the OT – which happens to be inconvenient to whatever bit of sophistry or deviancy is on our agenda to push today (be it homosexual practice, complete non-violence, etc., etc.) is irrelevant, and our “enlightened” view of (homosexuality, violence, etc.) takes precedence since God would be a monster if He agreed that (false argument X).

Wash, rinse, and repeat, tossing in polygamy if your argument isn’t taking hold or if you’ve overused slavery as an example.

Granted, this completely falls apart when (A) you examine the contextual differences in the commonly practiced “slavery” in first-century Palestine and Rome in comparison with the barbarism and racism of American slavery in the 18th & 19th centuries; (B) You examine the actual Biblical passages in play; (C) Utilize progressive revelation in a hermeneutically sound manner; and (D) examine the obvious Biblical positions on whatever the liberal agenda of the day happens to be.

THAT is why slavery, despite its modern Western cultural irrelevance, is relevant to Chad.

308   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 8th, 2010 at 8:49 pm

Why do I find it such a paradox that Chad can dismiss the entire Old Testament narratives and yet magnify a slavery technicality?

309   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 8th, 2010 at 8:53 pm

Phil,

Given Neil’s responses, even after I asked him if slavery is a sin, and Zan’s question in 289, yes, I see people tip-toeing

So does everyone here say that slavery, in all its forms, then and now, is sin?

310   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 8th, 2010 at 8:57 pm

Yes, I see slavery in all its forms as sin; every bit as sinful as interrogating people about it as if you are the sin police.

311   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 8th, 2010 at 9:00 pm

Rick: Asking for clarification on something and drawing real parallels with how the Bible is used in modern times is equally as sinful as owning people.

Brilliant.

312   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 8th, 2010 at 9:02 pm

In intellectual process I own you. Does that make me a slave owner? :cool:

313   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 8th, 2010 at 9:11 pm

So does everyone here say that slavery, in all its forms, then and now, is sin?

Since the most common form of “slavery” in Ancient Palestine was agreeing to work the land for a land-owner in exchange for being able to live on that land, no I would not. I would say that its practice in American history could be categorized as such (for a number of reasons), but since what is included in the Biblical definition of “slavery” is rather broad, no I would not categorically say so.

Granted, someone could take this view uncharitably to claim that I am trying to “justify” slavery (or mischaracterize me in numerous ways), but I have a view that what is “sin” (since, by definition, is an affront to God) is defined explicitly by God. Treating people as simple objects would be a violation of “love your neighbor”, and would be sinful. However, if I was to go by the ancient view of slavery, then I would currently be a slave of the bank which owns my mortgage, and I do not consider my banker to be a sinner for expecting me to pay back what I owe.

314   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 8th, 2010 at 9:15 pm

Slavery aside, usery is a sinful practice.

315   John Hughes    
March 8th, 2010 at 9:57 pm

I cannot say that ALL slavery as an institution was a sin as it was common practice to sell ones self into slavary to pay off a debt and to eventually buy ones self out of it in some Eastern cultures. There were even provisions for a freed slave to remain with his former master if their love for each other warranted it.

However, mistreatment of a slave was sin as mistreatment was probhibited as would the violation of any other proscription.

Slavery was definately not God’s design and to me it would be basicaly very difficult to remain always humane given human nature.

I agree with Chris that American and European slavary was vastly different from ancient slavary which seemed to be a common practice in almost every ancient culture. But was it God’s design, God’s best? No.

Chad, and sorry to disappoint, but I really don’t think about it much except when modern-day stories about it appear from time to time.

316   John Hughes    
March 8th, 2010 at 9:59 pm

Rick,

Separate subject. How are you doing health wise and with the divorce and all?

317   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
March 8th, 2010 at 9:59 pm

Slavery aside, usery is a sinful practice.

This is actually an interesting point. Charging interest was generally was considered sinful by Christians until 16th and 17th centuries. Then the Church’s attitude kind of changed when the New World began to be explored, and really it was key factor in the Western economic expansion that occurred. Now no one gives it a second though, really.

318   Neil    
March 8th, 2010 at 10:01 pm

Given Neil’s responses…

You did read my responsse – didn’t you?

319   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 8th, 2010 at 10:08 pm

#316 – Thank you for asking, John. My health remains a problem but I now receive my prescriptions from Canada so they are 20% of what I used to pay without insurance.

My son and his wife and daughter, and my youngest son live with me and help with my needs. God has allowed me to re-establish a relationship with my daughter and so I am happy with that.

I do not expect any contact with my ex-wife but by God’s grace I have no bitterness at all. I fear for her spiritual condition.

I am 58 years old and am content with being single until I meet Christ. I have my dog Rudy and my son’s dog Solomon as my congregation. They are good listeners but shallow tithers!

320   Neil    
March 8th, 2010 at 10:09 pm

Slavery is probably the most difficult to deal with of Chad’s list from 302 since the Scriptures are ambiguous about it (specifically) and it is so emotional (given the American version of it).

The bible does not prohibit it so I would take pause before assuming I knew better. That said I am hard pressed to think of a scenario in which it would be acceptable.

321   Neil    
March 8th, 2010 at 10:23 pm

So, is patriarchy a sin?

322   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 8th, 2010 at 10:23 pm

The Scriptures deal with the reality of slavery. However, as slavery is defined as people selling and buying other people against their will, the Scriptures never endorse that practice. In fact, since we all came from Adam, and since we all are equal sinners, and since the golden rule is still in effect, and many other Scriptures and principles, we can safely believe that God is against slavery.

323   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 8th, 2010 at 10:25 pm

It is easier to make a case for polygamy than it is for slavery. I am contemplating becoming a eunich. :cool:

324   Neil    
March 8th, 2010 at 11:07 pm

Rick,

As defined I would agree.

325   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 9th, 2010 at 8:11 am

So, is patriarchy a sin?

yes

Neil, I hope you can see more clearly the point of my questions in 107. The reason this came up, if you forgot, is because you made this statement:

I believe the Old and New testaments are accurate, valid, and authoritative in their entirety.

Obviously, polygamy, slavery and genocide are the result of sin, not shalom, and are not things that at least I would not be comfortable assigning to God’s character. Yet they are part of the “historical record” and no moral judgment is really made on any of them.

Is it all God’s word? Yes! But in the same way Abram didn’t have descendants as numerous as stars on the day God promised it would happen or in the same way he wasn’t a blessing to all nations on the day God said it would be, Israel had to be formed on the anvil of God’s hammer (to quote Torrence). We have a record of what that process looks like, and with the aid of the Spirit who is leading Christ’s church today, ought to humbly accept the authority Christ himself gives us to bind and loose.

History will look back on us in similar ways we look back on others. For centuries it was a given that slavery was a God-ordained institution. The voices that began to emerge, slowly, were condemned of many awful things, the least of which being called heretics and false teachers. They were told they did not care for God’s Word and they were gutting the Bible of its authority (again, if you have never read the arguments of anti-abolitionists I recommend you do. I can send you a number of them if you want). Honestly, their arguments are more “sound” as far as “hermeneutics” go than the ones offered by abolitionists. They are more logical.

But slavery is still sin, no matter how some people want to use the Bible (what many of us today would call abuse of the Bible).

The connection to the question “Is God violent?” should be obvious. Does the Bible seem to suggest in some parts that God is violent? Yes! If I read the Psalms (which is equally authoritative and as much as God’s Word as anything else, right?) I could conclude that God is my personal avenger. OR, I could conclude that God is going to have mercy on everyone. I could conclude that God has a raging temper (like myself at times) OR that God is long-suffering and slow to anger.

So given what I know about God as revealed in Jesus Christ, I have no problems saying God is not violent and that whatever we want to say about stories of our past (Israel, etc.) must humbly bow to the revelation of Christ.

326   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 9th, 2010 at 9:03 am

Too many words. Condensed down to this simple fact:

You do not believe any of the Old Testament narratives are literal.

(This saves time.)

327   John Hughes    
March 9th, 2010 at 9:03 am

Chad: [we] must humbly bow to the revelation of Christ.

But Chad, you totally dismiss “The Revelation of Jesus Christ” in regards to the character of Christ and you totally discount the Lion of Judah and only recognize the Lamb of God. To my understanding you have a very myopic view.

328   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 9th, 2010 at 9:05 am

John H-
No, I don’t.

I’ll be posting something later this morning or today about Revelation.

329   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 9th, 2010 at 9:09 am

I do not like the many revelations about God in the Bible that seem to indicate He has employed some violence. Therefore I suggest a different way to view God.

___________________________

(Fill in your own blank)

330   John Hughes    
March 9th, 2010 at 9:14 am

Rick, #319. I rejoice that God has given you forgiveness. My 1st wife left me in the early 80’s and God also gave me the gift of forgiveness. Several years later I remarried and we just celebrated our 20th anniversary this year. But you are still going through your trial but I can testify that God is faithful. Remember that you can only be responsible for your own actions, not your ex-wifes’ and that God’s forgiveness of you gives you the foundation for your continued forgiveness of her. Also remember that you are complete in Him! Knowing that was also a great comfort to me at the time. God bless.

331   John Hughes    
March 9th, 2010 at 9:15 am

Chad,

How is your father doing?

332   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 9th, 2010 at 10:08 am

John H-

He is doing much better, thanks for asking. We had a scare 2 weeks ago where he was having chest pains again but they changed his meds and re-cathed him and since then he feels great.

I just posted my discussion with McLaren’s question: Who Is Jesus? which addresses, I think, the Revelation of St. John.

333   Neil    
March 9th, 2010 at 10:23 am

Chad,

God never commanded polygamy or slavery. Therefore the fact that people did that in both the OT and NT is irrelevant.

Genocide – that’s an interesting take. God did command the illumination of Israel’s enemies at certain times. But I’m not willing to call that genocide in the modern sense.

The real matter is patriarchy – sine this is clearly instituted by God, yet you call it sin.

The bottom line is: you are willing to remove from the Bible the bits and pieces (even if they are many many pieces) that you modern sensibilities find offensive.

Instead of taking God’s Word as our standard and fitting our beliefs and action to it – you are taking our cultural standard and human sensibilities as the standard and making God’s Word fit it.

Which is exactly what the 18th century German theologians did ion the name of modernism – Harnack being the example McKnight chose.

334   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 9th, 2010 at 10:24 am

#325.

Summation: The Bible says whatever the hell I want it to say.

335   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 9th, 2010 at 10:30 am

God did command the illumination of Israel’s enemies at certain times.

I’m sure Israel’s enemies considered their wholesale slaughter quite “illuminating” :) Just kidding – I know what you mean.

But I’m not willing to call that genocide in the modern sense.

Why?

you are willing to remove from the Bible the bits and pieces (even if they are many many pieces) that you modern sensibilities find offensive.

No, I am not. I am reading all of God’s word with an eye to Christ, who is the one who “illuminates” the entire story.

The real matter is patriarchy – sine this is clearly instituted by God, yet you call it sin.

So, Neil, you believe men lording over women is not sinful? You believe that men holding all the power and authority to the exclusion of women is the way God intends things to be? If it is not sin, then why not return to it? Do you advocate for women’s rights? If you do, why?

Honestly, to even entertain the idea that patriarchy is not sinful is every bit as bad as justifying slavery on the same grounds.

336   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 9th, 2010 at 10:35 am

#335: See #334

337   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 9th, 2010 at 10:36 am

#334 – such a shallow and uncharitable response is of little surprise.

338   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 9th, 2010 at 10:37 am

“Honestly, to even entertain the idea that patriarchy is not sinful is every bit as bad as justifying slavery on the same grounds.”

Goofy. Again. The husband is the authority over the wife. The pastor is the authority over the congregation. To suggest that is as bad as slavery is to reveal again your self righteousness concerning race.

339   Neil    
March 9th, 2010 at 10:37 am

…and that whatever we want to say about stories of our past (Israel, etc.) must humbly bow to the revelation of Christ.

But Chad… the stories of Jesus are just the mistaken ramblings of First Century Jews who, desperate to overthrow their Roman oppressors – ascribed to this Jesus their own desires.

What we need to do is humbly bow to the completed revelation which was given to Muhammad – and this time it was dictated verbatim so that no human error would get mingled in.

Therefore we must reject all these stories of a divine Savior… we must reject all these accounts of his crucifixion and resurrection… we must ignore teachings that he was G-d incarnate… because G-d cannot condescend to be human… and he is certainly not a Trinity.

340   Neil    
March 9th, 2010 at 10:39 am

Chad,

When you are willing to discuss the issue of patriarchy as God intended it without jumping to an obviously sinful caricature of it – I will.

341   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 9th, 2010 at 10:41 am

The teaching w/in Scripture that different genders have different roles is no different than other places where people are given different roles (priests vs. Jews vs. high priest vs. foreigners vs. children vs. parents, etc., etc.). Nowhere does it teach that men are to “lord their power over women” – it simply gives different roles. Part of the dumbing down of Scripture is identical to the dumbing down of our culture which teaches that anyone can be anything and that a difference in role or authority is somehow congruent to “inequality”.

The view Chad espoused is certainly inspired … as an example Romans 1:18-32…

342   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 9th, 2010 at 10:46 am

Attention! Jesus misrepresents Scripture!

21Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.

22But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you.

23And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.

24But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee.

Jesus agrees with the account of God’s judgment and removal of Sodom. Of course He of all people should realize that is not literal.

343   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 9th, 2010 at 10:50 am

But Chad… the stories of Jesus are just the mistaken ramblings of First Century Jews who, desperate to overthrow their Roman oppressors – ascribed to this Jesus their own desires.

Ahh yes. And to do this they crucified their “Messiah.” Their plan to overthrow Rome came not in the way anyone expected or could dream up themselves but through a Roman execution. How brilliant of them!

344   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 9th, 2010 at 10:54 am

The husband is the authority over the wife….

Yes, yes, we know. And slaves are subject to their masters….

Funny how we pick and choose which parts we take literally and which parts transcend culture.

How convenient that patriarchy is defended by a bunch of men here. How surprising.

345   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 9th, 2010 at 10:57 am

Now you reject the epistles. The house has fallen.

346   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 9th, 2010 at 10:57 am

The way you guys use Scripture makes me believe without a doubt that if we were blogging in the 18th and 19th centuries you all would be calling the abolitionists a bunch of heretics who hate the Bible.

It’s eerie.

347   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 9th, 2010 at 11:03 am

Chad – I agree completely with the word “eerie”. Your obsession with slavery is remarkable.

348   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 9th, 2010 at 11:05 am

God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves upon the earth.” (Gen. 1:28).

Patriarchy is a result of fallen humanity, as many other things are. One could argue that God accommodates with the culture, working within and through it (eventually subverting it, as God does in Christ), or whatever, but the bottom line is patriarchy is sin – it is a rupture from the way God has created us and a failure to realize the vision of the eschaton. God is calling creation to something more – something beyond patriarchy (and slavery and misogyny and polygamy and violence, etc).

This is not crazy, radical stuff guys.

349   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 9th, 2010 at 11:07 am

Your obsession with slavery is remarkable.

Not an obsession. A recognition that so many of us keep repeating the same mistakes of history.

What is remarkable is your constant dismissal of that reality, as if making fun of me or shrugging your shoulders absolves you of anything I have said.

350   Neil    
March 9th, 2010 at 11:08 am

364 – You are exactly right! I want women in the home not out getting jobs… not out voting for heaven’s sake… but home caring for the children and pregnant if at all possible… breeding and baking… that’s all they are good for… and IF they wear shoes at all they should be square-toed shoes, not pointy… that way they can get closer to the stove and sink.

Chad – you can only argue using caricatures and hyperbole.

351   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 9th, 2010 at 11:09 am

I hate reality.

352   Neil    
March 9th, 2010 at 11:10 am

Now you reject the epistles. The house has fallen.

It was pretty much a requirement if you are going to say that God did not strike down Herod.

Luke was mistaken about that detail – but we can trust him on the bits about Jesus being resurrected.

353   Neil    
March 9th, 2010 at 11:10 am

A recognition that so many of us keep repeating the same mistakes of history.

Which brings us back to McKnight’s charge against McLaren

354   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 9th, 2010 at 11:11 am

you can only argue using caricatures and hyperbole.

The irony of this statement, following what you just spewed, is ridiculous.

355   Neil    
March 9th, 2010 at 11:12 am

What is remarkable is your constant dismissal of that reality,

Another false caricature based in hyperbole – no one has dismissed the reality of American slavery… it has been acknowledged as sinful.

Others of us have gone even farther.

356   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 9th, 2010 at 11:12 am

As I have said, at least Marcus Borg is consistent. He treats the resurrection as a metaphor as well.

357   Neil    
March 9th, 2010 at 11:15 am

The irony of this statement, following what you just spewed, is ridiculous.

I suppose you are referring to 339…

I was simply taking the hypothetical role of the Muslim and applying to the NT the exact same methodology that you apply to the OT and the bits of the NT you do not like.

See Chad – theology does have practical ramification, and I can apply that to you just as easily as you apply it to me.

All I did was take your standard… I took your hermeneutic and put into the hands of someone one step further.

it’s an easy step once you have allowed for God’s word to be unreliable.

358   Neil    
March 9th, 2010 at 11:19 am

It’s ironic you use a quote about Israel being formed on the anvil of God’s hammer – that’s a rather violent metaphor and all…

359   Neil    
March 9th, 2010 at 11:19 am

As a side note – glad you father is doing well.

360   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 9th, 2010 at 11:20 am

No, Neil, I was meaning what you spewed in 350.

And as I point out in 343, your methodology doesn’t make any sense. To argue that way is nonsensical for a variety of reasons.

361   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 9th, 2010 at 11:24 am

no one has dismissed the reality of American slavery… it has been acknowledged as sinful.

It’s like you don’t read what I am saying Neil but so quickly jump to conclusions that have nothing to do with what I’m talking about.

I’m not talking about the reality of slavery. What is “reality” is the fact that the same methodology employed by anti-abolitionists during the 18th-19th centuries is the same being employed by each of you.

THAT is the reality I am speaking of. THAT is the same mistake being repeated here.

I’ll say it again: Given how you guys are using Scripture there is no doubt in my mind that 200 years ago you each would be calling abolitionists heretics and despisers of God’s word and saying they have found the Bible to be “unreliable.”

362   Paul C    http://www.thepath.cc
March 9th, 2010 at 11:25 am

Now you reject the epistles. The house has fallen.

As I pointed out earlier, the house (to use the same analogy) was never there. Discussing scripture with someone who rejects its validity is a non-starter. This is becoming clearer and clearer.

The wild-goose chase he took Neil on was ridiculous.

Not to worry… in a month or so he’ll change his tune when a new book comes out by some LSD-tripping “authority” who is has just unlocked the Rosetta Stone of scripture.

He is not even wresting scripture, just ignoring it.

363   Neil    
March 9th, 2010 at 11:26 am

No, Neil, I was meaning what you spewed in 350.

It is interesting how many times I say things using sarcasm and/or tongue-in-cheek and you take them as if I were serious…

i was simply pointing out your hyperbole and use of caricature when you try equating all patriarchy with slavery.

364   Paul C    http://www.thepath.cc
March 9th, 2010 at 11:26 am

#361:
Read: you are a bunch of slave-owner-mentality bigots that have your head in the sand.

Those are serious, injurious and disgusting charges Chad. Seriously.

365   Neil    
March 9th, 2010 at 11:29 am

As for 339 and your response in 343…

Seriously, this is not what i said… and given you intelligence I know you know that.

There is little to no difference between what you are doing to the the bits of the OT and NT that you find offensive and what the Mulsim does to the bits he finds offensive.

The details of the method differ, and the result are more extreme – but they are just bursting through the door that you left ajar.

366   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 9th, 2010 at 11:30 am

Paul C –

If the shoe fits…

As if they are any more serious than being falsely charged as one who doesn’t take Scripture seriously or find it reliable.

Pot, meet kettle.

367   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 9th, 2010 at 11:32 am

The way you guys use Scripture makes me believe without a doubt that if we were blogging in the 18th and 19th centuries you all would be calling the abolitionists a bunch of heretics who hate the Bible.

Already debunked in #’s 313 & 315

Rick: [Chad's] obsession with slavery is remarkable.

Not really. See #307. When you’ve already determined what the outcome must be, and that the Bible (particularly the OT) is an obstacle to the tripe your peddling, the “progressive” path is through slavery and/or polygamy.

Patriarchy is a result of fallen humanity, as many other things are.

Who knew that Jesus’ model of his relationship to the church was simply a product of his fallen humanity?

Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

[Noting that, if men took this to heart - modeling their relationship to their wife as Christ's to the church - their assertion of "authority" would be quite scarce. Even so, the difference is roles between sexes is not a "result of the fall", but part of God's design.]

368   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 9th, 2010 at 11:33 am

As of today I have set all my slaves free. :cool:

(All but the one who gets me my medicine.)

369   Neil    
March 9th, 2010 at 11:34 am

What is “reality” is the fact that the same methodology employed by anti-abolitionists during the 18th-19th centuries is the same being employed by each of you.

I stand corrected as to the reference of your reality statement.

You are stsill wrong.

It is one thing to force the scriptures to say something they do not say… based on an argument from silence. God never condemned slavery, nor did he endorse it. And to use the that fact as a biblical argument for it – particularly in light of the nature of American slavery is assinine and I agree – it was wrong (both the slavery and the use of God’s word).

But your comparison fails.

While it is wrong to apply the Bible where it does not speak (slavery) it is not sin to apply it where it is clear (patriarchy).

So, you may conjecture all you like about how I would have behaved in the mid 1880’s – but your logic is apples and oranges.

370   Neil    
March 9th, 2010 at 11:36 am

As if they are any more serious than being falsely charged as one who doesn’t take Scripture seriously or find it reliable.

I believe you take the scriptures seriously. You yourself have admitted that parts are not reliable… massive parts.

And at this point I am making the logical connection that if something is not historically accurate when it speaks of the acts of God – it is not reliable.

371   Jerry    http://www.dongoldfish.wordpress.com
March 9th, 2010 at 11:36 am

Good morning everyone. I hope you have a blessed, sun-shiney day in Jesus!

Hey, by the way, since this is open thread Friday…check out a new blog featuring nothing but book reviews:

Book Review Thoughts

I think you will like it since it features the writing of some familiar people. :-)

jerry

372   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 9th, 2010 at 11:39 am

You all are welcome to convince me that the methods you use with Scripture are not the same as the Christian slave owners of the past.

For a helpful introduction to how the two work, you can read my essay on the issue HERE

373   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 9th, 2010 at 11:44 am

In response to your compulsion with slavery, I am reowning mine.

374   Neil    
March 9th, 2010 at 11:45 am

You all are welcome to convince me that the methods you use with Scripture are not the same as the Christian slave owners of the past.

