Fred Phelps and his minions at Westboro Baptist Church [sic] are at it again. While they backed off picketing the funeral of the 9-year-old girl who was killed in the recent Arizona shooting spree, they still planned to picket the funeral of the district judge who was killed in that same event, with their special brand of “God hates fags” theology.

In 2005, Pastor Kyle Lake was electrocuted during a baptism. Several writers and bloggers said that this was a message from God against the emergent church (in which Kyle was allegedly a big player).

Both instances involve people deigning to speak for God (funny, I thought the canon was closed) and exploiting the deaths of others to advance their own agenda.

Can someone tell me how the two are any different?

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This entry was posted on Sunday, January 16th, 2011 at 6:42 pm and is filed under Emergent Church, Misuse of Scripture, ODM Responses, Schadenfreude. 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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165 Comments(+Add)

1   pastorboy    http://www.riveroflifealliance.com
January 16th, 2011 at 9:21 pm

Fred Phelps and his crew preach a false gospel just like Kyle Lake and his emergent friends. One preaches obvious hate towards everyone except their own family, the other hates people so much he refuses to tell them the only truth that can save them from an eternity in hell.

2   Brendt Waters    http://csaproductions.com/blog/
January 16th, 2011 at 9:26 pm

Um, I asked about a comparison between Phelps and the bloggers. You mixed the two issues.

I won’t bother with delving into the inability to divine the motives of a dead man.

3   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
January 16th, 2011 at 9:43 pm

I think PB became a living illustration of your point after one comment…

4   pastorboy    http://www.riveroflifealliance.com
January 16th, 2011 at 9:46 pm

Oh I misunderstood.
I thought you meant between Phelps and Kyle Lake.

The bloggers were likely trying to discern the message that Kyle and his friends in the emergent church were preaching. The emergent semi-pelagian people who preach the non gospel are more dangerous than Phelps. The bloggers are just trying to protect people from Kyle (rest his soul) and his ilk

5   Neil    
January 16th, 2011 at 9:49 pm

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, light from light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father; through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven, was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary and became truly human. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.

hmmm….

when someone says this is a false gospel it kinda makes one wonder what they believe the true gospel is.

6   Brendt Waters    http://csaproductions.com/blog/
January 16th, 2011 at 10:06 pm

I thought you meant between Phelps and Kyle Lake.

Exodus 20:16

7   Brendt Waters    http://csaproductions.com/blog/
January 16th, 2011 at 10:15 pm

Besides which, you miss avoid the point. This post does not decry the bloggers desire to “discern” any message. In fact, beyond referencing the e-word, most of them had exactly zero content about what they saw to be in error. Their point (as defined by their posts, not divined through some twisting of Matt 7:16) was solely about how Lake’s death validated them.

8   Neil    
January 16th, 2011 at 10:18 pm

Re 7: SOP

9   Brendt Waters    http://csaproductions.com/blog/
January 17th, 2011 at 12:33 am

Eccl 1:9

10   pastorboy    http://www.riveroflifealliance.com
January 17th, 2011 at 9:34 am

Who are these bloggers?

Look, the fact is that the emergent movement is largely apostasy. Take away what you call ‘expressions’ or ‘methodology’ and they have a theology, a view of God which is rotten to the core. Between Rob Bell’s Exodus theology, view of the Gospel and resurrection, Shane Hipps’ sails, Jay Bakkers’ and Tony Jones’ Homosexual crusade, Tony Jones’ new Universalism Crusade, these Outlaw Preachers and all the rebellion they represent….I could go on and on but all you folks will do is cut it down and deny what is said.

The reality is that, despite the view of Greg Boyd and (others) on this page, God is involved in everyday life. He is sovereign. He is in control. Did God know this Kyle was going to die? Yes. Did He know how? Yes. Do we know why it happened to a preacher with three kids? Nope. We can simply postulate and guess and warn. I just hope the guy was soundly saved. He apparently didn’t preach like he was.

11   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
January 17th, 2011 at 9:39 am

Greg Boyd has a good article up about the futility of attempting to tie the will of God into certain events that happen. It’s in response to nutjob Cindy Jacobs proclamation that God is killing off hoards of birds and bee in response to Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell being repealed.

People, how many more poor blackbirds will have to die before we get the point!?!

I don’t know, but if God is going to keep communicating this way, I’m thinking he should consider hiring a new press agent or something. His warnings just don’t seem to be landing lately. Some may recall the famous church steeple warning a few years back. One could argue it also was a bit too subtle.

12   pastorboy    http://www.riveroflifealliance.com
January 17th, 2011 at 9:55 am

#11 Greg Boyd will be judged, as will we all, for sarcastic comments towards a holy, holy, holy God who is sovereign and in control. If his ‘eye is on the sparrow’ He certainly knows about the death of birds, and is in control of the weather. Maybe God’s warnings are not landing on those who do not have eyes to see nor ears to hear? What an arrogant piece of work.

13   neil    
January 17th, 2011 at 10:36 am

Do we know why it happened to a preacher with three kids? Nope.

you got this part right. too bad you added the next phrase… ’cause at that point you declared acceptable the behavior of fred phelps, pat robinson, and all the wacko bloggers who are set on telling us which actions god sends against which people.

14   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
January 17th, 2011 at 10:40 am

Greg Boyd will be judged, as will we all, for sarcastic comments towards a holy, holy, holy God who is sovereign and in control.

:roll: Reading comprehension fail…

15   Neil    
January 17th, 2011 at 10:45 am

#11 Greg Boyd will be judged, as will we all, for sarcastic comments towards a holy, holy, holy God who is sovereign and in control.

pboy, you need to slow down and read things more carefully before you comment.

your first comment misinterpreted the point of the op.

in another recent thread you accused someone of mocking the scriptures when they were actually mocking you.

and here you say boyd will be judged (art thou a prophet, too?) because of his sarcasm against our (not “a”) holy, holy, holy god.

pboy, that boyd was being sarcastic is true – but it was not directed toward god. they were clearly directed toward the interpretations of cindy jacobs.

either you comment without fully understanding what people say… or you purposefully twist their meanings so you can be cold and judgmental.

i hope it is just the former.

16   pastorboy    http://www.riveroflifealliance.com
January 17th, 2011 at 10:45 am

Who is Pat Robinson?

17   Neil    
January 17th, 2011 at 10:52 am

getting back to the original question and off pboy’s latest irrelevant tangent…

i say all who leverage tragedies and violence to further their own agenda in the name of god are on equal moral ground. whether or not they declare that agenda with bold obscenities on protest signs or veiled innuendo behind a keyboard.

18   pastorboy    http://www.riveroflifealliance.com
January 17th, 2011 at 11:23 am

#17 I would agree, if it is veiled innuendo. If it is discernment done rightly, we can say that God is Sovereign and in control, and (as Jesus states in Luke 13) unless you repent you will all likewise perish. All pastors deserve to die each time they misrepresent God. That includes me, but by God’s grace we all don’t when we fall short.

19   Jerry    http://www.dongoldfish.wordpress.com
January 17th, 2011 at 11:27 am

All pastors deserve to die each time they misrepresent God. That includes me, but by God’s grace we all don’t when we fall short.

I have never seen a more wretched hive of convoluted nonsense and detestable arrogance in all my life. I think you have lost your mind.