Let’s start with a foundational reality: When the pro-slavery folks used the Bible they did so from a position of silence. Since God never condemned it, since parameters were given, since even Paul sent a slave back – it must be acceptable.

We all see this as weak and fallacious.

On the other hand… there are very clear statements setting up patriarchy. Once this is set in place, there are parameters and waarnings and exanples. But these expand upon the positive statements.

In one case – an argument from silence upon which a system is erroneously built.

In the other case – an argument built on positive statements.

There – that’s the difference… clear, simple, and precise.

375   Neil    
March 9th, 2010 at 11:48 am

Chad,

For what its’ worth – I think we all would decry the caricature of patriarchy you use as examples.

376   Paul C    http://www.thepath.cc
March 9th, 2010 at 11:48 am

Let’s start with a foundational reality: When the pro-slavery folks used the Bible they did so from a position of silence.

Not completely true. They believed that the black race was cursed, that they were actually sub-human, and therefore they (the slave-owners) were absolved of sin, since these “people” were little different than livestock.

Just a point of clarity.

377   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 9th, 2010 at 11:53 am

For what it is worth:

I believe the rise of the black race in America to the point of being elected president is one of the most profound phenomenons since the industrial revolution.

378   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
March 9th, 2010 at 11:55 am

You all are welcome to convince me that the methods you use with Scripture are not the same as the Christian slave owners of the past.

So, Chad, when did you stop beating your wife? You are welcome to present evidence to this fact anytime you wish.

379   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 9th, 2010 at 12:20 pm

Wow. I’m sorry, guys. I guess I am just so used to running in circles where this stuff is a given that when I see vestiges of the “powers and principalities” (of which patriarchy, no doubt, is one) I am stunned.

It’s really quite simple.

Was patriarchy part of God’s original design in the Garden?
No.
It is a result of the fall. In fact, it is part of the curse of Adam and Eve. The OT and the NT tells a story of that unraveling and also a story of God’s remaking.

Now, in who or what was the curse of Adam broken?

Hauerwas, I believe, said that the church is still trying to get a handle on the cosmic ramifications of Calvary. It’s like a ripple effect.

378 – Phil, that is ridiculous. If you had shown evidence that I beat my wife (like I have shown evidence that the methods here are the same as the pro-slavery Christians) than you would have a point.

Have you read pro-slavery arguments? My guess, given the universal dismissal of my argument, that either none of you have or you simply refuse to at least acknowledge that FACT that your method is no different from their own.

Why not just own it? Why not just say, “OK, we use the Bible like they did, but that doesn’t mean it is wrong.”

I’d at least respect that

380   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 9th, 2010 at 12:24 pm

Why not just own it? Why not just say, “OK, we use the Bible like they did, but that doesn’t mean it is wrong.”

Because it’s a fabrication of your imagination, possibly? Yes.

I’d at least respect that

Which isn’t saying much, apparently.

381   Neil    
March 9th, 2010 at 12:26 pm

Why not just own it? Why not just say, “OK, we use the Bible like they did, but that doesn’t mean it is wrong.”

I’d at least respect that

So you would respect a false statement?

As i easily showed – we do not use the Bible is the same manner – therefore such a statement would be false.

382   Neil    
March 9th, 2010 at 12:31 pm

Wow. I’m sorry, guys. I guess I am just so used to running in circles where this stuff is a given that when I see vestiges of the “powers and principalities” (of which patriarchy, no doubt, is one) I am stunned.

And now you know how I feel.

I am used to running in circles where the veracity and reliability of the Bible are taken for granted… where we do not disregard the parts we find offensive to our modern sensibilities and enlightened minds… where wrestling with the text means struggling to understand the ways and mind of God, not deciding which parts accurately reflect God and which parts are just erroneous projections of sinful men.

When someone applies this approach to the scriptures – I am… well not stunned since I have seen it before… but I do hate to see it nonetheless.

383   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
March 9th, 2010 at 12:32 pm

Chad,
I’m well aware of the pro-slavery arguments. I read McLaren’s book, too, you know…

I just think it’s a big leap you’re making on a board like this. Who exactly is being oppressed by the people commenting here? Women? Homosexuals? What proof do you have of said oppression?

All I’m saying is that when you make the charge – “You all are welcome to convince me that the methods you use with Scripture are not the same as the Christian slave owners of the past”, you are asking people to prove a negative. It’s based on the assumption of guilt. It’s no different than someone saying they want proof that someone isn’t a heretic.

If you are getting a homosexuality, I’d say that the arguments that it isn’t analogous to slavery at all. It’s pretty clear that Paul did not expect slavery to be something that would exist when the Kingdom had fully come. It’s also pretty clear that he didn’t think homosexual behavior had any place in the Kingdom as well. I’ve been reading Ben Witherington’s new book, The Indelible Image, and the analysis he gives about homosexuality is pretty darn convincing.

384   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 9th, 2010 at 12:35 pm

Was patriarchy part of God’s original design in the Garden?
No.
It is a result of the fall.

Wow. I guess you get to make up Genesis as you go, as well… While you’re entitled to your own opinions, you’re not entitled to your own facts.

The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”

Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds of the air and all the beasts of the field.

But for Adam no suitable helper was found. So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and closed up the place with flesh. Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.

The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.”

Noting that this is all before the fall, we’ve already got a clearly established headship – based on need and love. The act of being made from man, rather than being made from the dust, is both literally and symbolically an origin of roles and a refutation of interchangeable equality.

In fact, it is part of the curse of Adam and Eve.

Actually, the curse has to do with “ruling over”, which is different than “headship” (as noted by my earlier quote from Paul). When one is the “source” or “head”, it implies not a dictatorial role, but one of love and service. For the man, the role requires loving as Christ loved – even to the point of death. For the woman, it requires submission. And in both cases, it allows for a difference in roles – which is completely independent of their equality of standing before God.

But roles, submission, authority and such are things which make pomo’s cringe, so we must purge them as “sins” – not sins against God, but sins against our own egotistical “enlightenment”.

385   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 9th, 2010 at 12:41 pm

Below is De Bow’s defense of slavery from the Bible. I didn’t include the first half, which is damning enough and deals only with Abraham. The parts in bold I highlight to show some direct connections between ways De Bow argues and ways you all argue here. This is only one of many, many examples I could provide.

From what I have written, if it stood alone, I would infer that the holding of slaves was right, in some cases. But this is, by no means, all that is found in the Bible upon the subject. After the Israelites had been a long time in Egypt, they became servants to the Egyptians. At this time, God sent Moses, as a messenger, to bring them out of Egypt. Through Moses, God gave them laws by which they were to be governed. No law which came directly from him (the fountain of morality), can be considered morally wrong; it might be imperfect, in not providing for circumstances not then existing—but, so far as it does provide, the provisions are correct. Nothing which God ordained can be a crime, and nothing for which he gave express permission can be considered wrong.

In Leviticus xxv, we are told, that the Lord spake to Moses, saying: Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them—after various provisions of the law, the 39th verse reads as follows, in regard to servitude: If thy brother that dwelleth by thee be waxen poor, and be sold unto thee, then shalt not compel him to serve as a bond-servant, but as an hired servant, &c.—clearly showing that there was a distinction between bond-servant and hired-servant. After providing for the case of a Hebrew servant, verses 44, 45, and 46, of the same law, read as follows: Both thy bondmen, and thy bondmaids, which thou shalt have, shall be of the heathen that are round about you; of them shall ye buy bondmenand bondmaids. Moreover, of the children of the strangers that do sojourn among you, of them shall ye buy, and of their families that are with you, which they begat in your land; and they shall be your possession. And ye shall take them as an inheritance for your children after you, to inherit them for a possession; they shall be your bondmen for ever.

In Exodus xxi, 20, 21, we find this law: And if a man smite his servant, or his maid, with a rod, and he die under his hand, he shall be surely punished. Notwithstanding, if he continue a day or two, he shall not be punished: for he is his money.

The 26th and 27th verses of the same chapter provide, that if the servant have lost an eye or a tooth, by a blow from the master, the servant should go free.

The 29th, 30th, 31st, and 32d verses provide, that if an ox was known to be vicious and killed a freeman, the ox and his owner were both put to death; but if he gored a bond-servant, the ox should be killed and the master should pay thirty shekels of silver: showing the distinction between bond and freemen.

The law given to the Israelites, in regard to circumcision, required the master to circumcise his male servant, bought with his money or born in his house; and, of course, it presupposes the right and power to enforce the circumcision.

Thus, we see that at a time when the Israelites had no slaves, but were themselves, in a manner, fugitive slaves, and when they had no use for slaves, being wanderers in a wilderness, and fed by God’s own hand, he provided laws for bringing in, buying, inheriting and governing, slaves, in the land unto which they were to be brought at the end of forty years. He made laws recognizing the right of property, in man and in his descendents, forever—the right to trade in that property, without any limit, except that the Israelites could not buy each other; and the right to punish the slave, with no limitation, except that if the slave should die under his master’s hand, the master should be punished—and if maimed, in certain ways, he had a right to freedom. These laws are worse, for the slave, than the laws of any southern State. They were provided, by God himself, for his chosen people. To any man, who admits that the Bible is given by inspiration from God, they prove that, in buying, selling, holding and using slaves, there is no moral guilt. Like all the institutions of the Deity, the holding of slaves may become criminal, by abuse of the slave; but the relation, in itself, is good and moral.

In the New Testament I find frequent mention of master and servant, and of their duties. Paul and Timothy, in writing to the Colossians, in the third chapter and twenty-second to twenty-fifth verses, exhort servants to obey their masters in all things, and not with eye-service; and in the fourth chapter and first verse, they exhort masters to give their servants what is just and equal.

Paul, in writing to Timothy, tells him to teach the same doctrine; and says, if any man teach otherwise, he is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words: see 1 Timothy vi, 1–6. Peter, also (1 Peter ii, 18–24), exhorts servants to be obedient to their masters, not only to the good and gentle, but to the froward.

Now, we all know, that the condition of the servant of the Roman empire, was much less free than that of the southern negro. His master had a more unlimited control over him; yet, the apostles say to servants, to submit to their masters—not only to the good and gentle, but to the froward; and to masters to give to their servants what is just and equal. Now, had they considered the relation of master and slave, one criminal or immoral, in itself, they must either have omitted to speak of it at all, or have condemned the relation altogether.

Paul wrote an epistle to Philemon, a Christian, a disciple of his, and a slaveholder. He sent it to him by Onesimus, also a convert, a slave of Philemon, who was a fugitive. In it, he prays Philemon to charge the fault of Onesimus to him, saying he would repay it, unless Philemon forgave it for his sake.

Now, had the holding of slaves been a crime, Paul’s duty to Philemon would have required him to instruct Philemon, that he had no rights over Onesimus, but that the attempt to hold him in servitude was criminal; and his duty to Onesimus would have been, in such case, to send him to some foreign free country, whereby he might have escaped from oppression. But Paul sent him back. Our northern friends think that they manage these matters better than Paul did.

We find, then, that both the Old and New Testaments speak of slavery—that they do not condemn the relation, but, on the contrary, expressly allow it or create it; and they give commands and exhortations, which are based upon its legality and propriety. It can not, then, be wrong.

What we have written is founded solely upon the Bible, and can have no force, unless it is taken for truth. If that book is of divine origin, the holding of slaves is right: as that which God has permitted, recognized and commanded, cannot be inconsistent with his will.

386   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 9th, 2010 at 12:50 pm

Noting that this is all before the fall, we’ve already got a clearly established headship –

Yeah, if you already presuppose that patriarchy is God-ordained. But that is not what the text says and no sign of “headship” is derived from the text itself.

You left off the rest of that section, which reads:

Therefore, a man leaves his father and his mother and clings to his wife, and they become one flesh.

I could, if I desired, just as easily read into this that a man “clinging” to his wife makes her the head and not the other way around.

But I wouldn’t do that. The fact that they are “one” is enough.

Patriarchy is a result of the fall and will not be part of God’s eternal kingdom. It’s sin.

387   Christian P    http://www.churchvoices.com
March 9th, 2010 at 12:51 pm

I think Chad has a point. I agree with him that we all use Scripture the same way. Probably not to the same degree, and definitely not with all the same subjects. In other words, I don’t think we are using it the same way to approve of the same things they used it to approve of, i.e. slavery. But I think we all come at it the same way at some point, including Chad.

Through cultural, historical, familial, educational, etc. influences we develop our sense of what is right and wrong, good and bad, true and false, and idealistic. This comes out in our descriptions/pictures/ideas of Jesus for example. (see Mark Driscoll’s depiction of Jesus vs…. McClaren’s depiction)

I’ve thought a lot about this, especially in light of slavery and racism. Some of my older family are very strong Christians, but if you heard them speak at times, you would call them racists. Throughout history there are examples of the church dealing with issues where today, it is blatantly obvious that they were in the wrong. Numerous examples can be drawn, even from the lives of men like Luther and Calvin.

We all come to Scripture at some point and use it to reinforce what we “know” to be true. Sometimes we do this consciously, but I think that we do it unconsciously most often. And we all have something in our lives that 100 years from now, the church will look back and wonder, how could they not have seen? How could they not have known? It’s clearly there in Scripture.

Having thought a lot about this, I still don’t know what to do with it… other than to continue to pray, read, live in community, worship, and serve counting on God to transform my life through His Spirit living in me.

388   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 9th, 2010 at 12:54 pm

Christian P,

I appreciate that fair, charitable reading of my position.

It’s refreshing to see on this site :)

Having thought a lot about this, I still don’t know what to do with it… other than to continue to pray, read, live in community, worship, and serve counting on God to transform my life through His Spirit living in me.

Amen

389   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 9th, 2010 at 12:56 pm

Yeah, if you already presuppose that patriarchy is God-ordained. But that is not what the text says and no sign of “headship” is derived from the text itself.

I suppose if you ignore Paul and ascribe sinful nature to Christ, and his relationship to the church, you could make such an argument.
Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.

Contextually, “headship” is established by who your “source” is. In the case of woman, her “head” is the man, from whom she was created. In the case of the church, the “head” is Christ, from whom she was created.

The relationship is established in Scripture, and is independent from the fall.

390   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 9th, 2010 at 12:59 pm

Patriarchy is a result of the fall and will not be part of God’s eternal kingdom. It’s sin.

And down is up, right is wrong, black is white, evil is good and good is evil.

What utter crap and devaluing of the word “sin”.

In the immortal words of Inigo Montoya: “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

391   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
March 9th, 2010 at 1:00 pm

Chad,
I actually agree with Christian’s take as well, but perhaps the reason people are putting up walls in reaction to you is that you seem to be unwilling to include yourself in the “us” in Christian’s post. You seem to be writing to us as if you are the only enlightened one here. I can only speak for myself, but, that, my friend, is what gets on my nerves.

Why don’t you admit that those on the more liberal side of the theological spectrum have some blind spots as well?

392   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 9th, 2010 at 1:00 pm

Paul also said, “Slaves, submit to your masters”

The point still remains: You don’t get Patriarchy before the fall.

393   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 9th, 2010 at 1:05 pm

Paul also said, “Slaves, submit to your masters”

Though he didn’t compare their relationship to their masters to that of Christ and the church (which he does do with man and woman).

The point still remains: You don’t get Patriarchy before the fall.

I just demonstrated that you do from Genesis 2.

Becoming echad does not negate the source/head of woman – it is established before the fall. God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are echad, yet Jesus ascribes different roles and authority to God the Father, the Holy Spirit and himself. They are not interchangeably equal. Each has an interconnected and differentiated role.

394   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 9th, 2010 at 1:06 pm

391- of course we do, Phil (of course I do, as well) and I never said we didn’t.

We are talking about this particular issue, however. I never said I don’t have blind spots, have I?

How about you guys stop accusing people who see things differently from you as Bible haters or “pantywaists” or people who don’t believe Scripture is reliable?? Why aren’t you rebuking such nonsense?

I love the Bible. I seek to model my entire life within it. I teach it, read it, study it, pray with it, wrestle with it, and discuss it as the touchstone of my being.

It would be nice to hear you people acknowledge that instead of reacting with knee-jerk ODMishness, labeling people like me as despisers or God’s word just to make yourselves feel more holy or righteous.

395   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
March 9th, 2010 at 1:07 pm

Contextually, “headship” is established by who your “source” is. In the case of woman, her “head” is the man, from whom she was created. In the case of the church, the “head” is Christ, from whom she was created.

I actually get Chad’s point here. After the Fall, the “source” relationship was reversed – man now comes from woman (through the birth process). So, to me, basing a complentarian argument on the definition of head as “source” and still saying that “source” implies a leadership role is trying to have your cake and eat it too.

It seems to me that Paul isn’t so much describing a hierarchy as much a relationship based on mutual deference to one another.

396   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 9th, 2010 at 1:08 pm

I just demonstrated that you do from Genesis 2.

And I demonstrated that this is wrong – they are “one” and their roles, as Gen 1 explains, are equal (BOTH have authority).

Echad is also a term used to describe God’s relation to humanity in the Psalms. I’m not willing to make humanity the “source” of God, are you?

397   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 9th, 2010 at 1:10 pm

I love the Bible. I seek to model my entire life within it. I teach it, read it, study it, pray with it, wrestle with it, and discuss it as the touchstone of my being.

Not really, if you treat it as you do here. It is simply a collection of fables that can be twisted into whatever pretzel you desire.

Whatever, Chad. This statement is incongruent with your view of any veracity Scripture might hold. You might as well embrace Oneness With All Life: Inspirational Selections from A New Earth, since it is more in line with your teaching here than Scripture.

398   Eric    
March 9th, 2010 at 1:12 pm

Chad’s ever expanding definition/application of sin is akin to the layers of extra-biblical laws formulated by the Pharisees in that it lays burdens on people not authorized in scripture. Nowhere has Chad supported his position that patriarchy is a sin by pointing to where in Scripture it is declared to violate God’s law.

Stay tuned, now that I have successfully compared Chad to the Pharisees, I will be working on a comment comparing him to Hitler. :)

399   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 9th, 2010 at 1:13 pm

Well, Chris L, thank God I don’t answer to you.

Your pronouncements are no different from the sort I have come to expect from all other “ODM’s”

400   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 9th, 2010 at 1:16 pm

It seems to me that Paul isn’t so much describing a hierarchy as much a relationship based on mutual deference to one another.

Being the “head” or “source” is not a hierarchy (though some treat it as such), but a differentiation in role. While I agree that man and woman should be in mutual deference, the roles are still different.

After the Fall, the “source” relationship was reversed – man now comes from woman (through the birth process).

Not so much. The curse is only that there is pain in childbearing. The command to be fruitful and multiply comes before the fall, and there is no indication that reproduction is asexual prior to it.

So, to me, basing a complentarian argument on the definition of head as “source” and still saying that “source” implies a leadership role is trying to have your cake and eat it too.

An accurate complementarian view is one that sees the roles of man and woman complementing one another – not ruling over one another or oppressing one another. It simply respects that each has a different role, neither of which is “better” than the other, but different nonetheless.

401   Neil    
March 9th, 2010 at 1:17 pm

I clearly and precisely showed the difference between misusing the Scripture to support slavery and the proper use of Scripture to support patriarchy.

402   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 9th, 2010 at 1:18 pm

Well, Chris L, thank God I don’t answer to you.

Agreed. I’m just taking you at your word that you believe what you’ve written, in which case I’m not exactly sure why you even own a Bible, since Aesop’s Fables can be organized and utilized much more cleanly.

403   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 9th, 2010 at 1:19 pm

Nowhere has Chad supported his position that patriarchy is a sin by pointing to where in Scripture it is declared to violate God’s law.

Well, that would be too old-fashioned, and you know – if he looked to Scripture to support his point, he might have to accept that it has some sort of authority over modern, “enlightened” sensibilities.

And we wouldn’t want that, you know.

404   Neil    
March 9th, 2010 at 1:23 pm

I love the Bible. I seek to model my entire life within it. I teach it, read it, study it, pray with it, wrestle with it, and discuss it as the touchstone of my being.

I believe this. And if we have reacted in any knee-jerk fasion it’s due in part to your accusaitons based on extremem caricatures of our positions.

BTW – in this thread (along with losing my temper) I have defended you, I have apologized to you, I have acknowledged your correction when I misunderstood you.

I can not recall you ever doing any of these – in fact, my apology was met with mockery.

405   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 9th, 2010 at 1:24 pm

And I demonstrated that this is wrong – they are “one” and their roles, as Gen 1 explains, are equal (BOTH have authority).

Echad is not a word that implies authority – it implies agreement and alignment and (sometimes, but not always) interdependency.

Echad is also a term used to describe God’s relation to humanity in the Psalms. I’m not willing to make humanity the “source” of God, are you?

False argument, because you’ve not properly defined echad. Echad is independent of headship/sourceship – they are two separate concepts which you have chosen to conflate. Genesis 2 shows a clear relationship between man and woman – one in which each has a differentiated role, but one in which they are in interdependent alignment of purpose.

406   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 9th, 2010 at 1:27 pm

in which case I’m not exactly sure why you even own a Bible

I suppose if I were Neil I’d respond with something like #261.

This from the guy who supposedly welcome theological diversity amongst his writers, of which he is no doubt the “head.” :)

I can hear the same lame defense from Ken Silva or Audie Thacker or John Chisham or Chris R.

407   Neil    
March 9th, 2010 at 1:27 pm

I love the Bible. I seek to model my entire life within it. I teach it, read it, study it, pray with it, wrestle with it, and discuss it as the touchstone of my being.

People often mistreat the one’s they love. It is an admittedly extreme example – I just cannot think of a lesser one.

Some men who abuse their wives do so out of a misplaced thought that they need disciplined.

Some parents so spoil their children, out of love, that they render them unable to function in the real world.

I have no doubt that you love both the Lord and his word – the manner in which you defend him attests to this.

Yet – in your defense of his Word you are willing to question its accuracy and open the door for it to be untrustworthy in places.

And once the door is ajar…

408   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 9th, 2010 at 1:28 pm

#406 – you didn’t include the clauses of my statement, which were the key to whether or not it applies…

409   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 9th, 2010 at 1:30 pm

This from the guy who supposedly welcome theological diversity amongst his writers, of which he is no doubt the “head.”

Well, at the moment, it looks like Phil and I disagree on complementarianism vs. egalatarianism (at least to some degree), and if I’m the “head”, I’m certainly not demanding that he fall in line.

410   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 9th, 2010 at 1:30 pm

I believe this.

Thank you, Neil. Now why don’t you react to your “boss” with the sort of indignation and sense of injustice as you would towards me if I judged others the same as he?

411   Neil    
March 9th, 2010 at 1:31 pm

This from the guy who supposedly welcome theological diversity amongst his writers, of which he is no doubt the “head.” :)

Chad – I believe you must purposefully ignore responses and dredge up old tired long rebutted arguments.

We allow diversity within Orthodoxy. We will argue against diversity that runs out of the parameters of the historic Christian faith.

412   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 9th, 2010 at 1:32 pm

Actually, I would agree that Neil’s #407 is probably more accurate than my #397, and more charitable. In either case, though, the manner in which you treat Scripture is one of abuse, even if it appears to you to be love.

413   Neil    
March 9th, 2010 at 1:33 pm

Thank you, Neil. Now why don’t you react to your “boss” with the sort of indignation and sense of injustice as you would towards me if I judged others the same as he?

I defended you against what I thought was his unfairness – the fact that you have chosen to selectively ignore that makes think it was in vain and unappreciated.

414   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 9th, 2010 at 1:34 pm

the manner in which you treat Scripture is one of abuse, even if it appears to you to be love.

I could say the same about you as it relates to people with whom you disagree, Chris L.

415   Neil    
March 9th, 2010 at 1:35 pm

Chad,

You mock me in one comment and four comments later chastise me for not defending you… I can only take so much abuse before my patience reaches its end.

416   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 9th, 2010 at 1:36 pm

We allow diversity within Orthodoxy. We will argue against diversity that runs out of the parameters of the historic Christian faith.

Ah. So now affirmations of patriarchy and confessing that God is violent is required to be “orthodox”?

Well, if so, you can keep your version of orthodoxy.

417   Neil    
March 9th, 2010 at 1:38 pm
the manner in which you treat Scripture is one of abuse, even if it appears to you to be love. Chris L.

I could say the same about you as it relates to people with whom you disagree, Chris L. – Chad

So – maybe both of you should change your ways.

Chris L. – lighten up on the invectives, name-calling, and derision.

Chad – take the Bible as it is written, an accurate accounting of God’s dealing with mankind from the creation to the present.

418   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 9th, 2010 at 1:38 pm

Neil, you are way too sensitive. I wasn’t mocking you.

419   Neil    
March 9th, 2010 at 1:39 pm

Neil, you are way too sensitive. I wasn’t mocking you.

Maybe so – but you mocked me previously and referenced my reaction.

And even in this comment, even in a correction you make yet another criticism.

420   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 9th, 2010 at 1:40 pm

Chad – take the Bible as it is written, an accurate accounting of God’s dealing with mankind from the creation to the present.

You mean: Take the Bible to mean what I say it means, then we won’t have any problems.

No thanks.

421   Neil    
March 9th, 2010 at 1:42 pm

Ah. So now affirmations of patriarchy and confessing that God is violent is required to be “orthodox”?

Well, if so, you can keep your version of orthodoxy.

No – and you know better. The disagreement between Phil and Chris L shows that…

What is beyond the pale of orthodoxy is your view on Scripture.

422   Neil    
March 9th, 2010 at 1:44 pm
Chad – take the Bible as it is written, an accurate accounting of God’s dealing with mankind from the creation to the present.

You mean: Take the Bible to mean what I say it means, then we won’t have any problems.

No thanks.

I never said you must interpret the Bible as I do – show me where I have if you can!

What I insist on is taking it as accurate… not relegating the difficult portions as errors of the authors.

423   Christian P    http://www.churchvoices.com
March 9th, 2010 at 1:44 pm

This is actually a very interesting conversation. If you remove all of the bickering, you can see that everybody already has their minds made up about the various issues.

If you look at just the bickering and forget the issues, you can see that everybody already has their minds made up about the other people.

Chad – stop looking to trap others into saying something that they aren’t trying to say. Also, you have been just as rude, if not more so than Chris L. the last few weeks.

Chris L. – what Neil said.

424   Neil    
March 9th, 2010 at 1:47 pm

Chad,

As this continues your use of caricature only increases:

You insist on using a caricature of patriarchy.

You insist on using a caricature of us projected into the mid-1800’s.

You insist on using a caricature of what we say are the limits of orthodoxy.

You insist on using a caricature of our hermeneutic and insistence on the Bible’s reliability.

These are all caricatures and straw men.

425   Neil    
March 9th, 2010 at 1:48 pm

Christian –

…and Neil, what should he do?

426   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 9th, 2010 at 1:49 pm

What is beyond the pale of orthodoxy is your view on Scripture.

And what, exactly, Neil, is my “view on Scripture?”

If you would like to actually hear it in my own words I have written enough about it:

http://chadholtz.net/?p=635

I would also affirm everything said in NT Wrights book, “The Last Word.”

What you seem to be unable to accept is that Christians can have a high view of Scripture and yet still come to very different conclusions about important matters. Did you even read the pro-slavery piece above? That is but one example.

Why can’t you acknowledge how alike you sound to their insistence that people who disagreed with them were unorthodox and hated Scripture?

You are doing the exact same thing.

427   Neil    
March 9th, 2010 at 1:54 pm

And what, exactly, Neil, is my “view on Scripture?”

I understand you to believe that there are parts of the Old and New testaments that are inaccurate in their attribution of actions to God. That, paraphrasing you, fallen sinful people ascribed to God their own desires and purposes. Therefore, the Old Testament and even parts of the New are not wholly accurate and we must determine which are and which are not.

To do this we use the character of Jesus.

This is my understanding of your view of scripture.

Please correct any misunderstandings.

428   Neil    
March 9th, 2010 at 1:56 pm

What you seem to be unable to accept is that Christians can have a high view of Scripture and yet still come to very different conclusions about important matters. Did you even read the pro-slavery piece above? That is but one example.

I have repeatedly acknowledged you high view of the scripture. I never used that term, but neither did I say you had a low view.

Again – you misrepresent me.

429   Neil    
March 9th, 2010 at 1:58 pm

Why can’t you acknowledge how alike you sound to their insistence that people who disagreed with them were unorthodox and hated Scripture?

Because this is true only from your perspective. It is from you perspective we sound alike.

I have NEVER stated anyone hates scripture – yet you say this is what I sound like.

I acknowledge your love for the word and never say you have a low view of it – yet you say this is what I sound like.

Do you even read my comments anymore?

430   Neil    
March 9th, 2010 at 2:01 pm

You are doing the exact same thing.

I challenge you to show me any place I have told you you hate the Scripture!

431   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 9th, 2010 at 2:07 pm

There is a problem arguing a perspective from the Scriptures with someone who says he believes the Scriptures but really does not. I’m not sure that problem can be solved.

432   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 9th, 2010 at 2:12 pm

Did you even read the pro-slavery piece above? That is but one example.

Actually – from their methodology alone, I had a rather large number of issues – particularly with the way they seem to apply the regulative principle, which is really the “fallacy engine” behind their argument. While I can see how someone might use this (flawed) logic to support complementarianism, that does not negate other approaches to the question of complementarianism vs. egalitarianism. And, from a simple definitional standpoint, I think the logical pathway to declaring a fully egalitarian approach as “sinful” is far shorter and more solid than trying to find a similar pathway to declare the other view a “sin”.

As I’ve noted before, I would probably stop short of calling churches that practice a fully egalitarian approach as “sinful” (based on that alone), but even so I would never choose such a body as my church home, simply because I could not fully respect and submit to an authority that would come to that conclusion (at least via any hermeneutical approach I’ve heard to date).

Conversely, I would not choose a complementarian church as my home, if it were practiced in a manner which treated the male role as simply authoritarian w/o treating it (in word and action) as Paul describes the relationship between Christ and the church.

433   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 9th, 2010 at 2:13 pm

Neil,
The “you” was a general, plural “you.” You, specifically, have not said I hate Scripture but everyone else more or less has (in so many words). If I dont “hate” it I dont believe it, don’t rely on it, reject it, dismiss it, ignore it, cut out pieces I dont like (you have said this), etc.

You have said:

take the Bible as it is written, an accurate accounting of God’s dealing with mankind from the creation to the present.

I do take the Bible as it is written.
For you to suggest otherwise is to suggest I must not like the Bible as is.

And FTR, you don’t understand my view of Scripture. The essay I link to above is as clear a definition as you will get from me, if you are interested.

434   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 9th, 2010 at 2:14 pm

Egalitarianism is a sub-issue in my book. If I am convinced that a church/teaching has salvation exclusively through Jesus by faith I can endure a multitude of “sins”.

435   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 9th, 2010 at 2:15 pm

Chad – You do not hate the Scriptures, you simply do not believe them.

436   Neil    
March 9th, 2010 at 2:18 pm

Chad,

Instead of saying my understanding are wrong and directing me to a lengthy essay. Why not just correct my view?

What in 427 is a misunderstanding of your view?

437   Paul C    http://www.thepath.cc
March 9th, 2010 at 2:26 pm

This Proverb keeps ringing in my ears:

If a wise man contends with a foolish man, whether he rage or laugh, there is no rest.

This thread will probably go well beyond 500 comments.

Neil, you’re the nicest and most patient guy here, honestly, but this is a waste of time. You are running after someone who rejects the veracity of scripture in practice, yet affirms it verbally. It just doesn’t make sense, as we’ve seen.

I suggest you wait another month and his view will have changed entirely, depending on what new book comes out.

438   Neil    
March 9th, 2010 at 2:27 pm

Scripture is authoritative in that it is living, breathing and always being reinterpreted into our communities. – Chad

No No NO! Scripture is authoritative becuase it is the very Word of God.

Yes, it is living and breathing – yet it is unchanging.

Yes, we do reinterpret it within our communities – yet it is unchanging.

It is not authoritative because we live it. it is authoritative in and of itself.

yet in all of this – you do not address the questions I raised.

Is it accurate?

Do we just reinterpret it… or are we free to disregard portions as well based upon the belief that they are just the projections of unenlightened ancients ascribing upon God their own sinful desires?

439   Neil    
March 9th, 2010 at 2:30 pm

Neil, you’re the nicest and most patient guy here, honestly, but this is a waste of time. You are running after someone who rejects the veracity of scripture in practice, yet affirms it verbally. It just doesn’t make sense, as we’ve seen.

Thank you Paul C.

I just wish he would admit he is willing to reject the portions that do not ascribe to his view of God is like – even of that view is based on Jesus as the model.

440   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 9th, 2010 at 2:33 pm

I agree, Neil, but Christian P. seems just as nice.

441   Neil    
March 9th, 2010 at 2:33 pm

Chad – You do not hate the Scriptures, you simply do not believe them.

Rick,

trying to think like Chad I suspect the answer would be. I do believe it, I just do not believe all of it is the actual word of God. The Bible contains the Word of God.

(How’s that?)

442   Neil    
March 9th, 2010 at 2:34 pm

I agree, Neil, but Christian P. seems just as nice.

Sorry rick, I do not follow…

443   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 9th, 2010 at 2:36 pm

I just wish he would admit he is willing to reject the portions that do not ascribe to his view of God is like – even of that view is based on Jesus as the model.

Neil, but it isn’t really based so much on Jesus (as described in Scripture), but an idealized version of what “Jesus” would be like if he fit certain predetermined parameters which might, or might not, have any historically-based precedence in reality.

Christian/Neil: Chris L. – what Neil said.

Heard. Understood (but not always recognized). I really will try…

444   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 9th, 2010 at 2:38 pm

Paul said you were the nicest writer. I said Christian P. was just as nice. Both of you are nice/Christlike.

445   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 9th, 2010 at 2:46 pm

#441- no, I would not say that.

If a wise man contends with a foolish man, whether he rage or laugh, there is no rest.

I was thinking the same thing! This works both ways, of course.

446   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
March 9th, 2010 at 2:50 pm

No No NO! Scripture is authoritative becuase it is the very Word of God.

I’m not trying to dispute the spirit of your comment, but don’t you see how that statement could be seen as circular reasoning, especially given the fact that in most Christian circles, the terms “Scripture” and “the Word of God” are taken as synonyms.

I’d say Scripture is authoritative because it testifies to Christ. Christ is the authority, and Scripture just points to this fact. So, yes, there is sort of a self-referential nature of Scripture in that it does refer to itself as the Word of God. But, ontologically, I’d say the authority doesn’t necessarily rest in the text itself, but with God.

But I agree with you in the sense that Scripture doesn’t get its authority from the community or the Church. If anything, it would be the other way around, the community or the Church only has authority because of Scripture and Christ working through both.

447   Paul C    http://www.thepath.cc
March 9th, 2010 at 2:52 pm

I was thinking the same thing! This works both ways, of course.

Of course. I guess this was a gentler way of saying this:

“If one man calls you an ass, ignore him.
If two men call you an ass, start looking for tracks.
If three men call you an ass, put on a harness.”

448   Neil    
March 9th, 2010 at 2:53 pm

Neil, but it isn’t really based so much on Jesus (as described in Scripture), but an idealized version of what “Jesus” would be like if he fit certain predetermined parameters which might, or might not, have any historically-based precedence in reality.

This very well may be true… but that is yet another issue/bridge to cross.

We cannot even nail down the first proposition let alone get to subsequent dominoes…

449   Paul C    http://www.thepath.cc
March 9th, 2010 at 2:57 pm

Since this is open thread, I had a question (maybe for Chris L?):

In the end of Peter’s epistle he signs off from Babylon. Was this some sort of code language for Rome? If so, why would he not just say Rome? If not, did he actually (or possibly) travel to Babylon?

450   Neil    
March 9th, 2010 at 3:00 pm

Phil,

I agree as far I believe I understand you. And I admit, as I typed that I felt like I was channeling the spirit of Pastorboy…

451   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 9th, 2010 at 3:05 pm

Phil,
If you read what I have to say in the essay neil is commenting about you will see that I am saying much the same thing.

The problem, however, is that just because we SAY Scripture is the authority of this or that community it means nothing if said community is not living or performing the text.

I can say my parents have authority but if I don’t obey a word they say do they really? Not in any meaningful sense.

So yes, Scripture is authoritative in its own right because it just is but we make that authority a reality insofar as we are living the text. So in a real way, the church lends authority to Scripture just as Scripture is authoritative for the Church.

I am told I don’t believe the Scriptures. Fine. I could say the same of my critics who don’t believe in a literal 7 day creation story or who don’t still observe the laws of the OT (yes, I know the NT puts a spin on this but even in this we are making choices about what is authoritative and what is not), or who do not greet others with a holy kiss or who do not marry a woman simply because they lust after her or who divorce for reasons other than adultery or who don’t love their neighbors as themselves or who use their tongues as weapons or who are causing division in the church rather than being ministers of reconciliation….and on and on and on.

I could say they, too, don’t believe the Scriptures.

But I do not. I try to offer them the same grace I believe God has offered me and I assume they are trying their best to live within complicated matrix we call life of which Scripture does not give all the answers in black and white and in many ways is damn hard to understand, let alone obey.

So, if believing that the revelation of God we have in Jesus Christ gives me reason to pause before attributing to God all the heinous things some stories in the OT attribute to God makes me a person you people cannot fellowship with or someone whom in your eyes disbelieves Scripture or even hates it, so be it.

What you think of me is of little consequence.

452   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 9th, 2010 at 3:07 pm

“If one man calls you an ass, ignore him.
If two men call you an ass, start looking for tracks.
If three men call you an ass, put on a harness.”

Oh, so the majority rules, huh?

It’s a good thing pretty much every hero of the faith disagrees with you.

453   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 9th, 2010 at 3:22 pm

In the end of Peter’s epistle he signs off from Babylon. Was this some sort of code language for Rome? If so, why would he not just say Rome? If not, did he actually (or possibly) travel to Babylon?

Babylon was a frequent “code word” for Rome in Jewish writing. Why? Because the Jewish people were enslaved by Rome, and many saw it as God’s punishment (like the Babylonian captivity) for the slow creep of Hellenism into their culture. (Gee, does this sound familiar?) Additionally, this was a period in which apocalyptic literature was popular, because esoteric symbolism couldn’t be immediately interpreted as blasphemy against Caesar. [It’s one thing to declare Jesus Lord when asked (which many were willing to do in the face of death) and another to “lead with your chin” by openly challenging Caesar (which was basically committing suicide).

Symbolically, “Babylon” is any oppressor nation who has enslaved the people of God – the Greeks in 300-200 BC, the Romans of the First Century, etc.

***************

And, since this is an Open Thread, I think I’ve found out how I’m going to complete Question #9 on my Census Form.

454   Paul C    http://www.thepath.cc
March 9th, 2010 at 3:28 pm

#453: very interesting – thanks!

Would it be fair to say that going beyond physical oppression, there was also the mystery religion component along with it? Which one would have been seen as more damnable?

455   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 9th, 2010 at 3:30 pm

I am told I don’t believe the Scriptures. Fine. I could say the same of my critics who don’t believe in a literal 7 day creation story or who don’t still observe the laws of the OT (yes, I know the NT puts a spin on this but even in this we are making choices about what is authoritative and what is not), or who do not greet others with a holy kiss or who do not marry a woman simply because they lust after her or who divorce for reasons other than adultery or who don’t love their neighbors as themselves or who use their tongues as weapons or who are causing division in the church rather than being ministers of reconciliation….and on and on and on.

I could say they, too, don’t believe the Scriptures.

A logical fallacy, which seeks to cast a disagreement on the best route to drive from Chicago to St. Louis as being equivalent to a disagreement on the best route to drive from Chicago to Stockholm, Sweden.

456   Neil    
March 9th, 2010 at 3:31 pm

Chad,

I have asked you to correct me – you have chosen instead to direct me to an essay that does not ansewr the question.

I wish you would just correct my statement.

457   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 9th, 2010 at 3:33 pm

“How To Step Clear of Any Critique” by Chris Lyons.

Chapter One:

Label It

Chapter Two:

Mock the Message

Chapter Three:

Mock the Messenger

Chapter Four:

Return to Chapter One

458   Eric    
March 9th, 2010 at 3:34 pm

Chris L,

I prefer to enter “Dutch American” or “Netherlands American” due to my Dutch heritage and in light of the schizophrenic “African American” category that is provided.

459   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 9th, 2010 at 3:35 pm

Would it be fair to say that going beyond physical oppression, there was also the mystery religion component along with it? Which one would have been seen as more damnable?

It might be possible to include the mystery religion component (Mythraism) within the symbology, but there is disagreement as to whether Mythra was a factor in 100BC or 100AD. I favor the former, but I don’t think Babylon references the mystery religion component – Primarily because Athens was “Babylon” during the 3rd Century BC.

Also, I forgot to mention the other connection to Babylon – the dream Daniel interpreted in Babylon which identified the future oppressive kingdoms. This was likely another reason to so closely tie these empires to “Babylon” in symbolism.

460   Neil    
March 9th, 2010 at 3:36 pm

The problem, however, is that just because we SAY Scripture is the authority of this or that community it means nothing if said community is not living or performing the text.

This is as true as it is irrelevant. What I have been trying to discuss for nearly five hundred comments and two days is the accuracy of scripture.

Its accuracy – not how people apply it’s athoruty/

Its accuracy – not how some have misapplied it.

Its accuracy – not whether or not anyone hates it or loves it.

461   Neil    
March 9th, 2010 at 3:39 pm

So, if believing that the revelation of God we have in Jesus Christ gives me reason to pause before attributing to God all the heinous things some stories in the OT attribute to God… – Chad

You have done more than pause – you said that those portions were the result of men ascribing their sinful desires onto God.

462   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 9th, 2010 at 3:44 pm

Neil,

That’s just the point. Scriptures authority and being as God’s Word does not reside in its accuracy. Accuracy about what? The way the universe was made? The number of people present on the hill when Jesus fed them? The number of days the ark was afloat? That God is full of wrath towards his enemies or that God is long suffering and is merciful over ALL his works? The location of Shechem? The number of people who left Egypt?

Accuracy on any number of issues can be debated. For what it is worth, I believe Scripture is as accurate as it needs to be or cares to be.

463   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 9th, 2010 at 3:45 pm

you said that those portions were the result of men ascribing their sinful desires onto God.

I said it could be that. We still do it today. We are not very different from Israel.

464   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 9th, 2010 at 4:08 pm

“you said that those portions were the result of men ascribing their sinful desires onto God.”

Why are not the writings of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John the same thing?

465   Christian P    http://www.churchvoices.com
March 9th, 2010 at 4:14 pm

Neil, What should you do? Are you asking me to find something to rebuke you about?

Chris L. – In reference to the census, you could just leave that question blank.

466   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 9th, 2010 at 4:22 pm

I will just white. What’s the big deal?

467   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 9th, 2010 at 4:24 pm

I will just say “white”. Who cares? You guys are so paranoid.

468   Neil    
March 9th, 2010 at 4:31 pm

Neil, What should you do? Are you asking me to find something to rebuke you about?

You referenced Chris and Chad – i was just opening the door for any “correction” you’d throw my way… ‘course, if none come to mind immediately don’t spend too much time on it… :)

469   Neil    
March 9th, 2010 at 4:33 pm

I said it could be that. We still do it today. We are not very different from Israel.

No. We do not. No one today is writing Scripture.

470   M.G.    
March 9th, 2010 at 4:34 pm

Regarding the census, I’m also at a loss as to what’s so invidious about an accurate demographic analysis of the country.

Whether it’s for the purposes of complying with the Voting Rights Act, or it’s just to understand the changing face of America, I think answering question 9 truthfully is important.

I suppose you could argue that the confidential collection of race data that is aggregated and analyzed poses some threat to our liberty or privacy, but that strikes me as a bit too “tin-foil hat-ish” to me.

471   Neil    
March 9th, 2010 at 4:35 pm

Why are not the writings of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John the same thing?

Chad alluded to differeing ways of recording history and the like.

But the fact remains that the Muslim does exactly to the stories of Jesus that chad does to the stories of the OT.

472   Neil    
March 9th, 2010 at 4:37 pm

Accuracy on any number of issues can be debated. For what it is worth, I believe Scripture is as accurate as it needs to be or cares to be.

Such as the accuracy of whether God really raise Jesus from the dead – or not?

473   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 9th, 2010 at 4:38 pm

As far as the census race question…I will quote from that great Southern Baptist Byron de la Beckwith:

“The white man was put here to rule. It says so in the Bible”.

(Chad, feel free to put this on your refrigerator door!)

474   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 9th, 2010 at 4:40 pm

No. We do not. No one today is writing Scripture.

I disagree. Not with the “writing Scripture” part (at least in a definitional sense) but with the idea that we are not recapitulating the same stories.

One of my favorite memories from Don Miller’s book, Blue Like Jazz is how he makes the point that the thing that is true about Gen 1-3 is not that it happened but that it happens, every day.

People today attribute all sorts of things to the hand of God that have nothing to do with God. Israel’s history is very much part of our story today.

475   Eric    
March 9th, 2010 at 4:45 pm

Rick,

Paranoid because I joke around about the American fascination with labeling and categorizing people by race while all the while screaming for color blindness? Paranoid because I joke around about the foolish and persistent double standard in racial labeling? Silly me, I had no idea I had such deep seeded psychological problems. Please Dr. Rick Frued (oops, I mean Frueh), psychoanalyze me some more so I can come to a greater understanding of my alter ego.