20   Neil    
January 17th, 2011 at 11:32 am

pboy, that’s an interesting twist on the concept of grace. i must admit that “discernment done rightly” made me chuckle.

i almost want to ask how to “rightly discern” if god kills birds due to the repeal of dadt – but i’m afraid you would have an answer.

21   Neil    
January 17th, 2011 at 11:33 am

wretched hive of convoluted nonsense

this may have been an appropriate time to employ “steaming crock of…”

– in an odd sort of way, i’m curious how one comes to this theology of fear.

22   Neil    
January 17th, 2011 at 11:45 am

speaking of misuse of scripture and misrepresenting god:

how can you quote jesus’ words in luke 13 (”unless you repent you will all likewise perish”) in defense of god judging people with death for particular sins (e.g. – a preacher misrepresenting god) – when that is the very question peopled asked jesus and he said “no.”

23   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
January 17th, 2011 at 11:54 am

– in an odd sort of way, i’m curious how one comes to this theology of fear.

If people believe God is capricious – just waiting to lash out in wrath at any given moment, it’s not surprising people take the attitude that He’s just holding Himself back from killing us all.

If God chose to love one sinner, He chose to love them all. In this, I have absolute confidence.

24   Neil    
January 17th, 2011 at 12:00 pm

re 23: i don’t want to go so far as to say that god would not judge a person for particular sins… after all, a little “sinners in the hands of an angry god” kinda preaching is good every once in a while.

i’m just trying to imagine how you come to the belief that at any moment he may strike you down… and what does it do to your joy, to you fullness of life in christ is at any moment the father may by-pass the “in christ” and strike thee dead?

can this theology be argued for w/o using twisting scriptures?

25   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
January 17th, 2011 at 12:07 pm

re 23: i don’t want to go so far as to say that god would not judge a person for particular sins…

Well, it depends on what we mean by “judge”, I suppose. I think that God will allow people to experience certain things as a result of their sins, and that is in some way judgment or discipline. But, even this tends to be a fine line.

I guess because I’ve heard so much “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” type of preaching in my life, I really doubt it’s benefits and usefulness. Scaring people has a very temporary effect – maybe one or two days at max. Then they’re back to where they were before, usually. God isn’t really interested in beating us down. He’s interested in restoring us to a place of honor that we were intended to be in. It’s like in the parable of the Prodigal Father. At no time does the Father seek to punish the wayward son.

26   Neil    
January 17th, 2011 at 12:13 pm

phil, true enough. i like to keep the pendulum from swinging too far in in either direction – don’t wanna preach the god of olsteen or pboy.

he’s neither our ultimate atm nor our capricious sovereign who needs to be appeased.

doesn’t paul’s warnings to the corinthians allow that some were sick and dying b/c they were “judged” by god?

that said – i like the fact that the evangelical pendulum is swinging back to an emphasis on restoration. it implies more responsibility and it is less fun to preach – but i think it more biblical as well.

27   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
January 17th, 2011 at 12:27 pm

doesn’t paul’s warnings to the corinthians allow that some were sick and dying b/c they were “judged” by god?

I have a hard time reconciling this view with, well, reality. I have seen far too many scoundrels partake of communion with no consequences.

I tend to think that what Paul is talking about as far as “discerning the body” is the failure of the richer members of the congregation to care for the poorer ones. Because of this failure, some of these folks have even gotten sick or died. So in that sense, the judgment is on the body as a whole. I don’t think Paul is threatening judgment on individuals who partake of communion with some unconfessed sin in their lives.

28   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
January 17th, 2011 at 12:35 pm

Btw, if I were forced to choose between Osteens’s version of God and PB’s, I think I’d go with Osteen’s. At least he is consistent in saying that God loves everyone…

29   Neil    
January 17th, 2011 at 12:41 pm

So in that sense, the judgment is on the body as a whole. I don’t think Paul is threatening judgment on individuals who partake of communion with some unconfessed sin in their lives.

so how does god judge a local church as a whole without judging the individuals? if some were sick and others had died – that sounds individualistic. though i agree, if this is a real danger it does not seem to be applied very often.

30   Neil    
January 17th, 2011 at 12:46 pm

i can think of obvious examples from acts and the ot that show god striking people dead for disobedience. making an example of them per se… but none come to mind that would lead me to base a theology on it as pboy has done.

am i overlooking something?

31   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
January 17th, 2011 at 12:46 pm

so how does god judge a local church as a whole without judging the individuals? if some were sick and others had died – that sounds individualistic.

That’s the point. He can’t judge one or some of us without the whole body being affected. We are not just a collection of isolated individuals who can do what we please. Everything we do affects the body as a whole.

So by choosing to ignore the poor members of the body, the rich member were, in essence, bringing judgment on themselves. It’s sort of a difficult concept to accept in such an individualistic culture as ours, but I see that it holds true.

I’m not arguing against God’s ability to judge. I believe He does. I just think in the context of that passage, it’s different from what is typically taught, especially in churches in the holiness/pietism tradition.

32   Neil    
January 17th, 2011 at 12:54 pm

i agree that what it traditionally taught is probably not paul’s point. and i agree that can’t judge one or some of us without the whole body being affected. – but if some are judged to the point of death while others live – it certainly affects some more than others.

if I cut off my finger it affects my whole body – no doubt… but it does not affect the other nine nearly as much as the one that was cut off.

in that sense the example from corinth is still individualistic in its effect.

again – i am not real eager to create a theology based on example as opposed to teaching.

33   Neil    
January 17th, 2011 at 12:57 pm

i wonder how god looks upon rich americans who strive for doctrinal purity while opposing actions that would secure a fair and living wage for the indentured servants of the world.

34   Brendt    http://csaproductions.com/blog/
January 17th, 2011 at 1:02 pm

PB (#10):

Who are these bloggers?

About a year ago, I wrote a post wherein I specifically stated that I was leaving out names so that the discussion would be about the issue, not the personalities. In the very first comment, you ignored that wish and filled in the blanks. And now you want me to answer that question?

In the words of the great philosopher, Larry the Cable Guy, “I don’t care who you are; that’s funny, right there.”

the fact is that the emergent movement is largely apostasy

I don’t care if the emergent movement is a pink-and-green-striped gorilla sitting on my couch eating Funyuns. It’s staggeringly irrelevant to the OP.

35   Jerry    http://www.dongoldfish.wordpress.com
January 17th, 2011 at 1:08 pm

I love Funyuns. They are soooooo tasty!

36   Brendt    http://csaproductions.com/blog/
January 17th, 2011 at 1:19 pm

#22 Neil: i’m curious how one comes to this theology of fear.

#23 Phil: If people believe God is capricious – just waiting to lash out in wrath at any given moment, it’s not surprising …

37   Brendt    http://csaproductions.com/blog/
January 17th, 2011 at 1:30 pm

#25 Phil: I guess because I’ve heard so much “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” type of preaching in my life, I really doubt it’s benefits and usefulness. Scaring people has a very temporary effect – maybe one or two days at max.