476   Christian P    http://www.churchvoices.com
March 9th, 2010 at 4:46 pm

Oh I love the census and I can’t wait for the results for my area as that information will/does impact how we understand and minister to/in our community. I was just pointing out the obvious that you don’t have to answer the question.

477   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 9th, 2010 at 4:48 pm

475 – You take it far too serious (I mean the census question and any possible governmental conspiracy)

I am not analyzing you; I am just suggesting the issue is way too small to be concerned. Please give me any scenario where that information can be used against anyone.

478   Paul C    http://www.thepath.cc
March 9th, 2010 at 4:49 pm

People today attribute all sorts of things to the hand of God that have nothing to do with God. Israel’s history is very much part of our story today.

Basically, Chad is equating Israel’s story (our OT/biblical account) to the standard fare history taught in American schools on how the Pilgrims were just a jolly group of settlers that had the Indians’ best interests at heart. Slanted history with no little basis in reality.

Of course, this does not mean in any way that he is disparaging the biblical account. He loves the Bible.

Perhaps the biggest tragedy is that he is teaching others this stuff.

479   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 9th, 2010 at 4:53 pm

The people concerned over the census today were no doubt silent about it 10 years ago when a different administration was in office. They would probably roll their eyes at the suggestion of a conspiracy or the advice to not be truthful on any question.

480   Eric    
March 9th, 2010 at 4:53 pm

Rick,

FWIW, I filled out my census form yesterday and mailed it in today and listed myself and all of my family as “white”, although I do claim my wife as “a woman of color” since her grandpa was Hispanic (being my wife has minority blood, I have free reign to make racist jokes and stereotypes without fear of reproach – I just pull out my trump card). :)

481   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 9th, 2010 at 4:54 pm

Paul – The same way American Christians paint the founding fathers as flaming evangelicals whose live reflected Christ. (minus the slaves, drinking, etc.)

482   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 9th, 2010 at 4:55 pm

My ex-wife was hispanic. Does that make me a minority? :)

483   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 9th, 2010 at 4:58 pm

Actually, Paul C, it’s quite the opposite. Ever hear of Manifest Destiny? Rooted directly in Israel’s story and misappropriated for ourselves.

The Puritans saw themselves as the new Israel.

484   Eric    
March 9th, 2010 at 5:00 pm

For the record Rick, I didn’t “take it far too serious” at all, nor did I give any indication that I took it serious(ly). I merely made a light hearted comment. I don’t believe I have ever stated or insinuated that the information could or would be “used against anyone”.

485   M.G.    
March 9th, 2010 at 5:01 pm

Chris L.,

Just out of curiosity, but how do you feel about practices like poll taxes, literacy tests and other measures that limited voting in this country?

In a truly color-blind society, they are perfectly legitimate, aren’t they? It is indisputable that they are racially neutral. Period. Sure, there may be a disparate impact (blacks tended to miss the questions and not afford the taxes), but society can’t hold everyone by the hand, can it?

After all poll taxes and literacy tests are color-blind! So disparate impact be darned.

Right?

486   Paul C    http://www.thepath.cc
March 9th, 2010 at 5:02 pm

#483: in this thread you have gone right to the source and questioned the veracity of the OT accounts – in effect, that Israel assigned their actions to God to justify/make sense of what they were doing.

I am not doubting that many today (and throughout history) do this. That’s not my point.

487   Eric    
March 9th, 2010 at 5:05 pm

Rick,

To be sure, I am not the most qualified to answer your question in #182, but my ruling would be that you have lost your minority victim class status. I feel for you, because such status can be wielded powerfully. And, to be more accurate, I think you mean that your ex-wife is (not was) hispanic, unless she changed, in which case I stand corrected. :)

488   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 9th, 2010 at 5:10 pm

I am German-Irish. I am now a minority here!! :)

489   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
March 9th, 2010 at 5:11 pm

The people concerned over the census today were no doubt silent about it 10 years ago when a different administration was in office. They would probably roll their eyes at the suggestion of a conspiracy or the advice to not be truthful on any question.

Actually, Clinton was still in office during the last census… so maybe not…

490   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 9th, 2010 at 5:17 pm

The current census questions were devised in the Dallas grassy knoll.

491   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 9th, 2010 at 5:20 pm

really, Phil? wasn’t it in 2000?

492   M.G.    
March 9th, 2010 at 5:23 pm

The census was an estimate of the population as of April 1, 2000. The election wasn’t until November 2000, and Bush’s inauguration was in January 2001.

493   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 9th, 2010 at 5:30 pm

Ah. Thanks, M.G.

494   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 9th, 2010 at 5:36 pm

I just took a personal census and I am not all there. :cool:

495   M.G.    
March 9th, 2010 at 5:38 pm

And, for the sake of completeness, Bush’s first victory in a Presidential election occurred in November 2004. :)

496   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 9th, 2010 at 5:41 pm

For the record: The last time I voted was in 2000 and I voted for Bush. Who knew?

497   Neil    
March 9th, 2010 at 6:21 pm

People today attribute all sorts of things to the hand of God that have nothing to do with God. Israel’s history is very much part of our story today.

While you maintain a high view of Scripture – you have a very low view of inspiration.

498   Neil    
March 9th, 2010 at 6:25 pm

I thought the last census overly invasive as well. Most of the question on it are none of their damn business.

499   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 9th, 2010 at 6:28 pm

God used a census in the birth of Jesus.

500   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 9th, 2010 at 6:30 pm

In your opinion, Neil.

Look. I’m not expecting any of you to agree with me or even understand. What I do expect, or at least hope for, is that you guys can learn that there are other ways to read and interpret Scripture unlike your own which still value it and view it as the inspired, authoritative word of God and that you might not demonize those who have different approaches.

While I may respond harshly at times to you and others I have never questioned your love of God or Scripture or your desire to seek God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, EVEN though I think you and your buddies here (most of them) come to Scripture in profoundly unhelpful ways that lead to profoundly unhelpful conclusions.

Most of you, however, do not extend to me the same sort of charity or grace and just love to jump to labeling me and my ideas, thereby dismissing me as someone not worth even talking to.

501   M.G.    
March 9th, 2010 at 6:34 pm

Neil,

Which questions did you think were invasive or not the government’s business?

502   Eric    
March 9th, 2010 at 6:39 pm

It seems weird to me that people like Neil that would dismiss Chad as “someone not even worth talking to” would spend so much time talking to Chad. Not very consistent, methinks.

503   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
March 9th, 2010 at 6:40 pm

Personally, I thought the question about boxers or briefs crossed the line…

504   Neil    
March 9th, 2010 at 6:47 pm

Neil,

Which questions did you think were invasive or not the government’s business?

It was ten years ago… I forget. If I remember I will tell ya next week – in today’s mail was a promise they’d be sending me another one next week.

I know they say it’s all anonymous and only tallied as whole numbers – no details kept.

But I do not trust the Feds an farther than I could have thrown Ted Kennedy when he was alive…

Call me paranoid – but is it really paranoia of they are actually set to limit freedoms?

That is why I oppose the nationalization of health care. Within a generation it will be used as a weapon against up – just like the current tax codes are a weapon.

505   Neil    
March 9th, 2010 at 6:47 pm

Yeah – I know – I am one messed up dude…

506   Neil    
March 9th, 2010 at 6:49 pm

Eric,

When did I ever dismiss Chad as “someone not even worth talking to?”

If I thought it worthless, I would not do it?

507   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 9th, 2010 at 6:51 pm

Regarding the census, I’m also at a loss as to what’s so invidious about an accurate demographic analysis of the country.

1) I don’t see the need to treat any citizen different from any other. We’re all Americans – no need for racial labels.
2) Answering #9 “American” is accurate, colorblind and (as a bonus) ends up counting “Americans” as minorities in numerous calculations, particularly at the state government level.
3) If the government is going to treat groups disparately, I have no problem with a group of people throwing some sand in the gears. If they’re not going to, then there’s no harm, no foul.

The people concerned over the census today were no doubt silent about it 10 years ago when a different administration was in office. They would probably roll their eyes at the suggestion of a conspiracy or the advice to not be truthful on any question.

Didn’t like it then, don’t like it now, hoping the illegals carry through on their threat to not participate…

Just out of curiosity, but how do you feel about practices like poll taxes, literacy tests and other measures that limited voting in this country?

1) I see no problem requiring a government-issued ID to be able to vote.
2) I believe in adding fraud-prevention measures to absentee ballots.
3) I do not think poll taxes are fair.
4) I don’t believe in literacy tests, but I do believe that there should be some basic level of mental faculties to vote (thinking about the guy who went through the mental ward w/ absentee ballots several years ago – certainly they were citizens, but if they’re in a vegetative or catatonic state, they can’t choose whom to vote for).

In a truly color-blind society, they are perfectly legitimate, aren’t they?

Even in a colorblind society:
1) Poll taxes discriminate against the poor.
2) Literacy tests discriminate against the poor and illiterate.

I believe the poor should be able to vote, and that those who cannot read should be able to vote. [I do not believe the perpetually comatose or those with no basic mental faculties to understand voting should vote - because they are incapable of choosing, not because they are undeserving of societal care.]

508   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 9th, 2010 at 6:52 pm

They could come in personally and take my census. That way I could give them the gospel. I have nothing to hide.

In spite of all the big, bad government weapons, I have yet to miss a meal or go without a car or go down to one TV or go without a cell phone. So I just cannot complain just yet…God has been good to me way beyond what I ever deserved.

509   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 9th, 2010 at 6:54 pm

I believe pets should vote. Perhaps they might be more discerning!

510   M.G.    
March 9th, 2010 at 6:55 pm

Obviously, the tax code is the federal government’s most powerful weapon. The government uses it to encourage us to 1.) not smoke or drink 2.) get married (unless both individuals are high earners) 3.) give to charity 4.) buy a home, etc., etc.

Wicked.

I don’t really understand how a single-payer healthcare system becomes a weapon.

And I really really have no clue how the anonymous aggregation of race, sex, etc., data becomes a weapon.

Plus, I’m a big fan of the Voting Rights Act, the Civil Rights Act, etc.

511   Neil    
March 9th, 2010 at 6:57 pm

Look. I’m not expecting any of you to agree with me or even understand. What I do expect, or at least hope for, is that you guys can learn that there are other ways to read and interpret Scripture unlike your own which still value it and view it as the inspired, authoritative word of God and that you might not demonize those who have different approaches.

Chad,

While I disagree I do understand. And I hope I have not demonized. I understand you value it, that you believe in inspiration, etc…

I did not say you have a low view of inspiration lightly.

I wish you would be more forthright and less… not evasive- that’s too strong and devious… but you rarely give straight answers either.

You claim Scripture is authoritative – yet you want to dismiss whole parts as being inventions of man.

You claim inspiration – yet you allow for whole parts to nothing more than Israel ascribing to God things he did not do.

I agree that many read the Scriptures too tightly and hold things as acid tests that should not be – such as 7 day creation.

But, when the word of God speaks about the actions of God I must take it as absolutely accurate. I must insist on the approach that trusts God to describe his actions accurately.

512   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 9th, 2010 at 6:58 pm

MG – I understand your points, however since 1975 I make all my decisions without taking any advise or encouragement from the government.

513   M.G.    
March 9th, 2010 at 7:01 pm

Chris L.,

The fact that you are able to simultaneously decry the use of racial labels (which were specifically used to fight against the Jim Crow South) whilst referring to a whole group of human beings as “the illegals” is pretty ugly.

Ugly.

514   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 9th, 2010 at 7:08 pm

#513 – I completely agree. They are not “the illegals”, they are “the whited fields”.

515   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 9th, 2010 at 7:11 pm

I wasn’t aware that referring to “illegal immigrants” as “illegals” was somehow racist/ugly. I could have said “undocumented workers” (though not all work), or “illegal aliens” (though that makes me think of Area 51), as well. I’m not exactly what is so offensive about referring to folks who are living in the country illegally as “illegals” is somehow ugly.

Do I think they are taken advantage of? Yes. Do I think they work harder than many Americans? Yes. Do I think that they take advantage of a system they don’t pay into? Yes.

The point is, they’re here illegally, and employing them is illegal. As such, and especially when we’ve got 10% unemployment, I’m not sure why it’s so offensive to suggest the follow the law and go home. Whether that is Canada, Mexico, or outer Burgoslavia, if they’ve got no respect for the laws of the land, then I’m not sure why my tax dollars should support them.

516   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 9th, 2010 at 7:19 pm

Millions of “illegal aliens” pay into a SS system in which they will never receive a penny. I have hired many Mexicans without asking them their status, and they are consistently better workers then are our American workers. And in 17 years we have seen some saved who now attend Spanish speaking churches and who my partner and I enjoy Christian fellowship from time to time.

I do not see them as leaches…I see them as sinners who need a Savior.

517   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 9th, 2010 at 7:27 pm

“I’m not sure why my tax dollars should support them.”

According to Jesus they are not your tax dollars, they belong to Casear. (George Washington, Barak Obama)

518   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 9th, 2010 at 7:30 pm

Rick – I don’t see them simply as “leeches”, but I do believe in the rule of law, and – like it or not – living and working in the US, and hiring undocumented workers is a federal crime.

As for paying into the SS system, you’ve gotta have a Social Security # to pay into it – and eVerify has been putting the clamps on the sharing of SSID’s or fake SSID’s. It’s coming expansion will shut down the practice even further. Perhaps you could explain how it is you paid their Social Security taxes when you hired them?

I believe our doors should be open to controlled immigration (which, amazingly for a country so many of y’all seem to hate, seems to still be all the rage, as opposed to emigrating from the US), particularly in legitimate cases of asylum. If you’re not willing to go through the appropriate legal channels to move here, though, I don’t see why I should be shamed for expecting that the laws would be enforced.

519   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 9th, 2010 at 7:30 pm

if they’ve got no respect for the laws of the land, then I’m not sure why my tax dollars should support them.

Yeah, cause the law of the land is what matters most.

520   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 9th, 2010 at 7:35 pm

Yeah, cause the law of the land is what matters most.

Why should I not be surprised that someone who sees pretty much every legal command in the Bible as optional would see the laws of men in the same light?

521   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 9th, 2010 at 7:35 pm

Let the government come for me. I consider helping the poor to take precident over the laws of men.

522   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 9th, 2010 at 7:39 pm

It is political issues like this that decimate the spirit of the gospel and make Jesus bow to the Dagon of nationalism.

523   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 9th, 2010 at 7:39 pm

Excuse me whilst i go rob a bank to supply the local food pantry with an ample supply of stores for the remainder of this winter.

524   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 9th, 2010 at 7:39 pm

Agreed, Rick.

But as Chris L has stated before, he’s “connected.” Screw the poor, downtrodden, marginalized, alien, outcasts, etc.

Out of sight, out of mind

525   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 9th, 2010 at 7:42 pm

It is political issues like this that decimate the spirit of the gospel and make Jesus bow to the Dagon of nationalism.

Ah yes, because following the written law of the land is the equivalent of bowing to Dagon, and sending illegals back to wherever they hail from is the equivalent of sacrificing children to Molech.

Gotcha.

Whatever.

526   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 9th, 2010 at 7:42 pm

Robbing a bank, a violent act that is forbidden by the New Testament, is a far cry from immigration technicalities. If immigration laws were changed I am sure that the complaining would continue.

527   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 9th, 2010 at 7:44 pm

Screw the poor, downtrodden, marginalized, alien, outcasts, etc.

If we can follow the law and help them in their countries of origen, we’re not “screwing” them. Nobody forced them to break the law by coming to America illegally. There IS a legal path to immigration, but its not for those interested in instant gratification.

Nobody’s saying to “screw the poor”…

528   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 9th, 2010 at 7:45 pm

Let the government chase down who they deem necessary, but I will help the poor regardless of their alien status. I have a higher calling to obey a higher law.

529   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 9th, 2010 at 7:47 pm

Robbing a bank, a violent act that is forbidden by the New Testament, is a far cry from immigration technicalities.

Paul:
Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you. For he is God’s servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God’s servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience.

Whoops! Guess breaking immigration law is an act forbidden by the New Testament, as well.

If immigration laws were changed I am sure that the complaining would continue.

I’ve got no problems with folks who respect the law and immigrate to America legally.

530   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 9th, 2010 at 7:48 pm

I have a higher calling to obey a higher law.

Perhaps you can join me in my next bank heist, then…

531   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 9th, 2010 at 7:48 pm

If I was Mexican, and I was poor, and I could not find work, and my children needed medicine, and we did not have enough food, and I was lost, I would lead my family across the border illegally and look for work.

Who would I expect to treat me mercifully? (I guess no one since Christians are really Americans.)

532   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 9th, 2010 at 7:50 pm

Would it have been righteous for a Christian to be involved with the underground railroad?

533   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 9th, 2010 at 7:51 pm

Would it have been righteous for a Christian to be involved with the underground railroad?

Yes, but we are no longer dealing in equivalency. I see no undocumented workers being kept in chains or as slaves. The majority are here of their own free will and intent – not as coerced slaves of corrupt landholders.

534   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 9th, 2010 at 7:55 pm

If I was Mexican, and I was poor, and I could not find work, and my children needed medicine, and we did not have enough food, and I was lost, I would lead my family across the border illegally and look for work.

And I hope you wouldn’t be offended if you were returned home for breaking the law of the country you illegally broke into. There are a number of missions in border towns (and interior towns) in Mexico where your needs could be met, and the choice to illegally emigrate or die is 99.9999% of the time not a binary decision.

535   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 9th, 2010 at 7:55 pm

They would still be breaking the law of the land which you contended was the basis for your argument. Now you suggest you may break the law because of the degree of persecution?

Paul never said slaves should escape their masters. How convenient are the Scriptures when you honor the laws of man above the commandments of God.

If helping “illegal aliens” is wrong so is the underground railroad.

536   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 9th, 2010 at 7:57 pm

Chris – With all due respect, you are blind to people’s plights. You are an American.

537   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 9th, 2010 at 7:57 pm

You want irony?

I am called a heretic and one who does not “believe” the Scripture because I dare to question the historicity of a few violent acts in the OT. However, my theology, if lived out in RL (and not just in your head or on a blog) leads to a life of non-violence, seeking peace, not war, moving towards reconciliation rather than division, seeks to shelter and care for the poor regardless of station or nationality, is not concerned with my worldly citizenship but with a heavenly one, and more….

Meanwhile, Chris L, who gets to check the “orthodox” box according to most of you here and may have proper “beliefs” has a theology that leads a person in RL to speak demeaningly of immigrants or the poor, thinks the law of the land trumps love of neighbor, argues against universal health care because of their politics, argues for the defense of “just war” theory, thinks that racial segregation among churches is perfectly OK, etc. etc.

If “right belief” leads one to live in the way Chris L does, than I’d rather be a heretic who supposedly hates the Bible.

538   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 9th, 2010 at 8:01 pm

Chad – You have the orthopraxy down. Work on the orthodoxy part!

539   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 9th, 2010 at 8:08 pm

Where have I demeaned immigrants or the poor? It’s come a long way to classify the request that everyone follow the laws of the land as “demeaning”.

I have no problems with churches who feed the poor (illegal or not), because to do so is compassionate and violates no laws. Employing them, or encouraging them to continue violating the law, though, is not “loving your neighbor”, since it is encouraging them to continue to live in sin (you know – the actual kind of sin that God has actually enumerated. Not the fantasy “sin” gleaned from projecting ones beliefs upon God).

thinks the law of the land trumps love of neighbor,

Another false choice.

It is not love to encourage one to sin. But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.

argues against universal health care

I don’t argue against universal health care – I argue against universal health insurance or any other “gifts of benevolence” from Caesar.

argues for the defense of “just war” theory,

Which is supported by Christ, so I’ve got no problems with it.

thinks that racial segregation among churches is perfectly OK,

Another falsely inflammatory characterization (amidst an entire list of them).

If “right belief” leads one to live in the way Chris L does, than I’d rather be a heretic who supposedly hates the Bible.

And I’d rather obey my Maker than be lauded in the eyes of men for my supposed “compassion” shown on a road that leads to hell.

540   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 9th, 2010 at 8:09 pm

Hey Rick – the “orthodoxy” part hasn’t gotten Chris L very far.

And besides, Jesus said you are defiled not by what goes in but what comes out. I’d rather live rightly than be able to pass a test.

541   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 9th, 2010 at 8:11 pm

If helping “illegal aliens” is wrong so is the underground railroad.

No – as pointed out earlier, the “slavery” dealt with in Scripture was not equivalent to 18th & 19th century Slavery in America (which was, more accurately, kidnapping, not slavery).

542   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 9th, 2010 at 8:12 pm

I’d rather live rightly than be able to pass a test.

The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

543   M.G.    
March 9th, 2010 at 8:15 pm

Chris L.,

What I found so surprising was the inconsistency. Why did complain against labels (like black or white)?

Well, because it divides, right? We’re no longer all human (or American), but we’re blacks, we’re whites, we’re hispanics.

It also reduces, doesn’t it? We’re different from our gifts and talents. We’re all of a sudden a black (fill in the blank) or we’re a white (fill in the blank). It’s hard to get beyond the identity associated with our race.

Please, then, explain to me what isn’t divisive or reductive about referring to a group of human beings as “the illegals.” It divides. On one side we have the good law-abiding citizens. On the other, we have the lawbreakers; they are individuals who break the law night and day, just by being here, without ceasing.

Never mind that, as Rick points out, you, if you’re honest, would do the same thing. Remittances back to Mexico are the fourth largest contributor to Mexico’s GDP. That’s more than Mexico’s entire tourism industry.

And that saves a lot of lives.

And “illegals” is reductive, isn’t it? They aren’t people. They are not smart, dumb, rich, poor, good or bad. They are simply illegal. Period.

So you complained about the U.S. keeping track of blacks, whites, and Latinos. But then you turned around and labeled a whole group of people “illegals.”

The inconsistency struck me as too much, and your anger, hatred, whatever, towards a group of people who have not been given your talents, education and social capital… well, it’s all pretty gross.

544   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 9th, 2010 at 8:15 pm

Chris L –

are you seriously making the claim that slaves in Rome and the ancient world were ALL voluntary?

545   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 9th, 2010 at 8:16 pm

I am a man without a country (good pun). I am emergent in my orthopraxy and doctrinally orthodox.

I am starting a cult.

546   M.G.    
March 9th, 2010 at 8:20 pm

Chris L.,

I don’t know if you’re a Victor Hugo fan or not. I am.

I think, if I may say with much respect, that you need a little less “Javert” in your politics a little more “Jean Valjean.”