Tradition tells us that Edwards delivered this sermon by staring at his notes the whole time and that he was often quite monotone. Had I been in the congregation that day, the experience would’ve been seared on my conscious a lot longer than a day or two ;-)

38   Brendt    http://csaproductions.com/blog/
January 17th, 2011 at 2:00 pm

From dictionary.com: de·serve [dih-zurv] — to merit, be qualified for, or have a claim to (reward, assistance, punishment, etc.) because of actions, qualities, or situation

Justification 101: On the cross, Christ became sin for us, and the Christian, in exchange, receives His righteousness (2 Cor 5:21). Immediately upon salvation, the Christian is — and eternally remains — in perfect legal standing with God and merits no negative consequence for his/her sin. The reap/sow principle that God has established may cause negative consequences. But to state that a Christian deserves anything negative as a consequence for his/her sin makes a mockery of what Christ did.

#18 PB : All pastors deserve to die each time they misrepresent God.

Galatians 1:9

39   pastorboy    http://www.riveroflifealliance.com
January 17th, 2011 at 10:09 pm

#38
We deserve it, but that is what is so amazing about grace. I deserve Hell because of my sin. But because of the grace of God, I do not die like I deserve. Grace is amazing! So is the mercy of God! By the mercy of God, I do not get what I deserve, and by his grace, I get what I do not deserve.

What many of you do not understand is that every breath that a Christian or a lost person takes is all a part of the common grace of God. That should make you thankful, not fearful.

40   Neil    
January 18th, 2011 at 1:19 am

That should make you thankful, not fearful.

at times i do believe you are carrying on a conversation with yourself. you introduce the theology of fear, i ask for biblical evidence, we discuss its weaknesses… then you return with this?

41   Brendt    http://csaproductions.com/blog/
January 18th, 2011 at 2:13 am

To say that the Christian still deserves to die is to say that Christ’s blood didn’t obliterate our sin, but merely painted over it with a single coat of watered-down, cheap latex. I re-iterate that this makes a mockery of what Christ did.

PB #39: What many of you do not understand

Thanks for the psycho-analysis

PB #39: is that every breath that a Christian or a lost person takes is all a part of the common grace of God.

I’m not arguing against that one iota (so maybe, just maybe, I actually do understand). I am saying that Christ’s blood has, once and for all, removed the fact that I deserve negative consequence for my sin.

I don’t have the chutzpah to say that you don’t understand the difference, but I have my doubts.

42   pastorboy    http://www.riveroflifealliance.com
January 18th, 2011 at 9:58 am

Have the Chutzpah! Take a stand.

You don’t understand the difference. I do deserve death for my sins

BUT NO LONGER

Christ removed the penalty for sin (justification) and is removing the power of sin (sanctification) and will one day remove the presence of sin (glorification)

What I deserve is death, what I have received is life. What I deserve is wrath, what I have received is mercy.

All because of the finished work of Christ on my behalf.

43   pastorboy    http://www.riveroflifealliance.com
January 18th, 2011 at 10:01 am

Neil there are multiple Biblical references in both the Old Testament and the New Testament where we are commanded to fear God. Part of that healthy awe and reverence for God is an awareness of how mighty and powerful and merciful He is in witholding his wrath that we well deserve.

I could list them, but I would just be criticized, and you folks would just mock the translation and mock the Bible some more.

44   Jerry    http://www.jerryhillyer.com
January 18th, 2011 at 11:40 am

Once again, John, we don’t mock you. We mostly feel sorry for you.

45   Neil    
January 18th, 2011 at 1:15 pm

I do deserve death for my sins

BUT NO LONGER

this is contrary to what you said in #18.

46   Neil    
January 18th, 2011 at 1:17 pm

Neil there are multiple Biblical references in both the Old Testament and the New Testament where we are commanded to fear God. …

true, but not what i asked for. i asked for any passages that teach god killing people (who are in christ) as judgment for specific sins.

47   Neil    
January 18th, 2011 at 1:21 pm

I could list them, but I would just be criticized, and you folks would just mock the translation and mock the Bible some more.

you cannot show one instance where we have mocked god or the bible. we mock only your twisted interpretation and application of it.

you once again bear false witness against your brothers in christ.

in the most recent example you merely posted a bunch of verses that contained certain words – ignoring both the biblical context of the verses and their irrelevancy to the point in question.

that is sloppy and not good practice for a leader of the church.

since you missed the point (again) – see comment above – i will gladly entertain any passages that reach your theology that god kills people who are in christ for particular sins they commited.

48   pastorboy    http://www.riveroflifealliance.com
January 18th, 2011 at 1:36 pm

Here is one Passage, Neil. We also have Acts 5, though one could contend that Ananias and Sapphira were not in Christ;

19For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.
20 When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord’s supper. 21 For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken. 22 What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? what shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not.

(Just a side, this description reminds me of the communion service I was at at Solomons Porch)

23 For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread:
24 And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.
25 After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, this cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.
26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.
27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. 28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. 29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. 30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. 31 For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.

49   John Hughes    
January 18th, 2011 at 2:13 pm

Well, this does not happen often but I will have to side with PB on the “deserve” issue.

The wages of sin is death. We **deserve** death, but instead, receive by faith, the free gift of life.

How does the fact that Jesus paid the penalty for our sin mean that we don’t “deserve” that penalty, eventhough it has been paid by another?

I don’t understand that conclusion. It seems to be a non-sequitur to me.

Justification comes after the pronouncement of judgement.

50   John Hughes    
January 18th, 2011 at 2:15 pm

To say “we deserve judgement” but that “Christ took our punishment instead” only magnifies Christ IMO. How does that denegrate Him or what He accomplished on Calvary in any way?

51   Nathanael    http://www.borrowedbreath.com/
January 18th, 2011 at 2:24 pm

John H,
John C made this comment in reference to Kyle Lake, a pastor who died during a baptism service when he touched a mic while in the water:

All pastors deserve to die each time they misrepresent God. That includes me, but by God’s grace we all don’t when we fall short.

Do you agree with this?

52   Nathanael    http://www.borrowedbreath.com/
January 18th, 2011 at 2:26 pm

John C,
In comment number 10, you wrote:

He [Kyle Lake] apparently didn’t preach like he was [saved].

How many Kyle Lake sermons have you listened to?

53   Neil    
January 18th, 2011 at 2:52 pm

We also have Acts 5, though one could contend that Ananias and Sapphira were not in Christ – pboy

i referenced that above… which is why i asked for passages that specifically teach this, not passages that describe it happening in the past. i will give you the benefit of knowing the distinction between passages that are descriptive and those that are prescriptive. not necessarily denying it… just looking for specific teaching passages upon which to build a theology.

54   Neil    
January 18th, 2011 at 3:12 pm

(Just a side, this description reminds me of the communion service I was at at Solomons Porch)

so you saw people getting drunk on communion wine at solomon’s porch? not many protestant churches have the nerve to use real wine… let alone offer enough to get drunk.

55   Neil    
January 18th, 2011 at 3:16 pm

john hughs,

re 49: pboy’s specific example was god killing people as a judgment for sin… that god may strike down a preacher who misrepresents him. it is the scripture upon which he is building that theology that i requested.

56   Jerry    http://www.jerryhillyer.com
January 18th, 2011 at 3:20 pm

so you saw people getting drunk on communion wine at solomon’s porch? not many protestant churches have the nerve to use real wine… let alone offer enough to get drunk

If this is true, then I too would reject it. Then again, I haven’t read much or heard much that makes wonder what I might be missing at Solomon’s Porch. And if people were, indeed, getting drunk during communion, then they probably do not have the slightest inkling of what communion means or why they celebrate it.

That is tangential, to be sure.**

**I have not been to Solomon’s Porch. Nor am I saying this story is true. I am simply saying that if it is, I want nothing to do with it. If the story isn’t true, then liars ought to repent.

On a side note to Neil: I don’t know that the type or amount of wine served at communion really matters all that much. That’s just my two, tangential, cents.

57   Neil    
January 18th, 2011 at 3:20 pm

nathanael,

sometimes i wonder just what pboy thinks the gospel is. if you go to the website of the church kyle lake pastored you find the gospel described thus:

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, light from light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father; through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven, was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary and became truly human. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.

he calls this a false gospel… which kinda begs the question – what does pboy believe?

58   Neil    
January 18th, 2011 at 3:21 pm

On a side note to Neil: I don’t know that the type or amount of wine served at communion really matters all that much. That’s just my two, tangential, cents.

i agree.

59   Neil    
January 18th, 2011 at 3:43 pm

re 1 corinthians 11

so far this is the only passage offered up as directly teaching the judgment of god upon sinful believers resulting in death.

contrary to the kjv and pboy’s emphasis – paul is not addressing heresies in the church. belief structures were not the issue. the context clearly shows that the issue is factions in general and the treatment of the poor in specific.

rich within the church were excluding the poor. and that was/is sin.

one commentator (ironic given it was pboy who brought this into play) says “the closest analogy to the corinthian problem, of course, rests with those who are the most factious.”

so, it is within the realm of this passage to say god may judge people within the church based on how they treat each other (in general) and certainly how they treat the poor in their midst (in specific).

i am unconvinvced, however, that this is license to say that god may strike down those who misrepresent him.

60   nathan    
January 18th, 2011 at 4:19 pm

isn’t lovely how we can speak against a man who tragically died while actually knowing nothing of him and it’s all ok if we simply say (rest his soul)?

what a wonderful world.

61   pastorboy    http://www.riveroflifealliance.com
January 18th, 2011 at 4:29 pm

#57 Once again, just cutting and pasting a statement of faith on your website does not mean you really believe it.

If you believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, then why do you support Samir Selmonovic who says that the God of Muslims, Jews, and Christians are all the same? Why do you fellowship and agree with Doug Pagitt who says the end of Muslims will be the same as the end of Christians?

I can go on, but the fact is that those in the emergent movement can speak all the ancient creeds that they want, but the demons know and believe all of the Nicene Creed, and they are demons still.

62   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
January 18th, 2011 at 4:32 pm

So, PB, are members of Solomon’s Porch getting sick and dying more than the average church? It seems that if they’re engaging in the behavior you’re accusing them of, then there should be some sort of observable correlation according to your interpretation of 1 Corinthians 11.

As far as whether or not people deserve death or did deserve death, that’s a moot point. The question is whether not God is pickin’ em’ off now.

63   Nathanael    http://www.borrowedbreath.com/
January 18th, 2011 at 4:32 pm

John, have you ever listened to any of Kyle Lake’s sermons?

64   pastorboy    http://www.riveroflifealliance.com
January 18th, 2011 at 4:32 pm

#59, No, Paul was addressing heresies that cheapened the ordinances or sacraments of the church through their beliefs. Since they obviously treated as common that which was sacred, behaving as though it was a party and not a memorial, God judged them. Harshly. Some were sick, others were killed. This was not because of their treatment of the poor, this was because the sin of their treatment of the God who saved them.

65   pastorboy    http://www.riveroflifealliance.com
January 18th, 2011 at 4:36 pm

#62 I do not know as to percentages of deaths at Solomons porch. I do know that it was more of a party atmosphere with laughter and open bottles of wine poured by individuals. I also know that there are adulterers and homosexuals in that ‘church’ taking communion. It was treated as common. It was treated as a party. It was inappropriate in my view.

66   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
January 18th, 2011 at 4:36 pm

#59, No, Paul was addressing heresies that cheapened the ordinances or sacraments of the church through their beliefs. Since they obviously treated as common that which was sacred, behaving as though it was a party and not a memorial, God judged them. Harshly. Some were sick, others were killed. This was not because of their treatment of the poor, this was because the sin of their treatment of the God who saved them.

This is simply wrong. You really have to ignore, well, pretty much the rest of the whole letter to come up with this interpretation. I mean, just a few verses before this passage, Paul scolds the rich for humiliating those who have nothing.

67   pastorboy    http://www.riveroflifealliance.com
January 18th, 2011 at 4:36 pm

#63 No, why?

68   pastorboy    http://www.riveroflifealliance.com
January 18th, 2011 at 4:37 pm

#66 Separate issue. Addressed and completed.

69   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
January 18th, 2011 at 4:39 pm

#66 Separate issue. Addressed and completed.

Yeah, it’s convenient when we interpret Scripture in a way that least likely to implicate us.

70   Neil    
January 18th, 2011 at 4:58 pm

#57 Once again, just cutting and pasting a statement of faith on your website does not mean you really believe it.

‘course the same could be said of you… since you are the one denying this is the gospel.

search the scriptures as i have… i cannot find the additional criteria you add.

71   pastorboy    http://www.riveroflifealliance.com
January 18th, 2011 at 5:00 pm

Man, The Rob Bell/ Greg Boyd/ Emergent Hermeneutic is fun! We can make Paul’s warning that God will judge improper use of the ordinances or improper worship about how we treat the poor!

1 Corinthians 11
1 Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ. 2 Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you.

Where is the poor mentioned? Keep the ordinances? Be imitators of me?
Maybe they were not imitating him right in the ordinances? Maybe that is what this passage is about?

3 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God. 4 Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head. 5 But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven. 6 For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered.
7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.
8 For the man is not of the woman: but the woman of the man.
9 Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man. 10 For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels.11 Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.
12 For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God. 13 Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered?
14 Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him? 15 But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.16 But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God.

No, now I see! It is about haircuts and head coverings and the role of women and men. People were obviously having a wrong view of haircoverings and hats.

17 Now in this that I declare unto you

I praise you not, that ye come together not for the better, but for the worse. 18 For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it.

No, it was because they did not agree with one another! Thats it! There were divisions! Yep thats it.

19 For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you. 20 When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord’s supper. 21 For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken.
22 What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? what shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not.

Oh, could those who have not be those who did not get to share in supper because the people were being greedy and selfish? That the heresies that they believed may have caused this belief and this behavior? No way. Easier to say it is about the poor, the ones abused by those who will not buy free trade coffee. Thats it.

32 But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.
33 Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another.

It was all about doing ordinances right. All about. Wait for one another. Avoid heresies. reflect, remember. It is not a party. It is a memorial. It is about fellowship.

34And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation. And the rest will I set in order when I come.

After all, this is not about eating, this is about being the Church. This is about fellowship. This whole book is about the church and how we function together rightly.

72   Neil    
January 18th, 2011 at 5:00 pm

So, PB, are members of Solomon’s Porch getting sick and dying more than the average church? It seems that if they’re engaging in the behavior you’re accusing them of, then there should be some sort of observable correlation according to your interpretation of 1 Corinthians 11.

i have heard this offered as proof of fidelity to god as well… satan does not attack those who are his, he only attacks those doing god’s work.

so if you are sick and dying it is either because god is punishing you for being sinful… or satan is attacking you for being godly. take you pick (based on whether or not you agree with said person).