I respect the purity of your politics. But I also detect a wellspring of anger and bitterness that colors your thinking.

Just my 2 cents.

547   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 9th, 2010 at 8:23 pm

Wow! A Jean Valjean sighting!

But the tigers come at night…

548   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 9th, 2010 at 8:29 pm

I do not question Chris L’s love for Christ, or that he helps people, or that he is compassionate. But the “illegal alien” issue is a perfect prism through which the interests of a nation are divided from the gospel to the poor.

I would love to hear Rob Bell suggest all illegal aliens be rounded up and herded summarily back to Mexico. That view stems from a heart that is compromised by a “love” for a nation.

549   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 9th, 2010 at 8:58 pm

I was just reading Barclay’s take on Philemon and his historical picture of slavery in Rome. Nearly 60 million slaves existed then, comprising the bulk of the economic system and life of Rome’s citizens. They operated under Aristotle’s assumption that certain people were born to be slaves – that was their lot. American slavery thought the same thing – that the “savages” or “heathens” were made by God to help the white man. They could be nothing else. Americans never thought of themselves as kidnapping people but as placing them in their rightful, God ordained place in life. Same as Rome and the slaves in Paul’s day.

While there were some slaves that were voluntary to pay off debts and such, the majority of slavery was no different than the way the American and English slavery operated. If you tried to escape you were branded with an “F” for “fugitivus” and your entire family was often killed or even crucified.

If anything it was a far more savage system than the English system later employed.

550   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 9th, 2010 at 9:36 pm

A friend of mine at church who is Canadian ran into a bit of a pickle a couple years ago. He and his wife are here on a work visa, and – due to a bureaucratic snafu not of their making – their visa was set to run out and not renewed when it was supposed to be. Many of us in the church prayed for them, that the wheels of government would pick back up and take care of their situation in time, so as to not disrupt their lives.

Unfortunately, bureaucracies tend to work as designed, and their visa expired. The could have done the easy thing – they had jobs and could have stayed, illegally, until the wheels of government corrected the issue. Instead, they had the integrity to do the right thing – as hard, inconvenient and expensive as it was – and returned for a period of time to Canada until they could come back legally. We continued to pray for them during that time, and after their return.

It is hard to understate how easy it would have been for them to ignore the law, and I’m sure folks would have made all sorts of excuses for them and rebuffed any comments to the contrary as “the law of the land trumps love of neighbor”. Instead, though, they had the integrity most folks today – y’all included – apparently do not espouse, and did the right thing, rather than the easy thing – even though the circumstances seemed quite unfair and chaotic.

551   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 9th, 2010 at 9:42 pm

Any friends of yours, Chris L, I am sure had the means to do that – you know, with your connections and all.

Sadly, the majority of the world does not have such connections and such means and life isn’t as black and white.

I’m still curious to know why you think slavery in America was worse than slavery in Paul or Jesus’ day.

552   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 9th, 2010 at 9:46 pm

And how incredibly obtuse and arrogant to try to compare the plight of someone whose work visa expired from Canada with that of a family trying to perhaps send money to loved ones who will die without it.

Unbelievable.

553   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 9th, 2010 at 9:51 pm

Please, then, explain to me what isn’t divisive or reductive about referring to a group of human beings as “the illegals.”

For the purposes of the Census and other government programs/policies, their defining characteristic is they are here against the law. It is not about “dividing” – it is simply about upholding the law of the land, no matter how inconvenient it might be.

I have no problem with churches helping out these families when they are in need, because the role of the church is to help the needy. However, I do not advocate the church breaking the law in their dealings with them – be it by providing illegal employment, or by actively helping them evade the civil authorities.

Never mind that, as Rick points out, you, if you’re honest, would do the same thing.

No, I doubt I would. Last week, I discovered a bank error in my favor at about 10 pm. After a brief moment of exuberance, my conscience kicked in and I barely slept that night until I made it to the credit union in the morning to get the error corrected. It had nothing to do with me trying to be self-righteous, and everything about being able to live with myself with an illegal advantage in my favor. It made me feel sick to my stomach. In the same way, I do not think I could sleep at night if I was choosing to live in a knowing, purposeful, lawbreaking state.

So no, I doubt I would do the same thing Rick points out.

Remittances back to Mexico are the fourth largest contributor to Mexico’s GDP.

Despite the fact that it was to the disadvantage of American workers, I was a big supporter of NAFTA. I support all sorts of legal interventions that serve to make Mexico more self-sufficient, so as to relieve the pressure on individuals to break the law. The ends do not justify the means.

So you complained about the U.S. keeping track of blacks, whites, and Latinos. But then you turned around and labeled a whole group of people “illegals.”

My complaint is that the country treats its citizens differently, based upon purely genetic factors. Choosing to break the laws of the land, living here illegally, is not a genetic predisposition, but an active choice they’ve made. For the purposes of enumeration, their classification is as an illegal immigrant. They are not citizens. They are not here legally. It’s their choice, so classifying them by it – in a government process that is all about counting its citizens and non-citizen residents – is not “gross” or “ugly” – it’s just basic truth.

554   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 9th, 2010 at 9:54 pm

Chris L –

are you seriously making the claim that slaves in Rome and the ancient world were ALL voluntary?

I’m making the case that “slavery” in ancient Palestine was primarily a case of indebtedness, not kidnapping. One could pay off one’s debt and become free – and the children of a Roman slaves were both freedmen and Roman citizens (see Paul). The primary “masters” were landlords and the primary “slaves” were tenant farmers.

In some cases, slaves were spoils of war, but these were not the most common (and not at all common in Palestine).

555   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 9th, 2010 at 9:57 pm

I think, if I may say with much respect, that you need a little less “Javert” in your politics a little more “Jean Valjean.”

I’m not for unwavering worship and finding meaning from the law. Even so, I’m not for simply ignoring the law because it feels good to do so or because I can construct a rationalized excuse to ignore it.

556   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 9th, 2010 at 10:03 pm

Regarding Roman slavery (vs. the slavery primarily dealt with in the OT and NT Palestine), I would agree that it was less humane, but that is not what is primarily dealt with in Scripture.

557   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 9th, 2010 at 10:08 pm

Any friends of yours, Chris L, I am sure had the means to do that – you know, with your connections and all.

Connections? I don’t know anyone in government to help move along visa requests. The only “connections” I have are of the medical variety…

And how incredibly obtuse and arrogant to try to compare the plight of someone whose work visa expired from Canada with that of a family trying to perhaps send money to loved ones who will die without it.

You paint such a lovely, noble and romanticized view which is just as real as a view that illegal immigrants are leeches seeking out the “good life” living on the American dole. Generally, the truth is somewhere between. If all of the illegal immigrants who are willing to work in America stayed in their own countries and started their own businesses, they would have a much greater impact on their communities than they do by blowing town and sending cash back once a month.

Teach a man to fish vs. giving him fish, and all…

558   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 9th, 2010 at 10:13 pm

But the “illegal alien” issue is a perfect prism through which the interests of a nation are divided from the gospel to the poor.

I’m not sure what part of illegal you don’t understand, but I didn’t think we were given Christian license to ignore whatever laws we might happen to dislike, providing they don’t require us to commit sin.

559   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 9th, 2010 at 10:16 pm

“No, I doubt I would.”

You are a saved follower of Jesus. Most “illegals” are lost. (Whcih was one of the things I mentioned) Apples and oranges, but your self elevating narrative was appreciated. :cool:

It really is secondary as to who these illegals are and why they came. The question is who are we?

560   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 9th, 2010 at 10:31 pm

It really is secondary as to who these illegals are and why they came. The question is who are we?

We can rationalize until we’re blue in the face, but that’s how sin is – we can always find a good reason to engage in it – especially if it makes us look “good” and “caring” and “compassionate”. Robbing banks to feed the homeless, while more extreme, is no different in principle.

[FYI - the point of the "bank" story was not that I wanted to do the right thing for the right reasons - in my heart, I would have loved to keep it. Rather, it was that my physical reaction to it (a selfish thing) wouldn't have let me do it... I don't consider it "self-elevating", but rather a failure that I didn't immediately want to do the right thing, but was just responding to feelings of guilt.]

561   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 9th, 2010 at 10:36 pm

I just find it incredulous that someone who is so dispassionate about McLaren’s heresy is so passionate about illegal aliens. Chris – You do not feel even a little like you are taking the wrong side in this?

Nationalism even distorts the views of men who otherwise are flexible in many other areas. We are not Americans; we are followers of Jesus Christ who must respond to human need and suffering. The ODMs would most gladly take Chris L’s perspective.

562   M.G.    
March 9th, 2010 at 10:37 pm

Chris L.,

I’m not advocating breaking the law.

My modest proposition, rather, is that referring to Mexicans as “the illegals” is contrary to the spirit of Christ.

And while I disagree with a man who’d let his family starve rather than break the law, I have to say I respect your commitment to your own moral purity. (But comparing the plight of Mexicans entering the United States in order to send money back home to a bank error is wrong.)

563   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 9th, 2010 at 10:56 pm

My modest proposition, rather, is that referring to Mexicans as “the illegals” is contrary to the spirit of Christ.

I wasn’t referring to Mexicans as “the illegals” – I was referencing ALL illegal immigrants, regardless of origin. Yes, many are from Mexico, but many are from points further south, from the north, from the far east and from eastern Europe. I was specifically referencing news stories I’d read recently about how advocacy groups were urging illegal aliens to avoid the census completely (some lying to them about census workers as narcs, which I do not condone), in order to pressure the government into easing immigration laws (by threatening cities’ federal allocations, which would be reduced if illegals are not counted in their census).

Since the group I’m referring to is specifically made up of illegal immigrants, I’m not sure why “illegals” is any more offensive that “illegal immigrants”…

And while I disagree with a man who’d let his family starve rather than break the law, I have to say I respect your commitment to your own moral purity.

To the point I made to Rick – I don’t consider it moral purity so much as an inability to live with guilt. I really wish that when I do the right thing that it would be because I wanted to do the right thing and not that I wouldn’t be able to live with myself (at least for long) doing the wrong thing.

But comparing the plight of Mexicans entering the United States in order to send money back home to a bank error is wrong.

Sin is sin. I believe that God always gives us a way though a situation that does not require that we sin – whether through direct provision or definitional provision. In the case of illegal immigrants, I believe that the conditions they are escaping would be greatly improved for all if they didn’t bail, but if they stayed and improved the situation for all…

564   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 9th, 2010 at 11:01 pm

“In the case of illegal immigrants, I believe that the conditions they are escaping would be greatly improved for all if they didn’t bail, but if they stayed and improved the situation for all…”

All I can say is wow. Western reasoning in all its glory. Let them eat cake. I notice you did not say “Let’s organize a sacrificial effort to reach millions of Mexicans who suffer greatly.”

Nope. Let them improve their own situation and not “bail”. Just wow.

565   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 9th, 2010 at 11:03 pm

I just find it incredulous that someone who is so dispassionate about McLaren’s heresy is so passionate about illegal aliens. Chris – You do not feel even a little like you are taking the wrong side in this?

I’ve addressed a number of things that MacLaren has said in the past that I considered ‘heretical’ (including some things that sounded quite universalist at a conference at Willow Creek a year or two ago). I’ve got all sorts of problems with MacLaren, but in the case of his latest book, I didn’t see any reason to tar and feather him as a heretic w/o reading the book and identifying what, exactly, is heretical. I’m still waiting for Phil’s review.

I’m not all that “passionate” about illegal aliens. This discussion is the first discussion I’ve had on the topic in the past year (that I can remember). Even so, when someone asks me what I think about “illegal aliens”, my basic response is “what part of illegal don’t we understand”? I’m sure we can find justification for breaking most laws, but that does not negate that they are laws of the land, and that we are at least to follow their letter, if not their spirit.

566   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 9th, 2010 at 11:08 pm

All I can say is wow. Western reasoning in all its glory. Let them eat cake. I notice you did not say “Let’s organize a sacrificial effort to reach millions of Mexicans who suffer greatly.”

I mentioned mission organizations in Mexico – the interior and in border towns – earlier. Some are supported by my church. I’m not saying “let them eat cake” – I’m saying that they need to be taught to fish, not handed a fish. Escaping their country and sending cash back does not accomplish the former, but propagates the decay of their own society.

567   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 9th, 2010 at 11:16 pm

Pretending we understand their plight is a conscience salve, especially when our moral dilemma is what to do about more money than we should have in our bank account.

Another universe.

568   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 9th, 2010 at 11:21 pm

I’m sorry my daily “moral dilemmas” are not of the same severity as those we’re discussing. I don’t claim that they are. My point was that if I can’t live with the guilt of “little sins”, I doubt I’d be able to live very long with bigger ones. In fact, from past experience, I know I can’t. I fall apart, and everything around me does.

I’m not looking to salve my conscience. Having compassion for someone in a bad situation does not give me the license to ignore whatever laws I feel like ignoring. Apparently you have no problem with that. More power to you.

569   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 9th, 2010 at 11:37 pm

What kind of desperation causes a man to load his family in an unsafe boat and risk their lives to escape poverty and disease and even death, and leave Haiti and come to the United States searching for a scrap of hope? What kind of hopelessness causes another man to load his family in a small car and drive four days to reach the New Mexico border and realizing he might go to jail he scurries his family across the border hoping for something more than he has had?
And when these pitiful specimens arrive safely here and without shelter or jobs yet, and attempting to avoid the police, they might just see followers of Jesus demanding they be sent back to the squalor from which they had hoped to escape. The rigid laws of man that turn a blind eye to the profound plight of the poor and downtrodden are not to be blindly obeyed by compassionate followers of Jesus. The treatment and national racism that is projected toward illegal aliens is a disgrace to the so called Christian nation, but much more devastating and indicting is when those who name the name of Christ march to a heartless obedience to the laws of man against mankind itself.
Let us not drag the name of Jesus into the cesspool of political issues designed to protect our hedonistic way of life. If we cannot be moved by the plight of many of these poor people than let us please drop the pretense of being anything resembling a follower of Jesus Christ. We are followers of George Washington.

570   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 9th, 2010 at 11:44 pm

Very touching, Rick, but it’s the vast exception and not the rule. You’d make a great politician, but a poor statistician.

Justify sin all you want, and couch it in the most gloriously “compassionate” language you like, but don’t pretend that it has anything to do with Christ.

571   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 9th, 2010 at 11:46 pm

Yes, indeed.

572   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 10th, 2010 at 12:09 am

The same people that will smuggle Bibles into a country; the same people who cross into Tibet illegally to witness and bring supplies to brothers; the same people who provide humanitarian help into Venezuela; the same people who put “businessman” on their Moroccan passport when in fact they are missionaries; these same people must demand that poor people leave America because we respect our laws.

573   Christian P    http://www.churchvoices.com
March 10th, 2010 at 12:22 am

In response to the choices of somebody to enter the U.S. illegally:

First of all, we can’t possibly know everybody’s motivation/reasoning for making this sometimes dangerous choice. However, the historical reason has been the “American Dream.” I find it ironic that Chris L. is being slammed as uncaring of others and only concerned with his American self in all his wealth when that is what many illegal immigrants are seeking.

A question: Is not hiring somebody when it is illegal unChristian? Why or why not?

574   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 10th, 2010 at 12:27 am

Well, the next time I go about smuggling Bibles into Saudi Arabia, you can remind me that Romans 13 only applies whenever we feel like it does.

You can rationalize that ignoring/breaking immigration law (or whatever other laws happen to be inconvenient) is a-OK if you can pretend it is in Jesus’ name. Even so, to obey is better than sacrifice, and declaring that you are a law unto yourself when it comes to picking and choosing what laws you will and will not follow doesn’t negate the inherent sin.

575   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 10th, 2010 at 7:40 am

I have not seen Rom. 13 abused by a single person more than I have here, by Chris L.

Regarding Roman slavery (vs. the slavery primarily dealt with in the OT and NT Palestine), I would agree that it was less humane, but that is not what is primarily dealt with in Scripture.

Huh??

The NT isn’t delineating between Roman and Hebrew slavery. Where do you get that idea?

Paul is a Roman citizen and a missionary to the gentiles. If anything, when he speaks of slavery he is speaking to Gentiles, not Jews.

So how can you make the argument that helping slaves in America escape is OK because slavery in America was worse than slavery in Rome?

576   M.G.    
March 10th, 2010 at 7:41 am

Chris L.,

I’ll presume that you have never, not once, gone a mile over the speed limit.

577   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 10th, 2010 at 7:43 am

Even so, to obey is better than sacrifice, and declaring that you are a law unto yourself when it comes to picking and choosing what laws you will and will not follow doesn’t negate the inherent sin.

Sounds like a man wishing Rosa Parks had just stayed in the damn back of the bus.

578   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 10th, 2010 at 7:50 am

If all of the illegal immigrants who are willing to work in America stayed in their own countries and started their own businesses,

*smacks head* Ah, of course! Why don’t those idiots think of this stuff?

I mean, all the need to do is start their own business! Then they can stop smearing our pretty landscape and infringing on my rights.

579   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 10th, 2010 at 7:56 am

When I outlined the plight of thousands it was called “compassionate language”. It continues to astound me how callous Christians can be when captured by nationalism.

I know, I used to feel the same way. If the laws of men forbid us to help the poor, even if they are “illegal” poor people in the government’s eyes, I will still help the poor. I have never knowingly hired an illegal alien, however I do not ever ask.

I rejoice that many illegals find hope and care here.

580   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 10th, 2010 at 7:59 am

#578 – I too found that statement especially confounding and Ostrich-like. It’s like saying “Why don’t these ghetto blacks just pull up their boot straps and straighten their lives out!”

581   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 10th, 2010 at 8:07 am

Do not oppress an alien; you yourselves know how it feels to be aliens, because you were aliens in Egypt. – God

The alien living with you must be treated as one of your native-born. Love him as yourself, for you were aliens in Egypt. I am the LORD your God. – God

When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Leave them for the poor and the alien. I am the LORD your God. – God

He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the alien, giving him food and clothing.(Deut 10:18)

And you are to love those who are aliens, for you yourselves were aliens in Egypt. – God

Do not abhor an Edomite, for he is your brother. Do not abhor an Egyptian, because you lived as an alien in his country. – God

Do not deprive the alien or the fatherless of justice, or take the cloak of the widow as a pledge. – God

“Cursed is the man who withholds justice from the alien, the fatherless or the widow.” Then all the people shall say, “Amen!” – God

Assemble the people—men, women and children, and the aliens living in your towns—so they can listen and learn to fear the LORD your God and follow carefully all the words of this law. – God

The people of the land practice extortion and commit robbery; they oppress the poor and needy and mistreat the alien, denying them justice. – Ezek 22

In whatever tribe the alien settles, there you are to give him his inheritance,” declares the Sovereign LORD.

—————-

While the law of America may have certain laws about “illegals,” we who call ourselves Christians live by a higher law. While in some cases the just thing to do for the alien may be to help them return to their homeland to carve out a life there, many, many times that is not what is just and right for the family in question.

582   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 10th, 2010 at 8:11 am

Thank goodness the likes of Ann Frank didn’t knock on Chris L’s door seeking asylum.

“I’m sorry, dear, but the law of the land says I’m to report your location. Surely you don’t want me to sin while causing you to sin as well, do you? That would not be very loving of me. Sin is sin, after all.”

583   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 10th, 2010 at 8:12 am

George Patton objected to Eisenhower’s compromise and said, “This is what happens when we stop being Americans and become Allies”.

Well this is what happens when we stop being Christians and become Americans. I will tell you this: In my experience, nationalism is an extremely powerful strongman and is not overcome easily.

584   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 10th, 2010 at 8:28 am

This should be a wake up call to all of us. It is not that we do too much for the poor and downtrodden, even the illegal, but it is that we do not do enough. This is not about obeying speeding laws (which we happily break in an emergency), and this is not about littering or paying taxes. This is about turning away from human need simply because some government commands us because they do not meet the legal requirements.

The gospel transcends the law of man, especially when that law restricts the gospel from ministering to the needs of the poor.

585   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 10th, 2010 at 8:37 am

I honestly do not get it. Men like Bell and Rollins consistently argue that the gospel is much more than words, and yet when it comes to the poor illegals we must send them back to the circumstances which drove them here? Obeying the laws of men obstruct the compassion of Jesus Christ?

I fear our faith continues to be captured by the restrictions of culture and dictates of kings.

586   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
March 10th, 2010 at 8:40 am

Well, If i decide to illegaly cross the boarder south and act as a citizen and then get caught, I will spend a couple of years enjoying the hospitality of the Federales and then I will be deported.

It can be an issue of compassion, to be sure, however.

Having lived in California for much of my life, I have observed this type of compassion from our neighbors to the south:

Illegal Weapons
Illegal Drug possession/sales
Murder
Rape
Assasination of Rivals

Of course, this is not all of them. There are hard working, honest people who simply want a better life who are here illegally, not paying taxes while taxing the services in my home state such as:

Free Medical
Education
Special Education
Legal system

You see, when an illegal family comes over illegally, and they are hard working and honest, they have a family. Sometimes families get ill. They go to the emergency room, crowding the citizens out, causing it to look like a Doctors office on ObamaCare for upwards of 10 hours for a simple procedure. My relatives, who needed some special education for their child were unable to get it because of the waiting list caused by children, born of illegals, were first in line. The resources in the schools were taxed because they had to hire extra ESL teachers because the people who wanted to be here so badly didn’t learn the language!

California is largely bankrupt today because we have not taken a hard stand on illegal immigration.

I have friends who have immigrated legally, purchased visas, worked with immigration lawyers, learned the language, paid taxes, and been good citizens, all with a very high financial cost, and are still being denied because of limits imposed because of the numbers of illegals. It does not seem fair that people who want to do it legally ought to be stalled by those who are illegal.

This is not about nationalism as it is about the obedience of our laws and sovereignty as a nation. I have to side with Chris L on this one. This has noting to do with smuggling Bibles or preaching the gospel, but it has everything to do with the overtaxing of a government system that struggles already with the citizens who are here legally.

587   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 10th, 2010 at 8:44 am

#586 – Nationalism makes strange bedfellows.

The way some believers view illegal aliens, Romans 13 must be the gospel.

Rick Frueh circa A.D. 2010

588   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
March 10th, 2010 at 8:45 am

#585
I agree in principal that as Christians, we ought to deal with compassion with those who are in need, legal and illegal. I think the most important part is the gospel, as well as caring for physical needs.

This leaves me torn, however, because I believe our government has a right and responsibility to protect the rights of the citizenry.

But Rick, many of my friends travel to Mexico (and other countries) to provide compassionate services for those who live there. An elder in my church goes monthly with a team to provide free dental care (he worked like 18 hours a day while there last time). Why are we driven to encourage and enable lawbreaking as opposed to helping them in their own country?