73   Nathanael    http://www.borrowedbreath.com/
January 18th, 2011 at 5:01 pm

#67 Because in comment number 10 you said he “apparently” did not preach like he was “soundly” saved.

Just wondering.
I asked it earlier and you ignored it, so I asked it again.

74   Neil    
January 18th, 2011 at 5:03 pm

This was not because of their treatment of the poor, this was because the sin of their treatment of the God who saved them.

you can only come to this conclusion by ignoring the context of the passage.

75   pastorboy    http://www.riveroflifealliance.com
January 18th, 2011 at 5:06 pm

one commentator (ironic given it was pboy who brought this into play) says “the closest analogy to the corinthian problem, of course, rests with those who are the most factious.”

so, it is within the realm of this passage to say god may judge people within the church based on how they treat each other (in general) and certainly how they treat the poor in their midst (in specific).

you can only come to this conclusion by ignoring the context of the passage.

Physician, heal thyself.

76   Neil    
January 18th, 2011 at 5:07 pm

re 65 – hmmmm.. this sounds familiar. a religious leader railing against someone for drinking wine and having a good time.

and, of course, what is appropriate is what you prefer.

77   pastorboy    http://www.riveroflifealliance.com
January 18th, 2011 at 5:08 pm

#76 drinking wine and having a good time is fine.

Calling the above the Lord’s Supper is not.

78   Neil    
January 18th, 2011 at 5:12 pm

After all, this is not about eating, this is about being the Church. This is about fellowship. This whole book is about the church and how we function together rightly. – pboy

exactly.

79   Neil    
January 18th, 2011 at 5:21 pm

Man, The Rob Bell/ Greg Boyd/ Emergent Hermeneutic is fun! We can make Paul’s warning that God will judge improper use of the ordinances or improper worship about how we treat the poor!

these guys have nothing to do with the issue – but you seem incapable of making a point without draggin in irrelevant points and people.

here is the context of the passage and this is based on simple observation:

1 Cor 11:
:17 - paul introduces the topic of divisions in the church
:20,21 - begins with “therefore” – which ties it to the proceeding, paul introduces the lord’s supper as an example of what they were doing wrong not a new subject.
:22 - paul speaks of those who have shaming those who do not have…
:23-26 - paul’s passing on to them how he received… the context is still how they treat each other in the context of communion
:27 - another “therefore” – so he is sontinuing the thought he began in v17. and introduced the idea of being unworthy.
:27b-32 – the bits about judgment and the like…
:33, 34 - back to his original objection… waiting for one another.

so it is clear and plain. the context in which this is given is about how they were treating each other.

80   Neil    
January 18th, 2011 at 5:33 pm

Easier to say it is about the poor…

when the context is about divisions in the church between the haves and the have-not’s – yeah… it is easy.

just like it is easy to see the issue of lawsuits in chpt 6. what is obvious is… well by definition “easy to see.”

81   Neil    
January 18th, 2011 at 5:35 pm

#76 drinking wine and having a good time is fine.

Calling the above the Lord’s Supper is not.

so what are you saying? communion cannot be dome with real wine? it cannot be a celebration? that the wine cannot be poured by lay-people?

other than some vague objection that it was inappropriate – you have not stated how it was inappropriate.

unless celebrating is what you mean.

82   Neil    
January 18th, 2011 at 5:39 pm

It is not a party. It is a memorial.

once again we see you impossing YOUR standards on others as if they were the only option.

some people/cultures choose to remember with solemn observances and open mourning… others choose to remember by celebrating the life – ever been to a dixieland funeral?

how you can be so arrogant as to tell a person how to remember the lord is astounding.

83   Neil    
January 18th, 2011 at 5:43 pm

Correcting an Abuse of the Lord’s Supper

17 In the following directives I have no praise for you, for your meetings do more harm than good. 18 In the first place, I hear that when you come together as a church, there are divisions among you, and to some extent I believe it. 19 No doubt there have to be differences among you to show which of you have God’s approval. 20 So then, when you come together, it is not the Lord’s Supper you eat, 21 for when you are eating, some of you go ahead with your own private suppers. As a result, one person remains hungry and another gets drunk. 22 Don’t you have homes to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God by humiliating those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you? Certainly not in this matter!

23 For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

27 So then, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. 28 Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup. 29 For those who eat and drink without discerning the body of Christ eat and drink judgment on themselves. 30 That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep. 31 But if we were more discerning with regard to ourselves, we would not come under such judgment. 32 Nevertheless, when we are judged in this way by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be finally condemned with the world.

33 So then, my brothers and sisters, when you gather to eat, you should all eat together. 34 Anyone who is hungry should eat something at home, so that when you meet together it may not result in judgment.

And when I come I will give further directions.

here is the entire passage. no mention of heresies… no mention of right preaching… but enough about the have’s and the have not’s.

84   thurstin    http://www.needgod.com
January 18th, 2011 at 6:53 pm

#83 What kind of translation is that? Looks like you are the pervert, Neil. You use perverted scripture. How do you translate heresies divisdions??

85   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
January 18th, 2011 at 7:22 pm

#83 What kind of translation is that? Looks like you are the pervert, Neil. You use perverted scripture. How do you translate heresies divisdions??

Ah, yes, nothing like choosing the good ol’ poorly translated King Jimmy version…

Heresy is division. The roots of the word “heresy” go back to the Greek words for “to choose” or “to take”. It then came to take on the meaning of “sect” or “school of thought”. So in the context of this letter, I think the word division is fine for the thought Paul is trying to get across. He’s telling the Corinthians to quit being asses to one another and get along. They are, after all, part of the same body.

86   pastorboy    http://www.riveroflifealliance.com
January 18th, 2011 at 7:42 pm

?????? Scisma- used in verse 18- translated divisions

18For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it.

??????? haireses- translated heresies. used by Paul here to denote a work of the flesh, as in Galatians 5:20, can denotes one who occasions divisions in the Church by turning aside from sound doctrine.

19For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.

Sorry. Divisions does not work, unless you add the divisions are caused by lack of sound doctrine.

87   John Hughes    
January 18th, 2011 at 9:05 pm

Neil:

john hughs,

re 49: pboy’s specific example was god killing people as a judgment for sin… that god may strike down a preacher who misrepresents him. it is the scripture upon which he is building that theology that i requested.

I found PB’s statement to be quite shocking and no I do not agree with it.

88   Neil    
January 18th, 2011 at 9:27 pm

#83 What kind of translation is that?

the kind of translation i used in 83 is a dynamic equivalent. it is called the new international version – or NIV. i checked seven other translations, some dynamic equivalents some word for word. i left out paraphrases. they all translate that word as “divisions” (or the like) in that context. – even the nkjv. the kjv is the only one i found that translated it as “heresies.”

89   Joe    http://christianresearchnetwork.com/index.php?s=john+chisham
January 18th, 2011 at 9:43 pm

#86.
Do you read Biblical Greek or do you rely on commentaries? Honest question.