589   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 10th, 2010 at 8:47 am

This is not about nationalism as it is about the obedience of our laws and sovereignty as a nation.

Yuck, yuck yuck.

And gross.

That entire comment was nothing but ethnocentrism run amok. Disgusting.

590   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 10th, 2010 at 8:50 am

PB – At least you are torn That’s a start. I believe one day we will answer to God as to how we treated these people. I do not encourage this behavior, but we cannot turn away and loudly champion governmental justice at the expense of social justice for the poor.

“a government system that struggles already with the citizens who are here legally.”

That is a joke. You want to really see a government that struggles with its citizens? Go to India, or the Sudan, or Angola, or the Congo, or yes, even Mexico. But we are God’s kingdom not some earthly government.

591   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 10th, 2010 at 9:05 am

My heart grieves when I see conversations such as this. I have been in the living room of families that live in a two bedroom house with 9 people. I watched them in abject poverty willing to do anything to earn money.

I observed the fear they had about being “caught” and sent back to their previous nightmare. And I have seen my employees come every day and give a full day’s work without any complaint and treat me like I was Cesear.

They would never think of breaking the law, and they spend their money in the community. And then I hear politicians and others treat them as some innocuous issue and garner applause from people as they proclaim they will drive them all out.

My youngest son’s Christian school teacher once said (ARE YOU READY FOR THIS??) – “My wife and I have to go to Applebees and not the Outback because these illegal aliens are stealing the food right out of our mouths!”

That my friends is every bit as unchristian as anything Marcus Borg has ever said.

592   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 10th, 2010 at 9:13 am

I actually see the entire issue as a gigantic depiction of the rich man and Lazarus.

593   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 10th, 2010 at 9:15 am

Blah, blah, blah, nationalism, blah, rationalizing sin, blah, blah, blah.

What a silly echo chamber Chad & Rick make…

594   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
March 10th, 2010 at 9:41 am

Having lived in both Florida and California, I can see the problems with illegal immigration very clearly. I am compassionate to a point, but my compassion is being overwhelmed with a sense of angst at those who come here illegally and disobey our laws, refuse to learn our language, and overrun systems of basic government.

Chad, you are an idiot! It is not about ethnocentrism, I am all about having people immigrate here, as many as they want, if they do it legally. I do not care what color, religion, or gender. They can all come. Just apply for a Visa and for citizenship. In other words, do it legally.

595   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
March 10th, 2010 at 9:43 am

I don’t see where Chris is advocating not having compassion on anyone in any of his responses. I highly doubt that he would withhold compassion from a family who came knocking at his door.

Regarding the law and Romans 12 & 13, I’d say that I don’t see Paul baptizing the law of the land in that every law that is passed is good or anything like that, but he’s simply saying that we should be willing to submit to the law when we can and accept the consequences of breaking an unjust law when can’t in good conscience submit to it. So how that pertains to immigration law I’d say can be evaluated on a somewhat case-by-case basis. I don’t, however, think that the Church should be encouraging people to knowingly break immigration laws. That doesn’t mean we can’t offer aid in the way of food, clothing, etc. to illegal immigrants, though.

I’m not saying that I think the immigration laws on the book are perfect or anything. I think that we really do need to have a guest worker program that really does meet the demand. Right now, the number of guest workers legally allowed in is pretty small compared to the actual demand. However, I also think that demand is artificially high because of the lack of accountability on the business end. If a business can hire an illegal worker for half the cost of a legal guest worker with little risk of getting caught, than the incentives are pushing businesses a certain way. Those incentives need to be addressed.

596   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 10th, 2010 at 10:07 am

Something else…

Solving Your Eternal Problem

597   Joe    http://christianresearchnetwork.com/index.php?s=john+chisham
March 10th, 2010 at 10:25 am

Chad, you are an idiot!

ahh, give me some of that good old gospel love

598   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 10th, 2010 at 10:29 am

lol Joe.

If I cared, I would have to say this is an odd way for John Chisham to show his compassion to someone he has deemed as “lost” and in need of salvation.

599   Neil    
March 10th, 2010 at 10:42 am

Obviously, the tax code is the federal government’s most powerful weapon. The government uses it to encourage us to 1.) not smoke or drink 2.) get married (unless both individuals are high earners) 3.) give to charity 4.) buy a home, etc., etc.

Wicked. – M.G.

But those are not the reasons for tax codes. You may consider those good things – but they are behavior modifications they are losses of freedom. If the Feds wanna stop smoking – pass a law. That’s their job. But using the tax code as a behavior modification tool turns it into a weapon against us.

I understand the need for taxes. The Income tax code means the Feds dictate how much a person gets to earn. And the thing is so purposefully complicated most anyone can be found to be a criminal if they desire.

600   Neil    
March 10th, 2010 at 10:45 am

I don’t really understand how a single-payer healthcare system becomes a weapon. – M.G.
it may take a while, maybe even a few generations of it follows the pattern if the income tax code.

But imagine how tempting it will be for for the Feds, if/when they control health care like they control our income, to manipulate behavior by withholding it.

601   Neil    
March 10th, 2010 at 10:45 am

Chad is anything but an idiot.

602   Eric    
March 10th, 2010 at 10:53 am

Neil,

In RE your #506, my #502 was in response to Chad’s last line in #500. Chad had said that you dismissed him as someone not worth talking to, yet for several hundred posts you have talked to him. I was pointing out the ludicrous nature of Chad’s accusation against you.

603   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 10th, 2010 at 10:54 am

I’ll presume that you have never, not once, gone a mile over the speed limit.

I have, and I’ve been (rightfully) ticketed. But the solution to my problem is to a) leave home earlier; b) lift my foot off the gas; and c) IF the speed limit is truly unrealistic, work to have it changed via legal means.

The solution to my problem is NOT to simply ignore the law and to demean those who advocate that it be enforced as heartless nationalists.

Sounds like a man wishing Rosa Parks had just stayed in the damn back of the bus.

Ah yes, the race card is played.

The law Rosa Parks broke was a bad law, and by enforcing it, it exposed the inherent racism in the system, which eventually led to its repeal and repudiation. Rosa Parks was willing to live with the consequences of breaking the law – which, if I were in her position, I likely would have been, as well. Her act, and similar ones across the American south did not lead to anarchy – they led to righting a wrong via legal means.

In the case of illegal immigration, I don’t hear anyone on your side of the argument who’s willing to allow the consequences or to accept that the “moral outrage” at enforcing the law doesn’t rise to the level of exposing anything inherently unfair within the system.

I mean, all the need to do is start their own business! Then they can stop smearing our pretty landscape and infringing on my rights.

If you want to improve the conditions of your home, the solution is to improve the conditions at home – not to invade another country and live in a perpetual state of trespass. For all of Rick’s gut-wrenching theatrics, the lion’s share of illegal aliens are here to seek “the American Dream” – an incremental improvement to their economic condition and not a “life-or-death” choice. As PB notes, there are all sorts of missions-based and humanitarian organizations which exist to help them improve their own conditions without violating the laws of another country.

If the laws of men forbid us to help the poor, even if they are “illegal” poor people in the government’s eyes, I will still help the poor.

The laws do not prevent us from giving immediate support (food, shelter, etc.) to illegal aliens, and I support church groups who do so. The laws do prevent us from granting permanent arrangements or employment, and are not inhumane in doing so. As such, our best course is to help them with their immediate need, but to also encourage them to either a) follow the legal path to immigration; or b) to return home.

Thank goodness the likes of Ann Frank didn’t knock on Chris L’s door seeking asylum.

A non-issue I already dealt with in the “Just War” article – pikuach nefesh would demand that I help the Franks, both in hiding them and in finding them a way to escape death at the hands of an unjust invader.

604   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 10th, 2010 at 10:58 am

Eric,
Is it fun to just lob peanuts from the gallery?

re # 500, which you seem obsessed with, I said:

Most of you

, however, do not extend to me the same sort of charity or grace and just love to jump to labeling me and my ideas, thereby dismissing me as someone not worth even talking to.

I did not say “Neil won’t talk to me.”

Get over it.

605   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 10th, 2010 at 11:01 am

both in hiding them and in finding them a way to escape death at the hands of an unjust invader.

Ahh. But history has revealed that most German citizens had no idea the Jews were being shipped off and killed in death camps (we didn’t even know this in America until much later). Most Germans assumed they were being sent to where they belonged.

So according to your use of Rom. 13 (or abuse of it, rather), the Jew coming to you in Germany would be no different than the “illegal” seeking refuge from America’s laws dictating they must leave.

606   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 10th, 2010 at 11:03 am

not to invade another country and live in a perpetual state of trespass.

What an ugly, bigoted way to frame the “other.”

607   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 10th, 2010 at 11:26 am

I am a supporter of this:

CCIR

Chris L, in principle you might support or affirm the same things, but your rhetoric is atrocious and divisive and terribly un-Christlike.

608   Eric    
March 10th, 2010 at 11:37 am

Chad,

I am not obsessed with your statement in #500 at all. To recap, I made one observation about it and then later clarified my comment for Neil, because he asked me a question. I have nothing to “get over”.

The fact remains that you addressed your #500 comment to Neil, and in this thread you have been engaged for literally hundreds of comments, yet you accuse others of dismissing you as not worth talking to. You made a stupid statement and now you want to project attention away from yourself by making silly comments about “lobbing peanuts from the gallery”. Apparently you don’t like the fact that your words make you look silly, so you attack the messenger.

609   M.G.    
March 10th, 2010 at 11:45 am

Chris L.,

Just for the record, I would consider any concerted attempt by the Federal government to arrest and deport the approximately 11 million immigrants currently residing in our borders to be terribly wicked.

I favor amnesty, myself. If it was good enough for Reagan, it’s good enough for me.

610   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 10th, 2010 at 11:47 am

Eric,
Do you ever have anything substantive to add to a discussion?

I stand by my statement. I’ve been commenting here a long time, Eric, and numerous people here have made the statement, both explicitly and implicitly, that discussion with me is not worth the time for the reasons I give in #500.

Comment #362 is but one example of many over the last 2 years.

Now, if you have anything of value to add, please do. Otherwise, I suggest you stop being nothing more than a trouble maker.

611   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 10th, 2010 at 11:48 am

Oh the benefit of the providential reward of one’s birthplace. It allows for a constricted “Who is my neighbor?” view that sears the conscience.

612   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 10th, 2010 at 11:50 am

Just for the record, I would consider any concerted attempt by the Federal government to arrest and deport the approximately 11 million immigrants currently residing in our borders to be terribly wicked.

I would support it wholeheartedly if it were accompanied with stronger border enforcement and a more expansive guest worker program. So – a shorter, deeper, legal path to citizenship and more stringent enforcement of existing law.

613   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 10th, 2010 at 11:59 am

I am a supporter of this:

CCIR

I support most of it, but not amnesty. I disagreed with it under Reagan, and I disagree with it now. If you’ve illegally tried to cut to the front of the line, you’re sent to the back of the line.

Chris L, in principle you might support or affirm the same things, but your rhetoric is atrocious and divisive and terribly un-Christlike.

I’ll take that as a compliment, coming from you, since your “discernment” on what is and is not Christ-like is on par with that of Silva, just from the opposite direction.

Ahh. But history has revealed that most German citizens had no idea the Jews were being shipped off and killed in death camps (we didn’t even know this in America until much later). Most Germans assumed they were being sent to where they belonged.

1) You asked about Anne Frank – who was in occupied Holland, not Germany. The Dutch knew darn well that Jews were being persecuted and not treated humanely.
2) In Germany, the problem was not illegal immigration, but the declaration of a race of people as “undesirable”, confiscating their property and shipping them off “elsewhere”. In such a case, pecuach nephesh would still apply.

Eric,
Do you ever have anything substantive to add to a discussion?

Actually, he’s added much more in reasonable discussion that you in most of the discussions he’s been involved with – and I’d say that I’ve agreed with him about 25-40% of the time.

614   Eric    
March 10th, 2010 at 11:59 am

Chad, I’ll not bow to your attempt at moderation. You are about as unChristlike a professing Christian as I have ever encountered. You preach grace and spew hatred and contempt.

615   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 10th, 2010 at 12:05 pm

If you’ve illegally tried to cut to the front of the line, you’re sent to the back of the line.

Gotta love grace.

who was in occupied Holland, not Germany. The Dutch knew darn well that Jews were being persecuted and not treated humanely.

Germany, France, Holland – whatever. Doesn’t matter. The point is still the same – knowledge of their being taken to death camps was not widely known until much later. If you were helping a Jew find refuge you were going against the law of the land and, according to you, sinning.

but the declaration of a race of people as “undesirable”

The way you speak of immigrants here in your country I am hard-pressed to see the difference in how Nazi’s labeled Jews and how you label “illegals.” You don’t make them sound desirable.

Eric,

zzzzz

616   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 10th, 2010 at 12:06 pm

Oh the benefit of the providential reward of one’s birthplace. It allows for a constricted “Who is my neighbor?” view that sears the conscience.

Blah, blah, blah.

Anything to spin your desire to hate the country you live in, assuage your conscience, and ignore whatever laws you find inconvenient.

There is a legal path to citizenship and an illegal one. Cleansing your conscience by declaring that “who is my neighbor” is a suitable replacement for immediate gratification might succeed in its aim, but it is anti-kingdom in practice. I find this entire thread amazing, where what God declares to be “sin” is pooh-poohed away under a thin veneer of “compassion” and what He has not declared “sin” is declared to be so, because God’s just not enlightened enough and the people that wrote the Bible were just slapping “God” on their poor decisions.

Black is white. White is black.

617   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 10th, 2010 at 12:11 pm

Black is white.

Chris L,
Don’t worry. I would never make the mistake of thinking you think black is white.

618   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 10th, 2010 at 12:13 pm
If you’ve illegally tried to cut to the front of the line, you’re sent to the back of the line.

Gotta love grace.

It IS grace. A lack of grace would say “If you’ve illegally tried to cut to the front of the line, you’re never going to be allowed in it again.” Grace says, “you’re forgiven for your trespass (literally), and you may now follow the legal process to citizenship”.

If you were helping a Jew find refuge you were going against the law of the land and, according to you, sinning.

Not at all. This was covered in the “just war” thread and the discussion on pecuach nephesh. Of course, if you just go with your gut and a puppies-and-unicorns version of “Jesus”, you’ll pretty much fall for anything – so understanding why you follow what laws and when, and how they all fit together is important, and not an empty exercise.

The way you speak of immigrants here in your country I am hard-pressed to see the difference in how Nazi’s labeled Jews and how you label “illegals.” You don’t make them sound desirable.

And now we have a definite Godwinning of the thread. There is no legitimate comparison whatsoever. Nice try, though.

619   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 10th, 2010 at 12:14 pm

Chad, I’ll not bow to your attempt at moderation. You are about as unChristlike a professing Christian as I have ever encountered. You preach grace and spew hatred and contempt.

I think my % agreement with you, Eric, is moving up :)

620   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 10th, 2010 at 12:20 pm

Chris L,

Your application of Rom. 13 is entirely subjective, dependent on what matches your politics.

You still have not shown how American slavery was more savage or inhumane than that which existed in the NT.

621   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 10th, 2010 at 12:27 pm

If 90% of the illegals were German immigrants, and if they came with professional careers, and if they statistically added to our economic benefit, we would find a way to grandfather them in.

Here is a great story from a California pastor.

622   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 10th, 2010 at 12:30 pm

If a family of illegal Mexicans got born again and desired to join your church, should your church accept their membership?

623   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
March 10th, 2010 at 12:34 pm

Your application of Rom. 13 is entirely subjective, dependent on what matches your politics.

Pot, meet kettle…

Seriously, Chad, I don’t see how you can write that and not see that you’re doing that exact same thing in this situation. You’re simply saying that if someone doesn’t like an immigration law, they can ignore it. If it doesn’t live up to their standard of “compassion”, than it’s OK to simply fine to break it.

Now, I will admit that many people entering the country illegally are trying to escape bad economic situations and find a better life, but that’s not the only reason why people do it. As you like to say, life is messy. But, unfortunately, when someone disagrees with you, you are suddenly only able to see the world in stark black and white terms. The greatest irony is that you are a fundamentalist.

624   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 10th, 2010 at 12:42 pm

Phil,
I’ve said nothing of the sort. In fact, I have not even said what I think ought to be done.

I’m speaking more against the rhetoric than anything else.

Where did I say or suggest a simple ignoring?

625   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 10th, 2010 at 12:42 pm

According to multiple sources (for example, Greek and Roman Slavery by Thomas Weidman – a commented collection of 200+ ancient documents regarding slavery) Roman & Greek slavery was often a substitute for a prison system, or a product of its civil wars, and was seen as a humanitarian solution to preventing vast rebellions or in preventing the deaths of children left to die of exposure. Additionally, it was not a self-sustaining enterprise, and a path to freedom was fairly well established for slaves, along with more humane standards for their treatment.

American slavery had both a racial component, in addition to being sourced by kidnapping, was perpetual through generations, and higher-level humane treatment of slaves was forbidden – the opposite of the Roman system, where it was seen as desirable that a slave could read, write, worship and perform higher-level activities.

In short, there are all sorts of differences, with American slavery tilting to the more barbaric end in every case.

626   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
March 10th, 2010 at 12:44 pm

Btw, regarding slavery in ancient Rome, I’d say that it probably is accurate to say that on a whole, the American version of slavery was more brutal and dehumanizing that it was during the first century. That is not to say that Roman slaves had it great or that there wasn’t horrible brutality. But the thing was, there wasn’t a uniform definition of a slave. Some slaves were freedmen and had rights, and they would be more analogous to a paid servant of a family. It may have been that they saw that as their lot in life, but they weren’t treated as pure possessions as other slaves were.

Again, that’s not to legitimize the institution, but I don’t see what it good it does to simply ignore the distinctions and lump everything together. Why can we search for nuance when looking at a word like “homosexual”, but not when we’re looking at word like “slave”?

627   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 10th, 2010 at 12:47 pm

If 90% of the illegals were German immigrants, and if they came with professional careers, and if they statistically added to our economic benefit, we would find a way to grandfather them in.

Part of immigration policy is determining whether or not the immigrant has a profession and will be a productive member of society. This is why the waiting line for doctors and other medical professionals is much shorter for immigration than it is for folks with general physical skills. It’s been that way since immigration to America took hold in the mid-1800’s.

Another determinant is that of political asylum – where someone is in danger of persecution if they are returned to their home country. For folks that fit under this definition (including many Jewish families coming over from Western Europe in the 1930’s), the path is shorter, as well.

628   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 10th, 2010 at 12:48 pm

What I don’t like is painting issues like these with a broad brush, referring to everyone as “illegals” and making the law of the land the trump card that dictates where justice can or should be done.

I would say every case is different, and messy. I would approach each person or family with an eye towards finding out how they can have their needs met in the best possible way while all the while showing compassion, mercy and a desire to forge connections rather than build walls.

In some cases this may mean returning someone to their homeland and then helping them achieve citizenship here through the legal process. In other cases it may not. It is not black and white.

629   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
March 10th, 2010 at 12:56 pm

I understand the whole reasoning of saying that using the “illegals” could be dehumanizing to an extent, and I also understand the PC term is “undocumented immigrant”, but to say that everyone who uses the term “illegal” is intentionally trying to dehumanize those he is referring to is a jump in judging motivations that I’m not willing to take. It’s a common tactic in debate to try to redefine a term that your opponent is using to mean something other than what they’re intending to say. It gets done with terms like “conservative” and “liberal” all the time. Frankly, it’s at the roots of the reason why it’s near impossible to have substantial discussion about these issues.

I mean, Chad, if you genuinely believe that some of us are horrible, racist people here who aren’t much different than Nazis, than I’d have to ask why you continue to waste your time here.

630   Christian P    http://www.churchvoices.com
March 10th, 2010 at 12:58 pm

Rick,

The theology of the guy that wrote that article you just linked comes from a belief that America is the promised land. He actually mentions in the article that it is not political defiance to “help them enter the land of promise.” That seems wholly incongruent with your views.

631   M.G.    
March 10th, 2010 at 1:02 pm

Chris L.,

My original point was simple. When you refer to a group of humans simply as “the illegals” you are standing up with the Tom Tancredos of the world who simply do not see undocumented immigrants as bearers of God’s image, but instead see them as invaders, encroachers, and, well, vermin that need to be removed at any and all cost.

I do not presume to know your heart. But I know that when you use terminology like “the illegals” you’re standing up with many people who are, in this particular case, against Christ and His Spirit.

Peace, friend.

632   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 10th, 2010 at 1:03 pm

Christian – You are correct. I hate it when a lack of research exposes my hypocrisy!

633   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 10th, 2010 at 1:26 pm

I guess you could sum up my view this way:

Our actions as citizens of heaven ought to be determined by the need of the neighbor before us more so than the law of the land. How this might look in practice will vary, but it is far more consistent, IMO, than using Rom. 13 as a trump card (and applied inappropriately) to determine what is sin or not.

634   Neil    
March 10th, 2010 at 1:30 pm

In RE your #506, my #502 was in response to Chad’s last line in #500. Chad had said that you dismissed him as someone not worth talking to, yet for several hundred posts you have talked to him. I was pointing out the ludicrous nature of Chad’s accusation against you. – Eric

Got it – thanks… sometimes we all say things that are a bit of hyperbole. FWIW – I did not take the last line of that post as directed at me…

635   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 10th, 2010 at 1:30 pm

And Phil, it goes far beyond just the use of the term “illegals” (as offensive as that is). Language like “invading” our land or using up my tax dollars or not learning our language (PB) or ’send them back to start their own businesses’ etc., lack compassion, empathy or any sense of a desire to identify with the poor in our midst.

636   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 10th, 2010 at 2:00 pm

I mean, Chad, if you genuinely believe that some of us are horrible, racist people here who aren’t much different than Nazis, than I’d have to ask why you continue to waste your time here.

A variety of reasons ranging from a fetish for watching train wrecks to a desire to see how some Christians think about things.

And I don’t think that about all of you, just some.

637   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 10th, 2010 at 2:03 pm

No one is a racist or a nazi. Just entrenched in nationalism.

I belong to only one nation and one kingdom.

638   M.G.    
March 10th, 2010 at 2:22 pm

Neil,

I must say I’m quite perplexed by your argument that taxes are weapons against us, and hence are bad, but absolute prohibitions are not weapons, and thus are more desirable than implementing public policy through the tax code.

That doesn’t make any sense. Why prefer absolute bans over nudges? It seems like the former are a greater threat to tyranny than the latter.

For instance, if the government is quite interested in me giving to charity, I greatly prefer the tax break, over the forced 10,000 donation, thank you very much.

On this note, I recommend Nudge by Sunstein and Thaler (I think I’ve mentioned it before). Very interesting ideas.

639   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 10th, 2010 at 2:34 pm

When you refer to a group of humans simply as “the illegals” you are standing up with the Tom Tancredos of the world who simply do not see undocumented immigrants as bearers of God’s image, but instead see them as invaders, encroachers, and, well, vermin that need to be removed at any and all cost.

It is possible to do so, but taken in the context of my usage (a specific group of people who have threatened to boycott a specific political process), it was not to dehumanize them, but to identify the specific issue.

In reality, though, they ARE trespassing, they ARE in violation of the laws of the land, and they ARE stealing from the people of this land when they use government services. Certainly the church should have compassion for those in need, but it also shouldn’t condone sin by advocating the continued lawlessness.

Our actions as citizens of heaven ought to be determined by the need of the neighbor before us more so than the law of the land. How this might look in practice will vary, but it is far more consistent, IMO, than using Rom. 13 as a trump card (and applied inappropriately) to determine what is sin or not.

I agree that we should treat individuals as individuals, but it is not inappropriate to follow the laws of the land insofar as they do not require us to violate Torah. We are not violating the law by giving food, clothing, etc., and helping them to pursue a legal path to citizenship/return home/etc. Otherwise, we end up with the same mentality some on the right use to justify shooting abortionists – “serving a higher law”, when – in reality – you are claiming lawlessness for yourself.

Language like “invading” our land or using up my tax dollars or not learning our language (PB) or ’send them back to start their own businesses’ etc., lack compassion, empathy or any sense of a desire to identify with the poor in our midst.

Naming the sin should not be offensive. Trespassing, theft, fraud and the like are crimes, and those who indulge in them – poor or not – are criminals. If you’re living in a place – no matter the country – illegally, you are an “illegal alien”. Yes, you are a person, but if you were in the process of holding up a bank, I shouldn’t be called “insensitive” or “lacking compassion” for calling you a bank robber.

No one is a racist or a nazi. Just entrenched in nationalism.

If this place is so bad, you’re always free to leave.

640   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 10th, 2010 at 2:38 pm

I think I’ll read Cass Sunstein after I’ve finished Mein Kampf

641   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 10th, 2010 at 2:40 pm

Naming the sin should not be offensive. Trespassing, theft, fraud and the like are crimes, and those who indulge in them – poor or not – are criminals. If you’re living in a place – no matter the country – illegally, you are an “illegal alien”. Yes, you are a person, but if you were in the process of holding up a bank, I shouldn’t be called “insensitive” or “lacking compassion” for calling you a bank robber.

And now all undocumented immigrants are compared to “bank robbers.”

Beautiful.

642   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 10th, 2010 at 2:43 pm

Fine – to reword:

“If you are in the process of exceeding the speed limit, I shouldn’t be called “insensitive” or “lacking compassion” for calling you a speeder…

Pick the crime – naming the criminal by the crime, during its commission isn’t offensive, except for the guilty and their enablers.

643   M.G.    
March 10th, 2010 at 2:45 pm

Chris L.,

Wow. Sunstein as Hitler. And I’ve read him. What does that make me?

Way to shut down the conversation. Ughh.

644   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
March 10th, 2010 at 2:48 pm

And now all undocumented immigrants are compared to “bank robbers.”

Beautiful.

That’s hardly what he said, Chad. You are now clearly interjecting your own interpretation onto Chris’ words.

I’ve done my best to defend you here, but when all your interested in is playing this little rhetorical game of “gotcha”, well, I have no interest in defending that.

645   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 10th, 2010 at 2:51 pm

Well, while I’m reading Sunstein, I could pick up some Van Jones, Thomas Friedman, John Holdren, and Kevin Jennings just to round out my “education”…

646   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 10th, 2010 at 2:53 pm

“No one is a racist or a nazi. Just entrenched in nationalism.”

I was objecting to Chad’s comparison and I am met with this:

“If this place is so bad, you’re always free to leave.”

Typical. This site is soooooo different than others. Not one of the three on Pyro has ever said something like that to me. You are vying to mirror what Chad has increasingly been suggesting.

647   M.G.    
March 10th, 2010 at 2:57 pm

Chris L.,

Friend, you’re not attacking ideas, you’re attacking people. That’s fine and all, but it’s no way to engage in a discussion.

Seriously. Sunstein and Thaler are liberals. I get it. That’s great. So let’s get past that, and let’s get to their ideas.

Sigh.

648   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 10th, 2010 at 2:58 pm

If we’re going to address the ideas from Nudge, Heath & Heath’s apolitical Switch covers the territory a whole lot better…

649   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 10th, 2010 at 3:00 pm

The constant tune of “nationalism” as behind every issue is not all that true. Continuing to harp on America as being the root of all modern evil gets tiring in a hurry, and it does lead me to wonder why on earth folks who bitch about it so much, and have nothing good to say regarding it, still choose to call it home.

650   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
March 10th, 2010 at 3:04 pm

Seriously. Sunstein and Thaler are liberals. I get it. That’s great. So let’s get past that, and let’s get to their ideas.

How exactly was he attacking a person in what he said? Yes, anytime you invoke Hitler it does tend evoke a visceral reaction, but as I read it, all he was saying is that he gives Sunstein’s ideas as much weight as Hitler’s.

I’d suspect an even more violent reaction by people if I honestly suggested someone read Sarah Palin’s book.

651   M.G.    
March 10th, 2010 at 3:05 pm

Thanks, Chris L., re: Switch. I’ll be sure to check it out.

And did you read Nudge? How do you know that Heath & Heath did a better job?

652   chris    
March 10th, 2010 at 3:07 pm

Typical. This site is soooooo different than others. Not one of the three on Pyro has ever said something like that to me. You are vying to mirror what Chad has increasingly been suggesting.

Easy Rick…the words they say aren’t meant with malice or dismissal it’s “dialog”. At least that’s what I was told. :)

653   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 10th, 2010 at 3:08 pm

I believe nationalism is germaine to the issue of illegal aliens. However, if it gets so old it drains your resouvoir of Christian interaction, I apologize.

I am reconsidering my challenge to Chad. A blog thread that contains an element of nationalism chases away Christianity. That just supports what I have suggested all along. Do not touch the calf. :cool:

654   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 10th, 2010 at 3:09 pm

Pick the crime – naming the criminal by the crime, during its commission isn’t offensive, except for the guilty and their enablers.

Fine. And Rahab is nothing more than a lying whore

655   M.G.    
March 10th, 2010 at 3:11 pm

Phil,

If, in your heart of hearts, you cannot fathom why a comparison of a person’s writing to Mein Kampf is a personal attack, then I really don’t know what to say.

It was not merely that Chris L., would no sooner read Mein Kampf than Nudge, it was also an implicit comparison between the two. (Because, really, why do you pull Mein Kampf as an example? Why not phone book? Or cell phone instructions?)

Phil, I respect you as a writer here, but your defenses of the gang are sometimes remarkably tenuous.

And defend the gang you do. Constantly.

656   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 10th, 2010 at 3:16 pm

The point is not right vs. wrong here. Sometimes it’s a matter of good vs. better. Chris L, you, like the Levite who passes by the beaten man, are certainly right in that you both uphold the law. You, like the Levite, have your reward. But what is “right” is not necessarily better.

I don’t like assigning names to people based on their least attractive traits. You can label Rahab a lying whore but Scripture thinks of her as a child of God. Maybe you need to read Neil’s post about labeling again.

657   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 10th, 2010 at 3:18 pm

And defend the gang you do. Constantly.

Agreed.

Phil, I’m not looking for you to defend me. I don’t need it. What would be nice is to see you stand up against what I think you believe in – or at least would like to think you believe in – rather than parrot the party line on this site.

658   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
March 10th, 2010 at 3:18 pm

If, in your heart of hearts, you cannot fathom why a comparison of a person’s writing to Mein Kampf is a personal attack, then I really don’t know what to say.

It was not merely that Chris L., would no sooner read Mein Kampf than Nudge, it was also an implicit comparison between the two. (Because, really, why do you pull Mein Kampf as an example? Why not phone book? Or cell phone instructions?)

Phil, I respect you as a writer here, but your defenses of the gang are sometimes remarkably tenuous.

And defend the gang you do. Constantly.

Well, simply put, you’re wrong.

I’ve defended all sorts of people here. You don’t have to look very far to see me disagreeing with Chris and Neil. Honestly, I am not that political of a person – I lean more libertarian, but I don’t really put much hope in the political process.

But what I see is people get selectively upset. Did you scold, Chad, M.G. when he pretty much called Chris a Nazi? Call me crazy, but I find that much more offensive than comparing the writing of liberal law professor to Hitler’s writing to make the point that you don’t feel it would be worth your time to read.

So, yes, maybe I do tend to defend people too much. Perhaps it’s the whole oldest child thing – but I don’t like seeing anyone I have some sort of relationship with being unfairly attacked.

659   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 10th, 2010 at 3:20 pm

Nudge is on the departmental bookshelf, and covered a topic area I wanted to cover w/ my department. A quick perusal told me it would be a non-starter, and Switch was recommended by several folks – so we’re going through it right now.

660   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 10th, 2010 at 3:23 pm

Phil,
Where did I compare Chris to a Nazi?

I didn’t.

661   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
March 10th, 2010 at 3:26 pm

Phil, I’m not looking for you to defend me. I don’t need it. What would be nice is to see you stand up against what I think you believe in – or at least would like to think you believe in – rather than parrot the party line on this site.

Please let me know what the party line is – honestly, let me know. From what I can tell I’ve been pretty clear in my positions. To me, it simply seems that when people start complaining about being treated unfairly here a lot of the time it’s based purely out of an emotional response rather than the facts of the matter.

There are times when Chris, I believe, crosses the line of civility. Neil called him out earlier. After reading that, I didn’t feel a need to pile on. But, seriously, I can find very more offensive than one Christian labeling another a racist. Perhaps because of the church I go to I am sensitive to it. I’ve seen people who actually deal with real racism in their schooling and work. And what happens here isn’t that. If we can’t honestly discuss ideas here without stooping to that level, than it really has become little more than idle chatter.

662   Mike    
March 10th, 2010 at 3:29 pm

I am always amazed at some of the dialogues that occur in this blog’s comments sections sometimes. About half of the conversation is people putting opinions out and discussing their thoughts.

The other half of the comments are people parsing word use, complaing about the offensiveness of a comment, getting angry, being offended or demanding an apology. etc.

If you don’t have anything substantive to add, why not just go play BeJewelled or something.

If my Chemistry classes complained as much as some of you do, we would never get anything done…

Which is my point.

663   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 10th, 2010 at 3:29 pm

I believe nationalism is germaine to the issue of illegal aliens.

1) Border security it a basic defense/security issue.
2) For some reason, we’ve decided that the government should be in the business of handing out freebies to folks, rather than the private populace. As such, we’ve got to have some mechanism for handing out the freebies that limits them to citizens.
3) Folks outside the country see the freebies and come here for the swag, further bankrupting the system, which is already strained from the demands of the legitimate citizenry.

It has nothing to do with national pride or purity, and is simply good management of resources and self defense. Certainly some may be motivated by “racial purity” or other selfish/nationalistic motivations, but that does not invalidate the need for orderly immigration policy and laws. When people – citizens or non-citizens – decide to become a law unto themselves by ignoring such laws, they become a menace to orderly society (as a group, not as individuals), so it does not require any nationalistic fervor to expect that laws will be followed, lawbreakers will be dealt with, and trespassers evicted.

Fine. And Rahab is nothing more than a lying whore

Already dealt with in the just war discussion on pecuach nephesh. But it’s not surprising that one cannot understand the nuances of Torah when one considers it to be a fable, at best.

It was not merely that Chris L., would no sooner read Mein Kampf than Nudge, it was also an implicit comparison between the two. (Because, really, why do you pull Mein Kampf as an example? Why not phone book? Or cell phone instructions?)

Because Sunstein, in practice, is a facist, and I’m not interested in facism – taken raw (Mein Kampf) or refined (Nudge).

664   Eric    
March 10th, 2010 at 3:29 pm

Rick,

A couple questions for you. Do you think that anti-nationalism could become a god to some like nationalism is to others? Does any support or defense of a government law, policy, or function automatically have to be looked at as nationalism?

I think everyone that reads this blog with any regularity realizes that you feel very strongly about nationalism supplanting kingdom living. I also think that most everyone that reads this blog with any degree of regularity would agree that a serious segment of what is typically referred to as the “religious right” (as well as some on the “spiritual left”) have at best compromised their Christian practice and witness with blind national and/or party allegiance. But to see a nationalistic idol around every corner really just detracts from your greater salient point. Something to think about.

665   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
March 10th, 2010 at 3:30 pm

Where did I compare Chris to a Nazi?

I’d say this comment pretty much says it:

The way you speak of immigrants here in your country I am hard-pressed to see the difference in how Nazi’s labeled Jews and how you label “illegals.” You don’t make them sound desirable.

666   M.G.    
March 10th, 2010 at 3:33 pm

Phil,

I tend not to get in between Chad and Chris L. I hope they can find a way to lessen the acrimony.

I did get annoyed with Chris L.’s response, yes, because it related to a book *I* had read and found interesting. Chris’s response was basically, “well, you’re an idiot.”

How would you like it if you said, “hey read this book, friend” and your pal’s response is, “Yeah, right after Mein Kampf!”

It was insulting. I find Chris L. does that. A lot.

I’m glad that you defend people on occasion, and I value peacemaking very much. My simple observation was that this particular defense was (quite the) stretch… and you tend to stretch for the hometeam.

Shalom.

667   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 10th, 2010 at 3:35 pm

Phil,
That isn’t comparing Chris to a Nazi. It follows on the heels of my comment about Ann Franke and what I imagine he would do given his rigid application of Rom. 13. He was the one who said Nazi’s called Jews “undesirable” and I was merely showing how that is not too different from calling immigrants “illegals.”

668   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 10th, 2010 at 3:38 pm

Already dealt with in the just war discussion on pecuach nephesh. But it’s not surprising that one cannot understand the nuances of Torah when one considers it to be a fable, at best.

Another complete mischaracterization of me to add on to a list of many.

669   Christian P    http://www.churchvoices.com
March 10th, 2010 at 3:41 pm

I think that many of the people involved in these discussions (because really, there are like 4 or 5 different things going on here) are reading into comments more than is being said. I think part of it is the self-fulfilling prophecy thing. My daughter all day Monday said how she was having a bad day (and was in a foul mood), but the events of the day were better than they had been most of the winter. I on the other hand, was getting all sorts of crappy news and having various problems, but was having a pretty good day. She kept telling herself that she was having a bad day, and so she did, even when things went her way. If you keep telling yourselves that the person you are talking/debating with is a ________ (whatever), then you’ll probably find lots of support for your belief. That doesn’t make you right.

670   Christian P    http://www.churchvoices.com
March 10th, 2010 at 3:44 pm

Mike,

You are correct.

671   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 10th, 2010 at 3:47 pm

MG – You are correct, and my reply was much too short and dismissive. It just happened you named a book I rejected last week specifically for a group discussion, and I jumped in too short and too quick…

Utilizing change methodologies can be a morally neutral venture, but as with anything, it can be misused. Sunstein’s book, I see, is advocating facism in a pretty dress, with the government as our sugar daddy, with motivations as pure as the wind-driven snow.

My apologies for the short/snide reply.

672   Neil    
March 10th, 2010 at 4:08 pm

M.G.

They have not the fortitude to pass a law prohibiting something – but they can try and manipulate us through tax coercion. What they know people would nit stand for as a law, they implement using backdoor methods.

The point is the duplicity; the tax codes are just that – ways of collecting funds. But the feds are not happy with just getting our money – they need to manipulate as well.

It’ll, eventually, be the same with health care when there is only one player involved.

That is why a flat tax or a national sales tax will never be implemented… because the motivation is power. There are much better and simple ways of getting revenue that income tax – but they will never pass because the other methods lack the power of coercion.

673   Neil    
March 10th, 2010 at 4:15 pm

Re the party line:

i think this is a matter of perspective – literally… just like mountain peaks look close together from a great distance but are not when viewed up close.

Some view this site from such a distance – politically and theologically – that the differences we see between ourselves just evaporates due to perspective.

I started skimming when the topic switched to those in the US illegally – but my position probably tends towards Chad -

674   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 10th, 2010 at 4:19 pm

That is why a flat tax or a national sales tax will never be implemented… because the motivation is power. There are much better and simple ways of getting revenue that income tax – but they will never pass because the other methods lack the power of coercion.

Or, as Glen Reynolds often puts it – “there’s not an opportunity enough for graft”.

675   Neil    
March 10th, 2010 at 4:19 pm

That isn’t comparing Chris to a Nazi.

When you say that you are hard pressed to see the difference between the behavior of Nazi’s and someone else’s behavior – I’d call that a comparison.

In other words – denying there is much difference is tantamount to comparison… kinda like double negative make a positive.

676   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 10th, 2010 at 4:26 pm

Sorry, Neil, I didn’t quote Phil correctly. Phil said:

he pretty much called Chris a Nazi?

I should have asked, “Where did I CALL Chris a Nazi?”

Yes, I made a comparison between the way Nazi’s labeled those they didn’t want (which was HIS term, not mine) and what he is calling undocumented immigrants.

There most certainly is a solid comparison to be made, and I stand by that, but that is different from saying I have called Chris a Nazi.

677   Joe    http://christianresearchnetwork.com/index.php?s=john+chisham
March 10th, 2010 at 4:27 pm

#669
As I have said before, what is read is not always what is written

678   Neil    
March 10th, 2010 at 4:33 pm

Chad,

OK,

Neil

679   chris    
March 10th, 2010 at 4:50 pm

Because Sunstein, in practice, is a facist, and I’m not interested in facism – taken raw (Mein Kampf) or refined (Nudge).

Engineer, Human Resources, Expert in the Torah, mindful of Greek and Hebrew, and now economics. Wow…and to think I thought I was smart.

680   chris    
March 10th, 2010 at 4:56 pm

As I have said before, what is read is not always what is written

Communication is always about what is the perceived/received message not this is the message to bad you don’t understand.

681   Joe    http://christianresearchnetwork.com/index.php?s=john+chisham
March 10th, 2010 at 5:01 pm

#680.
I’m not sure anyone is saying this is the message too bad you don’t understand. What I am saying is that written communication can often be misread.

682   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
March 10th, 2010 at 5:22 pm

Yes, I made a comparison between the way Nazi’s labeled those they didn’t want (which was HIS term, not mine) and what he is calling undocumented immigrants.

There most certainly is a solid comparison to be made, and I stand by that, but that is different from saying I have called Chris a Nazi.

Seems like a pretty fine parsing there. It’s kind of like saying, “I didn’t call you an idiot – I just was saying that the way you were acting is the way an idiot would act.” Really, what’s the functional difference?

683   chris    
March 10th, 2010 at 5:23 pm

#681

Agreed. That is why it’s imperative to be even more careful with our chosen words. Hence our current issue.

684   John Hughes    
March 10th, 2010 at 5:24 pm

Chad, #581

Quit prooftexting with OT Scripture and how long did it take you to get the scraps out of the shreader and glue them back in?

(half hearted) :-)

685   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 10th, 2010 at 5:32 pm

Phil – sometimes people act like idiots but that doesn’t mean they are one.

Point is, I never called Chris a Nazi (which was what you said I did). If you don’t agree with the comparison I made, so be it. But I didn’t call him a Nazi.

If he doesn’t like things he says being compared to the same thing a Nazi would say than I suggest he rethink the way he says things.

686   Joe    http://christianresearchnetwork.com/index.php?s=john+chisham
March 10th, 2010 at 5:34 pm

Hence our current issue.

Well, again we’d disagree on this so I’m not sure why you’re bringing it up here again. I’ve offered to sit down with you and almost anyone you would name as a mediator to get this cleared up but you have refused.
You have made your position pointedly clear, you are not interested in reconciliation, which is your choice. If you change your mind about meeting let me know. If not, that’s fine too.
If you would like to engage me about something I say on this thread that’d be great but I’m not going to discuss our current issue. You think I was wrong, I think you were wrong and dishonest. That looks like an impasse, or at least something that won’t get resolved online.

687   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 10th, 2010 at 5:36 pm

If he doesn’t like things he says being compared to the same thing a Nazi would say than I suggest he rethink the way he says things.

Or just hope for charitable readers to show up who don’t automatically characterize every disagreement as a) racism; b) nazism; or c) both.

688   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 10th, 2010 at 5:42 pm

Chris,
I try, but you make it extremely difficult (and the irony of you calling me an uncharitable reader is rich!)

When you say that Nazi’s referred to the Jews as “undesirables” while at the same time you call immigrants without documentation “illegals” and say they should stop “invading” our land and go back where they belong and start their own businesses, I see a direct comparison.

Maybe you should be more careful when you write so that others won’t mistake your words for being as callous and prideful as they sound.

689   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 10th, 2010 at 5:51 pm

There are SO many differences between the two situations:

Jewish families who had been citizens for decades/centuries were stripped of citizenship, property and scapegoated for destroying the banking system, etc., etc. They were legitimate citizens who were arbitrarily disenfranchised. Their “undesirability” was based on genetics and eugenic policy. “Shippin

Illegal aliens, on the other hand, are not citizens, have no rights to property, employment or residency – they have chosen to put themselves in a position where they are living contrary to the law of the land. They were never “franchised”, so they – by definition – cannot be “disenfranchised”. [They are not alone in breaking the law, I would note: Businesses who have lured them here and created a black employment market ought to be penalized for the situation they have caused.] “Sending home” illegal aliens is actually doing that – sending them home. It is not euphamistically sending them off to be slaughtered.

NOTHING I said suggested such a parallel. You made it up, not unexpectedly.

690   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 10th, 2010 at 5:54 pm

Exactly, Chris L – the “illegals” are undesirable to you. You don’t want them here. Lets get rid of them.

691   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 10th, 2010 at 5:55 pm

Exactly, Chris L – the “illegals” are undesirable to you. You don’t want them here. Lets get rid of them.

The only thing undesirable about them is that they have chosen to break the law. I’m just expecting them to comply. I have no problem with them working through the above-board immigration process.

692   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 10th, 2010 at 6:00 pm

Well guess what, Chris, sinners, tax collectors and whores are “undesirable” as well. I expect non-Christians to paint other human beings whom God loves as “illegals” or as “undesirable” or label them according to the lowest common denominator you can find (based on the “sins” they commit), but I don’t expect to see that sort of language from Christians.

You can desire that immigration reform take place and people comply with the laws of the land (as I do) without coming across sounding like an arrogant, prideful bigot.

693   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 10th, 2010 at 6:02 pm

And FYI “lets get rid of them” (i.e. let’s require them to return to their home country and apply for a US work visa) has no reasonable parallel to “lets get rid of them” (i.e. let’s shoot them, burn them, and bury their ashes in a ditch)

694   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 10th, 2010 at 6:02 pm

The only thing undesirable about them is that they have chosen to break the law.