90   Neil    
January 18th, 2011 at 10:19 pm

How do you translate heresies divisdions??

i think, by this, you are asking how i would translate airesis.

the word can mean “party,” “division,” “sect” – the term appears to be neutral so context determines whether it is used negatively or not. it can also mean “false teaching” or “heresy.” it would appear this is where we get the english word “heresy.”

doing a quick word study shows the word used in the NT nine times. eight times it is translated “party,” “sect,” “factions,” or “division.” it is translated “heresies” once, in 2 peter 1.

it is used four times in the septuagint – each time it is used as “party” or “sect.”

one commentary says (35 yes ago so it cannot be dismissed as postmodern):

17–19 Regarding the meal that evidently preceded the communion service, the apostle condemns the conduct of the believers as harmful (v. 17) and degrading to the communion (see v. 20). Their actions at the common agape meal were betraying the divisions, including class distinctions between the rich and the poor. Though he might discount part of what he heard, Paul felt he had to believe some of it (v. 18). Knowing human nature, he assumes some such divisions are inevitable even among Christians, so that those who act worthy of God’s approval might be evident (v. 19). The word haireseis must mean “factions” here, not “heresies” or “heretical sects” as the word can also mean.

W. Harold Mare, “1 Corinthians” In , in The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, Volume 10: Romans Through Galatians, ed. Frank E. Gaebelein (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1976), 258.

a less technical commentary says (again, certianly not pomo or emerging):

Once again Paul refers to “divisions” (Gk. schismata, as in 1:10). But here he is not thinking of the rival parties that possibly separate various congregations but of the gulf between the rich and poor within a given house-church.

Craig Blomberg, The NIV Application Commentary: 1 Corinthians (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1994), 228.

based on these and other sources, it is obvious what paul is talking about.

91   pastorboy    http://www.riveroflifealliance.com
January 18th, 2011 at 10:42 pm

#89 Both. Honest answer.
#90 Why do you read the Non-Inspired Version?

92   Neil    
January 18th, 2011 at 10:49 pm

the niv is not my first choice. my first choice, when using the english, is the esv.

technically, all versions/translations are non-inspired… but you knew that.

93   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
January 18th, 2011 at 10:54 pm

#90 Why do you read the Non-Inspired Version?

Yeah, a version commissioned by a homosexual (or bisexual) king who was dead set on defending the divine right of kings is much better…

I actually like the NIV for reading, as I think it flows quite better than many other versions. I also like the fact that they have been continually revising the NIV since its inception.

94   Neil    
January 18th, 2011 at 10:58 pm

as fun as it is to bring up… the sexual orientation of the one paying for the kjv is irrelevant.

(just wanted to say it so pboy doesn’t play the inconsistency card)

95   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
January 18th, 2011 at 11:02 pm

as fun as it is to bring up… the sexual orientation of the one paying for the kjv is irrelevant.

Yeah, that is, but the ideological bent of securing the power of the monarchy affected the translation. Actually, James was hoping to squash the Puritan movement. So it’s sort of ironic that people who trace their theological heritage back to Puritans still cling to the KJV so much.

96   Neil    
January 18th, 2011 at 11:03 pm

irony abounds!

97   Jerry    http://www.jerryhillyer.com
January 19th, 2011 at 12:01 am

Mare’s commentary isn’t entirely reliable at some points, but he is credible up to a point. Blomberg is a little better, but sometimes he’s a bit sketchy too. But you will find that I say this about EVERY commentary I read. No one commentary is entirely reliable.

The problem in these passages goes all the way back to the beginning of the letter–the problem of disunity, schisms, factions, personality-cults, disunity, &tc. Given that this is the only place Paul uses ‘haireseis’ in 1 Corinthians, determining a meaning is made all the more complex.

With that said, I don’t envision any scenario where ‘haireseis’ can mean anything in this passage other than ‘factions’ ‘distinctions’ ‘differences’ or even ’schisms’. We have to look deeper into the context to determine the cause of these divisions (disunity at Corinth has been a major, major issue being dealt with since chapter 1).

David Prior has some calming, sobering and deeply prophetic words at this point: “Now Paul was not naive; he expected any church to be full of different emphases on this or that matter. To that extent, he was not surprised by the situation at Corinth: there must be factions (haireseis) among you in order that those who are genuine among you may be recognized (v 19). Such selectivity in Christian convictions amongst those submitted to the Lordship of Jesus is inevitable. But there is absolutely no need, let alone any propriety, for Christians to sunder fellowship on the basis of such distinctives. When such schism actually penetrates the public worship of a congregation, the situation is scandalous.” (186)

And he goes on, the coup-de-grace as it were, “When they came together there was no sense of being one family in the Lord. Each group kept to itself….The arrangements, in brief, emphasized the divisions in the church at Corinth, not their fellowship” (Prior, 187).

Maybe some of that helps, maybe not.

98   Neil    
January 19th, 2011 at 12:15 am

jerry, not only is unity vs. disunity the running theme… he makes a direct reference to schisms in the verse that proceeds his use of airesis.

99   Jerry    http://www.jerryhillyer.com
January 19th, 2011 at 12:16 am

?????? Scisma- used in verse 18- translated divisions

18For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it.

??????? haireses- translated heresies. used by Paul here to denote a work of the flesh, as in Galatians 5:20, can denotes one who occasions divisions in the Church by turning aside from sound doctrine.

19For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.

Sorry. Divisions does not work, unless you add the divisions are caused by lack of sound doctrine.

As I noted above, Paul only uses that word in 1 Corinthians 1 time so it is rather unfair (or exegetically irresponsible) to use the reference from Galatians to define it. You might as well look at the reference in 2 Peter 2:1 because it better fits your point. But do we want to define Paul’s use by looking at Peter’s use? I think not.

Paul’s use in Galatians 5:20 doesn’t even come close to making your point–since we could dispute how he is using it all day long. (The other uses of the word are all in Acts 5:17, 15:5, 24:5, 14, 26:5, 28:22). And interestingly enough, in the book of Acts the word is NEVER used to denote ‘theological heterodoxy’ or ‘heresy’ (in the strictly American sense of the word). In Acts it ALWAYS means ’sect’ or ‘party’ or ‘faction.’

So only of Peter can it be reliably suggested that the word means ‘theological unorthodoxy.’ Paul most certainly does not use this word transliterated (as opposed to ‘translated’, which it is not when considered ‘heresy’*) as ‘heresy’ to indicate “denote[s] one who occasions divisions in the Church by turning aside from sound doctrine.”

*there is a profound difference between a word being transliterated and translated. ‘Heresy’ is a transliteration; ’sect’, ‘party’, ‘division’, are translations. Transliterations can mean anything; translations mean one thing.

So, John, I think it is fair to say that you are way, way off the mark on this one. While it is possible to make your definition work, given the general context of Paul’s letter, the overwhelming use of the word in the NT, and the specific context of chapters 8-11 in 1 Corinthians, I’d say your meaning is sunk.

Your last paragraph: “Sorry. Divisions does not work, unless you add the divisions are caused by lack of sound doctrine” (John C) is not simply wrong, it is appallingly wrong.

100   Neil    
January 19th, 2011 at 12:33 am

so, to say that heresy is the sin that is causing sickness and death in corinth is to force an interpretation onto the passage that neither the language nor the context can support. therefore, while this verse certainly implies that god may judge believers for this sin, does it open the door for other sins?

are there any other passages that teach god’s capital judgment against believers who sin (in general) or pboy’s contention that he may strike down errant pastors (in specific)?

101   Jerry    http://www.dongoldfish.wordpress.com
January 19th, 2011 at 12:43 am

Neil,

I don’t think so. And I believe that if you consult most commentaries–even hardcore reformed stuff–you will find that theologians, pastors, and the like are reticent ever to ascribe such things to God.

Now that’s not to say that it isn’t from God; could be. And I think stories like Annanias and Sapphira give us the indication that God is active among the church and rightfully warn us that God could act in such a way among us. On the other hand, ascription of such things is a very tricky business–one that I am not so willing to undertake. (No pun.)

And we are far, far away from Neverland if we think we possess the theological insight and gift of prophecy to ascribe to God such actions.

Kyle Lake made a foolish mistake (I saw a similar incident on 1000 Ways to Die once). And it could be that he had ’served God’s purpose in his generation.’ But to suggest what John suggests is to claim way too much information about God’s providence than I believe we are privy too.

To blame God is even worse. Peter and Paul may have had such insight, but I don’t think we do. And neither do I think we should claim to. It is hubris. If anything, we keep such judgments between ourselves and God and we learn privately from them. They are not stepping stones to theological domination or discourse.

102   pastorboy    http://www.riveroflifealliance.com
January 19th, 2011 at 9:08 am

#97 I think that exegesis is closer to right on. He describes SEVERAL factions even just in that passage, not just the rich and poor factions. I do contend, however, that factions can be caused by heresis, that is false teaching is the focus of that word that Paul uses in that context.

103   pastorboy    http://www.riveroflifealliance.com
January 19th, 2011 at 9:14 am

As to the death of Kyle Lake as the judgment of God, I can no more say with certainty that it was than you can say with certainty that it wasn’t. I still contend that God can punish preachers or Christians with death if He so chooses. I still contend that it is common grace that allows a person to live after he sins even once, and it is special grace that God allows us to continue live even though our theology is wrong and we preach wrong doctrine.

By the way, I think it is also evidence of the wrath of God being poured out that preachers like Rob Bell, Doug Pagitt, Brian McLaren, Joel Osteen, and Rick Warren et.al are allowed to survive and thrive and be successful. God is allowing people to have their ears tickled and be deceived.

104   pastorboy    http://www.riveroflifealliance.com
January 19th, 2011 at 9:15 am

John Owen: The most tremendous judgment of God in this world is the hardening of the hearts of men.

105   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
January 19th, 2011 at 9:35 am

As to the death of Kyle Lake as the judgment of God, I can no more say with certainty that it was than you can say with certainty that it wasn’t.

I will say with certainty that it wasn’t.

I’m sorry, but I do not live in fear of God striking me down if I mess up, and I believe it is a form of pastoral abuse to preach such stuff.

God’s final word to humanity is Christ. Christ died so that we need not fear being punished by God. You cannot have it both ways. God cannot simultaneously be loving Father on one hand, but on the other hand a raging, wrath-filled God looking to smite those who offend Him.

Either we believe Christ was the full revelation of God or we do not. There is no middle ground.

106   pastorboy    http://www.riveroflifealliance.com
January 19th, 2011 at 9:42 am

Christ died so that we need not fear being punished by God.

No, Christ died to save us from our sins so that, if we repent and believe, we can be saved from the penalty of sin, even the power of sin.

God cannot simultaneously be loving Father on one hand, but on the other hand a raging, wrath-filled God looking to smite those who offend Him.

But the Bible is very clear that He is both.

107   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
January 19th, 2011 at 10:01 am

But the Bible is very clear that He is both.

Well, at least you’re honest that you have a skewed perception of the Father. I genuinely feel sorry for you.

I serve a Father who Jesus described this way:

“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.”

108   pastorboy    http://www.riveroflifealliance.com
January 19th, 2011 at 10:07 am

#107 Well, at least you are honest that you do not serve the God of the Bible. Who was it that allowed Jesus Christ, the innocent, spotless Lamb to be murdered so unjustly? Beaten within an inch of his life, hung on a cross, Gods wrath poured out on Him? Which God was that? Or was just a human fiat, like ROb Bell says the Bible is…..

109   Jerry    http://www.jerryhillyer.com
January 19th, 2011 at 10:24 am

As to the death of Kyle Lake as the judgment of God, I can no more say with certainty that it was than you can say with certainty that it wasn’t. I still contend that God can punish preachers or Christians with death if He so chooses.

Which is why, I believe, there should be no comment made about it one way or another. This is one of those areas where we should be silent. What you believe is what you believe. Fine.

But to share that sort of news with people is wrong. If you choose to live with that knowledge, fine. If that knowledge draws you closer to Jesus, fine. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you are correct and it certainly doesn’t mean you should be sharing it with people.

110   Jerry    http://www.jerryhillyer.com
January 19th, 2011 at 10:26 am

104, I haven’t spent too much time with Owen, but I inclined to believe that quote has nothing whatsoever to do with preachers who stand in the pulpit. And if it does, then Owen is wrong. If it doesn’t, you are wrong for citing it in this context, in this conversation.

It’s an apples and oranges kind of thing.

111   Neil    
January 19th, 2011 at 12:46 pm

I do contend, however, that factions can be caused by heresis, that is false teaching is the focus of that word that Paul uses in that context.

no doubt heresies can cause factions. it is also true that the accusation of heresies even where they do not exist can cause divisions as well.

in the context of 1 corinthians, however, the natural reading of the the text and context lends itself away from the issue of heresy in the modern sense of the word.

112   Neil    
January 19th, 2011 at 12:51 pm

I still contend that God can punish preachers or Christians with death if He so chooses. – pboy

of course he can, no one has denied that… the question is what evidence in the bible is there that he does. and should this be an over-riding fear/concern for the preacher. as if getting it right for the glory of god is not enough.

so far the evidence presented is either descriptive of what god did – and not necessarily prescriptive of what he will do… or the evidence is not relevant to the specific question.

i guess it comes down to your view of god and why you want to preach accurately.

113   Neil    
January 19th, 2011 at 12:53 pm

By the way, I think it is also evidence of the wrath of God being

poured out that preachers like Rob Bell, Doug Pagitt, Brian McLaren, Joel Osteen, and Rick Warren et.al are allowed to survive and thrive and be successful. God is allowing people to have their ears tickled and be deceived.

exhibit one in how the speaking of false accusations against other believers causes division within the body.

114   Neil    
January 19th, 2011 at 1:00 pm

#107 Well, at least you are honest that you do not serve the God of the Bible. Who was it that allowed Jesus Christ, the innocent, spotless Lamb to be murdered so unjustly? Beaten within an inch of his life, hung on a cross, Gods wrath poured out on Him? Which God was that?

your ability to twist a person’s words is truly – horrifying… in the sens that you do it with such ease and apparently guilt-free.

phil clearly placed his comments about god and love and fear and judgment in the context of after-the-cross.

yet you choose to ignore this, as you do so often when redressing others. you take what they say, change the meaning, then call them heretics.

is nothing below you? have you no honesty?

115   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
January 19th, 2011 at 1:05 pm

of course he can, no one has denied that… the question is what evidence in the bible is there that he does. and should this be an over-riding fear/concern for the preacher. as if getting it right for the glory of god is not enough.

Yes, this. What God can do and what God will do are different things. I assume that because God is, well, God, He could run the universe however He chooses. But through his revelation to us in Scripture through Christ, we can be sure of what He will do, and how He will respond to us. They’re not really sure, though, if he’s actually appeased. He could lash out at any given moment.