So did slaves who ran away in Rome and in America, so did Rosa Parks and any number of people who stood up for justice

695   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
March 10th, 2010 at 6:04 pm

When you say that Nazi’s referred to the Jews as “undesirables” while at the same time you call immigrants without documentation “illegals” and say they should stop “invading” our land and go back where they belong and start their own businesses, I see a direct comparison.

Maybe you should be more careful when you write so that others won’t mistake your words for being as callous and prideful as they sound.

It seems to me Chad, that you are simply reading what many of us write looking for excuses to be offended. If you really and truly believe that Chris simply wants to get rid of illegal aliens in a way that’s comparable to the Nazi’s handling of the Jews, that just seems utterly ridiculous to me.

If you’re actually trying to communicate with him, why jump to most extreme example to prove your point? Why not simply say that you believe the terminology he’s using isn’t the best? Why start throwing wild accusations around?

696   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 10th, 2010 at 6:09 pm

You can desire that immigration reform take place and people comply with the laws of the land (as I do) without coming across sounding like an arrogant, prideful bigot.

Sorry, Chad, I’m not going to play the BS PC game. It’s not “prideful” or “bigoted” – it’s just that I’m not going to cater to oversensitive busybodies who are seeking for reasons to be offended.

To go back to the original statement where I used the term “illegals”, I was referring to folks who are here illegally and are being tallied as such in the Census – which was the topic at hand. The Census is looking for folks who are living here – regardless of legal status – and it is those who are here illegally that are threatening a boycott. “Illegals” was a perfectly reasonable description in that context, your overweened sensibilities notwithstanding. I expect I will continue to use that term in that context, and if you translate that (incorrectly) as insensitivity, prideful bigotry, etc. that says more about you and your lack of discernment than me.

697   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 10th, 2010 at 6:10 pm

So did slaves who ran away in Rome and in America, so did Rosa Parks and any number of people who stood up for justice

*yawn*

Apples and oranges (again – no matter how many times its repeated)

698   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
March 10th, 2010 at 6:14 pm

The whole PC thing reminds me of something that happened to my wife. She was talking to her adviser and mentioned to her about meeting with one of the African ladies from our church (the lady was from Nigeria). Her adviser interrupted her and said, “no, you mean ‘African American!’”. My wife had to explain, no, she was actually African, and it was OK to refer to her as such. It sounds ridiculous, but that’s what happens when you get accustomed to making these knee-jerk reactions and assumptions.

699   M.G.    
March 10th, 2010 at 6:41 pm

Chris L.,

The problem with an actual deportation plan is that, in practice, it’s messier than anti-immigration advocates realize.

The mass arrest, detention and deportion of 11 million individuals would be a job too great for ICE or the FBI to pull off. It would require something like the National Guard, who would have to scour the nation to check identifications and make arrests.

And how would we house all of these individuals while we confirm their citizenship? Incarceration facilities are already stretched. It seems like we’d have to have internment camps of some kind, (Guantanamo perhaps?) designed to shelter these people.

Of course, the National Guard would be tearing multiple families apart. Husbands taken from wives and wives from husbands, children would be left behind because they were born here. It would be a mess.

It’s funny, but I’m actually a fairly conservative guy politically. Not libertarian, not neo-conservative, and certainly not a Sarah Palin populist. Just someone who thinks and acts pragmatically and conservatively.

And the mass deportation of 11 million people strikes me as anything but conservative.

700   M.G.    
March 10th, 2010 at 6:49 pm

Phil,

I think that referring to people from “Africa” as anything other than, well, “Africans” isn’t so much a sympton of “PC run amok” as it is of sheer idiocy.

I think it’s a rather weak argument to say that care and concern over one’s words limits or impedes one’s ability to think critically or intelligently. I prefer “undocumented immigrant” over “the illegals” just like I prefer black over negro, and gay over any number of other, harsher, terms.

When someone says “I prefer to be called x”, unless x is untruthful or illicit, I’ll comply with the request. For me, it’s part and parcel of being a gentleman.

701   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 10th, 2010 at 7:22 pm

If you’re actually trying to communicate with him, why jump to most extreme example to prove your point? Why not simply say that you believe the terminology he’s using isn’t the best? Why start throwing wild accusations around?

Seriously, Phil? Don’t you think you should say the same thing to Chris?

But in all honesty, and I have said this before, I believe Chris L is a racist. But this should not be shocking – all of us are to some degree or another. All of us prefer gathering with people that look, talk, act like ourselves and we feel threatened to one degree or another by the “other.” Chris L’s is just more blatant and apparent in the way he speaks of others in such demeaning tones and words.

If you believe racist is not a good descriptor than I would accept classist at the very least. In any event, the way he continually denigrates people of lesser station than he repulses me. He is one of the most unmerciful and unsympathetic people I know (note how he is opposed to amnesty for those already here).

I’m sure you all think this is outrageous. I don’t really care. It’s no more outrageous than how most of you have called me a heretic or false teacher or Bible hater or spawn of satan without blinking an eye.

Chris L – you are a racist.

702   M.G.    
March 10th, 2010 at 7:34 pm

Chad,

I’m against calling people out like you just did. It kills the conversation completely. Is there a way to just start over with Chris L.?

In any event, the history of anti-immigration tactics is rooted in some rather unseemly behavior. In 1954, the U.S. government instituted a massive crackdown on illegal immigration by targeting Mexican-Americans in Texas and California. About a million immigrants ended up leaving, and more than a few U.S. citizens were forcibly deported.

The name of this shin-dig? Operation Wetback. (You can’t make this stuff up!)

703   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
March 10th, 2010 at 7:39 pm

When someone says “I prefer to be called x”, unless x is untruthful or illicit, I’ll comply with the request. For me, it’s part and parcel of being a gentleman.

I gave the example of my wife’s experience just to point out how knee-jerk this type of stuff can become. Obviously, there’s nothing remotely offensive about calling an African, well, African, but the fact the my wife’s adviser felt the need to preemptively correct her showed how much she had an oversensitivity about these things beat into her.
It’s fine when the rules are set from the start of a conversation, and most of the time that’s how it works. What I find often is that many times will hear someone use a term like “illegal” and they’ll associate all sort of meaning into that word that the person who originally used it didn’t mean. And of course, I won’t deny that sometime people like Chris will continue to use that word just to tick the other person off.

But, too often, I don’t believe the reasoning behind wanting someone to use one term over another is more a matter of control than actually taking offense. For example, I honestly don’t believe Chad cares any more about undocumented immigrants than anyone else commenting here, regardless of what he says. I believe it’s just a talking point that he tries to use to his advantage. It’s easy to say we’re compassionate and caring when we’re talking about issues in the abstract. But it’s quite another to live it out in real life. From m experience, there’s a huge gap between those who talk about and get offended over issues and those who actually do something about them.

704   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 10th, 2010 at 8:30 pm

#703 (are we really over 700 comments?) Well, said Phil.

And of course, I won’t deny that sometime people like Chris will continue to use that word just to tick the other person off.

Guilty as charged. I am an oldest child…

the reasoning behind wanting someone to use one term over another is more a matter of control than actually taking offense.

Agreed, as well, which is another reason I will sometimes continue to use the non-offensive “offensive” terminology.

The name of this shin-dig? Operation Wetback. (You can’t make this stuff up!)

IIRC (and I could be wrong), isn’t that where the term (which I’ve never used, as I believe it is offensive) originated (and not the other way around)?

Chris L – you are a racist.

Ah, yes. What “Chad thread” would be complete without false accusations of racism bandied about? After all, it’s one of the last few poisonous invectives with no functional burden of proof. Just toss in the race card when you get backed into a corner, and it’s all good.

The “evidence” of my supposed racism?

1) I believe that it is actually racist (or, more accurately, racialist) to vote for or against someone because of the color of their skin – regardless of the color of their skin.
2) I believe that forced integration of self-segregated churches is a dumb idea.
3) I believe that churches which are predominantly one race or another are not ontologically living in sin.
4) I’m not a zombie of hopenchange.

He is one of the most unmerciful and unsympathetic people I know (note how he is opposed to amnesty for those already here).

A) I don’t know you and you don’t know me. I don’t consider that I know someone until I actually meet them in real life, and any perceived lack of mercy or sympathy on my part is your own projection onto me.
B) Opposing amnesty is not a lack of mercy or sympathy. I support amnesty – no penalty for your living here illegally, and a no “black mark” on your books when you work through the legitimate Guest Worker program. I do not support blanket amnesty for those in country, because that just leads to another wave of illegal immigration. Actions have consequences, and the simple matter of moving to the back of the line can be consequences enough for those who’ve illegally skipped the line.

The problem with an actual deportation plan is that, in practice, it’s messier than anti-immigration advocates realize.

I realize that some ways of implementing it could be messier than others. Even so, I believe that provision of transportation for a period of time, and a deadline after which the consequences are more severe could facilitate a more orderly exit. That would be far more compassionate than simply instituting a forceful roundup.

705   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 10th, 2010 at 8:40 pm

As I have said before, Chris L, you throwing out the race card like that means as much to me as if David Duke did the same thing. It doesn’t change anything.

706   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 10th, 2010 at 8:41 pm

It seems to me that I’m not the one that has an oversensitization with race. Perhaps you ought to buy a mirror, dude.

707   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 10th, 2010 at 8:43 pm

M.G.
There never is a conversation between Chris L and I to ruin. Which is exactly what I said to Neil at the very beginning of this thread and yet against my better judgment got sucked into the conversation, knowing full well that sooner or later Chris would show up and make all sorts of judgments about me and my beliefs that make conversation pointless.

Neil, next time I’ll obey my gut.

708   chris    
March 10th, 2010 at 9:24 pm

Well, again we’d disagree on this so I’m not sure why you’re bringing it up here again. I’ve offered to sit down with you and almost anyone you would name as a mediator to get this cleared up but you have refused.

I was agreeing with and providing a concrete example. Not bringing anything up.

709   chris    
March 10th, 2010 at 9:28 pm

As I have said before, Chris L, you throwing out the race card like that means as much to me as if David Duke did the same thing. It doesn’t change anything.

Chad you really should know better. Of course Chris isn’t a racist he just thinks that anyone who doesn’t do it, say it, live it, believe it like he does is less of a person. It’s not about race though it’s more about pride.

710   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 10th, 2010 at 9:50 pm

chris, very true.

As for conversing with Chris L, here is his very first comment to me on this thread:

Ah yes, more weirdness from the left…

In #28 I tell Neil that I think I will stay out of this since Chris L can’t seem to talk to me without resorting to meanness. But against my better judgment I get sucked in to a discussion that actually goes pretty well for 100 comments until #121, when Chris L barges in saying:

Or, God does sometimes use ‘violence’ within his will, and just as the harsh, heartless hard-right of today cannot accept God’s mercy toward sinners, the pantywaist left cannot accept that He might use “violent” means against them at some point. And again, as usual, God shows up somewhere in the middle, rather with the bomb-throwers or unicorn-riders on the extremes…

and

On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple area and began driving out giving puppies to those who were buying and selling there. He overturned put daisies on the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves, and would not allow anyone helped them to carry merchandise through the temple courts.

and in the same comment compares my ideas to Ms. South Carolina

You see, Chris L has never tried to be in conversation with me.

711   M.G.    
March 10th, 2010 at 10:07 pm

Chris L.,

The U.S. government did not invent wetback, but they did sanction it.

I’m assuming, but I don’t know, that Mexicans have always been offended by it. It’s condescending, dehumanizing, and just plain rude.

Kind of like “the illegals” if you ask me. Because, really, in terms of numbers, Latinos constitute about 80% of illegal immigrants. So when I hear “the illegals” I personally think you are referring to Latinos.

712   chris    
March 10th, 2010 at 10:09 pm

You see, Chris L has never tried to be in conversation with me.

But he has you just haven’t agreed with him so when reasoning/persuasion doesn’t work, denigration is the next tool in the box. Followed closely by triangle-ing in a third party to agree with him. Then the final tool is ignoring/blocking.

For those playing at home the rules are:

1) Make up the rules
2) When the rules change obfuscate
3) When called on obfuscation denigrate
4) When denigration is met with rebuttal BLOCK.

Repeat as much as necessary.

713   Neil    
March 10th, 2010 at 10:26 pm

Phil,

Re 695 – I made that very complaint hundreds of comments ago when I said he tended to create extreme caricatures to which he could argue…

714   Neil    
March 10th, 2010 at 10:32 pm

“Illegals” is an accurate term. It can be used in a racist manner or in a factual manner. Comparing it to racial slurs is ridiculous.

“Undesirables” – is an unfortunate tern that should not be used nor defended.

Calling Chris L., a racist is ridiculous as well. It serves no other purpose than to escalate the rhetoric.

Chris, brother, fellow minister of the faith, what purpose does your continued expressions of anger serve?

715   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 10th, 2010 at 10:35 pm

Neil,
I believe he is a racist every bit as much as he believes I am a false teacher. So what.

712 – bingo.

716   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
March 10th, 2010 at 10:42 pm

What I have hard time believing is that Christians spout all this BS about loving their enemies, blessing those who curse you, and responding in the opposite spirit, but yet we (all of whom claim to be Christians) can’t even get along on a blog thread. That’s why I’m saying anyone of us here who claims to have any more compassion than anyone else certainly hasn’t shown it.

717   M.G.    
March 10th, 2010 at 10:43 pm

Neil,

I’m sorry, but accuracy has, well, nothing to do with whether something is offensive.

I can list a dozen slurs for homosexuals that are each highly accurate. Doesn’t mean they aren’t offensive.

And I’m not *comparing* it to racial slurs. It *is* a racial slur. It’s an easy way to dismiss, dehumanize, and demean Latinos. It’s an abstract way at addressing what is- at its core- a racial issue.

In that sense, it’s like busing, state’s rights, etc. (as Lee Atwater pointed out). In a society that has rejected blatantly racial appeals, respectable people have a coded way of talking about what is, ultimately, a racial issue.

Unless, Neil, you can write with a straight face that anti-immigration people would be as adamant as they are if 80% of “the illegals” were English.

718   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 10th, 2010 at 10:44 pm

MG – I don’t know the origin of the term, and I agree that it is a pejorative that ought to be avoided. I only had a vague remembrance of the word’s origins from a high school history class 25 years ago, and got it wrong. (According to Wikipedia, it first appeared in the NYT in the 1920’s).

As for “illegals”, I consider it to be a broad term that applies to all illegal immigrants, whether Canadian, Mexican, Asian, Eastern European – wherever – and my use was in specific reference to the census tallying those illegally in the US. No offense intended.

719   M.G.    
March 10th, 2010 at 10:45 pm

Phil,

I agree. Civility, or the art of disagreeing without undue anger or emotion, is a dying art.

We could all improve in this area.

Shalom.

720   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 10th, 2010 at 10:52 pm

Unless, Neil, you can write with a straight face that anti-immigration people would be as adamant as they are if 80% of “the illegals” were English.

I would be… it’s got nothing to do with race and everything to do with the rule of law and the freebie-driven policy of post-WWII American government.

721   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
March 10th, 2010 at 10:56 pm

Unless, Neil, you can write with a straight face that anti-immigration people would be as adamant as they are if 80% of “the illegals” were English.

It used to be Irish Catholics whom people were worried about taking over the country.

Yes, I do believe that there are people who use the term in a purposely and derogatory way, and there are politicians who take advantage of that. I still don’t think we need to make the jump in judging the motivation of everyone who uses the term is a racist. For one thing, I’ve actually heard Hispanic people who have legally immigrated to the US use that term to describe undocumented immigrants – are they being racist?

I don’t deny the term has been given a lot of baggage, and I don’t see anything necessarily wrong in trying to use an alternative when necessary. Like I said before, though, it does sometimes seem to come down to a power play with some people.

722   Christian P    http://www.churchvoices.com
March 10th, 2010 at 11:59 pm

I wonder if we could get a world record for most number of comments on a blog by 8 people.

723   Christian P    http://www.churchvoices.com
March 11th, 2010 at 12:07 am

For the record, I had no clue that the term “illegals” was derogatory. Now if I had heard somebody in person say it with a scowl and a spit, then it would be clear that they are using the term in a derogatory way.

724   chris    
March 11th, 2010 at 12:09 am

Chris, brother, fellow minister of the faith, what purpose does your continued expressions of anger serve?

Neil,

I’m not angry. Frustrated, disappointed, a bit miffed, and slightly annoyed but not angry.

725   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 11th, 2010 at 1:18 am

Another Tale of Government-run Health Care Success

Death-panels, ho!

726   Joe    http://christianresearchnetwork.com/index.php?s=john+chisham
March 11th, 2010 at 9:19 am

I was agreeing with and providing a concrete example. Not bringing anything up.

Oh. I was thrown off by the bolded our current issue. I was thinking our issue was resolved as you have said you forgave me and we’re moving forward.

727   chris    
March 11th, 2010 at 9:30 am

Death-panels, ho!

From the article:

Some will say that the runaround happens in America, too, with private insurers. And they’d be right. However, people in America have the ability to move to different insurers when they get lousy service, and still get treatment in their own country. They don’t have to flee across an international border to get medical attention.

Should I knock down the strawman in this comment or can somebody else do it. Ok…I will…except that never happens with HMO’s PPO’s or any other private insurance company. He would have been considered pre-existing and not been covered.

Not to mention the hyperbole, conjecture, and emotionalism of the article.

Good job Chris L. you found a story about bad national health care on a blog that is littered with enough anti-Obama stuff it’s really hard to take anything they seriously. The article you cite as proof for a “death panel” is a perfect example of fear mongering.

728   Jerry    http://www.dongoldfish.wordpress.com
March 11th, 2010 at 9:38 am

We should be afraid. Not in any eschatological sense, but we should be afraid…just like the liberals told us we should be afraid during the Bush years…so we should be afraid during the Obama years….it’s all really scary…

729   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 11th, 2010 at 9:46 am

chris,

Yeah, I saw that too. His use of the phrase “death panels” is as immature and purposefully inflammatory as when Palin uses it.

Did you see the comment on that site from a guy in the US who had to choose between paying his mortgage or his health insurance premium even though he has cancer? He chose to keep his family in shelter and said that if his cancer returns, he’s dead.

People in the UK and Canada don’t have to make those sorts of anguished decisions.

For every botched case Chris L can show another can be shown that is equally appalling here in the US.

I forget, what sort of healthcare do our military have?

730   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 11th, 2010 at 9:48 am

just like the liberals told us we should be afraid during the Bush years

Jerry,
In what ways? How did the “liberals” try to incite fear in Americans that the government was going to ruin their lives or sentence them to death?

731   chris    
March 11th, 2010 at 9:50 am

I forget, what sort of healthcare do our military have?

I had great healthcare as a single guy. When I went in I needed dental surgery to be considered “fit for combat” ????? and in basic training they gave it to me. Go figure. My dental insurance through my parents at the time (Blue Cross through Ford Motor) wouldn’t cover it. It exceeded the yearly cap on dental care.

732   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 11th, 2010 at 9:52 am

We should be afraid.

And I’m sorry, but I disagree with this.

As Christians, no, we should not.

Perfect love casts out fear. Do not worry about tomorrow for tomorrow has enough worries of its own. Your Father who is in heaven, who cares for even the sparrow and the grass of the fields, do you doubt he will care for you?

As a Christian, I am against any use of fear to motivate people (which includes using the fear of hell for evangelism), from the left or the right. The Church ought to be a voice of hope, not fear, and any Christian who is saying “we ought to be afraid” is casting their net on the wrong side of the boat.

733   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 11th, 2010 at 9:55 am

chris,

When I was in the Navy I had my wisdom teeth pulled in boot camp, had my appendix removed (by an Arab doctor in Bahrain in a private hospital), and had knee surgery to remove a bone spur (again, by a South African orthopedic surgeon in Bahrain in a private hospital).

All covered, no questions, and some of the best care I ever received before or since.

734   chris    
March 11th, 2010 at 9:56 am

We should be afraid.

Why?

Not in any eschatological sense,

He’s got the whole world in His hands.

but we should be afraid…

Again Why?

just like the liberals told us we should be afraid during the Bush years…

Liberals. Bush years. Not sure if we can lump it all together like that.

so we should be afraid during the Obama years….it’s all really scary…

Not really.

735   chris    
March 11th, 2010 at 10:02 am

All covered, no questions, and some of the best care I ever received before or since.

Similar experiences. With that said I do recall some married guys whose families were not receiving the optimal care. That wasn’t my experience but I’m certain that every system will have those who fall through the cracks. Not that that is acceptable only that it’s bound to happen.

736   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 11th, 2010 at 10:04 am

Coincidentally, I spoke of fear last night in my Bible study I am teaching through Lent. I had a slide show and began by showing several slides of chaos – Katrina, Earthquake, funeral, etc. The point was to show that we humans have a primal fear of chaos. And so we cope in a variety of ways.

We progressed through ways the Bible speaks of chaos and the ways God brings order (creation, noah, sinai, etc) from the surrounding chaos. The point being that Lent is a season that we remind ourselves that we are dust and to dust we shall return. We are not in charge. God is.

I shared with the group that we have choices to make every day, choices that reflect which story we are living. I can choose to be a prisoner of chaos and be afraid of what appears to be true around me OR I can immerse myself in the sacred story that is true despite appearances.

So, rather than make a choice to be fearful or incite others to be afraid, I choose instead to go take Eucharist, for example.

737   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
March 11th, 2010 at 10:07 am

chris,

yeah, I know those stories, too. All too well, in fact. I was a hospital corpsman and so I saw first hand some of the problems of the system but I also got to see how those problems were acknowledged and saw the desire to fix them. Dependent care was always at the head of the list for things we could improve upon. Sometimes we excelled at it, other times we did not.

738   Neil    
March 11th, 2010 at 10:12 am

I agree with Chad – and I bet rick and everyone else would concur – ultimatley we have nothing to fear.

Problem is – I have become accustomed to the freedoms this country affords.

And those are in jeopardy. In that sense I have fear.

739   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
March 11th, 2010 at 10:12 am

In what ways? How did the “liberals” try to incite fear in Americans that the government was going to ruin their lives or sentence them to death?

Have you read any of the stuff Anne Lamott wrote during the Bush years? I actually like Lamott’s writing quite a bit, but man, she takes the paranoia to a new level. I think she was waiting for jack-booted thugs to come and haul her and her friends away.

I do think that too many off the right’s arguments are based on fear-mongering when it comes to the health insurance debate, but in many ways so are the left’s. Basically each side is saying the same thing – if their opponent wins, we will all suffer in some way.

740   chris    
March 11th, 2010 at 10:13 am

The health care debate. Some information.