I sometime get the idea that the picture that PB paints of God isn’t much different than that of the ancients who thought they must sacrifice virgins to a volcano in order to appease him. They

116   John Hughes    
January 19th, 2011 at 2:42 pm

such arguments are why I am a semi-dispensationist. We are currently in the age of grace and PB has us still stock in the dispensation of the law. However, the age of grace will come to an end (e.g. Day of the Lord, Revelations. et.al.). Today is the day of salvation.

117   pastorboy    http://www.riveroflifealliance.com
January 20th, 2011 at 11:39 am

#116 Nope,
#1 I am not a dispensationalist
#2 I believe we are in the age of grace, but I also believe that God is sovereign in this age as well as in all ages and that He can kill a Pastor, knock over a steeple, collapse a bridge, send a hurricane, earthquake, tsunami, kill birds, collapse towers, all as signs of warning and his grace towards men warning them to repent.
#3 God is sovereign and he knows when things will happen, who they will happen to, and how men will respond.
#4 Pastor Lake’s death, while tragic, probably saved lives.
#5 I frankly could care less what Phil, Neil, Jerry, or Joe think they are entitled to .I…mean…whether I am being dishonest or misinterpreting..or what. My conscience is clear.

118   neil    
January 20th, 2011 at 12:29 pm

I believe we are in the age of grace, but I also believe that God is sovereign in this age as well as in all ages and that He can kill a Pastor, knock over a steeple, collapse a bridge, send a hurricane, earthquake, tsunami, kill birds, collapse towers, all as signs of warning and his grace towards men warning them to repent.

**sigh** once again you are arguing for a point no has denied.

119   neil    
January 20th, 2011 at 12:32 pm

I frankly could care less what Phil, Neil, Jerry, or Joe think they are entitled to .I…mean…whether I am being dishonest or misinterpreting..or what. My conscience is clear.

not sure what this is in relation to. the only time i questioned your honesty was in your response to phil – a repsonse that redressed phil for something he did not say.

if you can knowingly misrepresent someone’s words with a clear conscience – well so be it.

120   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
January 20th, 2011 at 12:35 pm

…He can kill a Pastor, knock over a steeple, collapse a bridge, send a hurricane, earthquake, tsunami, kill birds, collapse towers, all as signs of warning and his grace towards men warning them to repent.

If God is trying to get this message across by doing these various things, it’s certainly not working very well.

Whenever there are acts of God meant as warning or punishment in the OT, there are pretty much always accounts of God warning people ahead of time or letting them know. If God is just punishing people without letting them know what they’re being punished for, then he’s simply a tyrant.

Once again, portraying God a tyrannical dictator, or some sort feudal king demanding satisfaction simply doesn’t square with the revelation of the Father through Christ.

121   Neil    
January 20th, 2011 at 1:23 pm

also believe that God is sovereign in this age as well as in all ages and that He can…

yet to this point little, if any, evidence has been presented that says he does or will… that this is to be expected or feared.

we have seen no biblical evidence that should lead us to believe that god is judging america as a nation OR judged kyle lake as a pastor.

various ot and one nt passages were offered as examples: these show that at certain times god did indeed judge people and nations. but is there any teaching that leads us to believe we should expect or fear retribution for sin at this time? is this his s*o*p?

luke 13 was offered, but since jesus, in that passage, teaches the very opposite – it does not support the position (but it does raise the interesting question of presenting a passage to support the very notion that that passage dispels).

1 corinthinians was offered: this seems to be the closest and best passage. unfortunately the context of the passage is behavior between believers, not national policy or pastoral teaching. it may be enough to cause one to pause – but it is insufficient to build a theology upon.

along the way it has been acknowledged by all that assigning motives to god, assigning credit/blame to god should be avoided since it is impossible to know.

therefore, unless someone has something new to add… it would appear that the answer to the question in the op is: “no.”

122   John Hughes    
January 20th, 2011 at 2:14 pm

#120 – Excellent points.

123   Brendt    http://csaproductions.com/blog/
January 20th, 2011 at 3:55 pm

PB #103: As to the death of Kyle Lake as the judgment of God, I can no more say with certainty that it was …

You are to be (genuinely) applauded. Your attitude is also in the VAST minority among those whom you have supported in the past.

See, even you don’t agree wholesale with everything that someone says, just because you agree with some/many things they say.

124   Jerry    http://www.jerryhillyer.com
January 20th, 2011 at 8:54 pm

comment #117 is officially the comment that ended this thread as a bit of rational discussion.

Anyone who can utter this sentence: “#4 Pastor Lake’s death, while tragic, probably saved lives” and then say with a straight face that their conscience is clear is clearly not playing with a full deck and is clearly interested in nothing more than provocation.

I have nothing more to say on this matter in this thread.

125   pastorboy    http://www.riveroflifealliance.com
January 20th, 2011 at 9:36 pm

#124 Well, Jerry, thats what happens when people die. It tends to get people’s attention. People may have gotten saved as they have taken stock of their lives and repented. As a result of his death.

126   neil    
January 20th, 2011 at 9:52 pm

see, now when i read 117 i just looked at it as more pointing out the obvioud – things (even if said rather callously) that were true and against which no one was arguing.

when pboy said “saved lives” i assumed he meant – well “saved lived.” since the tragedy probably caused others to revisit their baptismal set-ups.

i suppose it is also true that some reading the story could have taken stock of lake’s faith and embraced christ.

127   nathan    
January 21st, 2011 at 11:52 am

RE: #4 “his death saved lives…”

I just had an ‘A FEW GOOD MEN” flashback…

“Private Santiago’s death, while tragic, probably saved lives…”

“My existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives.”

128   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
January 21st, 2011 at 12:04 pm

It reminds of the urban legend about a U2 concert:

At a recent U2 concert in Glasgow, Scotland, [Bono] asked the audience for total quiet.

Then, in the silence, he started to slowly clap his hands, once every few seconds. Holding the audience in total silence, he said into the microphone, “Every time I clap my hands, a child in Africa dies.”

From the front of the crowd a voice with a broad Scottish accent pierced the quiet …

“Well, f*****n stop doin it then, ya evil bastard!”

129   Jerry    http://www.jerryhillyer.com
January 21st, 2011 at 3:09 pm

#126, you know as well as I do that none of those options is what John had in mind. We know what John was talking about and it wasn’t people revisiting baptismal set-ups or otherwise.

130   neil    
January 21st, 2011 at 7:32 pm

Taking extra precautions is what I thought he meant… initially. But I suppose you are right.

131   pastorboy    http://www.riveroflifealliance.com
January 21st, 2011 at 9:55 pm

Nope, I was referencing people reexamining their lives in light of a death.

132   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
January 22nd, 2011 at 11:41 am

Extrapolating divine intentions through human events is profoundly wrong and usually self serving. And to somehow connect the dots to a person’s doctrine in a tragedy is outrageous and deeply unchristian. The scenario usually unfolds this way:

The church member who is a thorn to the pastor dies – God got him.

The supportive church member dies – a tragedy.

I completely reject the “death angel” brand of New Testament Christianity in this gospel age. In fact, if God is going around killing people He seems very sporadic and incomplete. Hitchens, Dawkins, and Hugh Hefner still live, and Sun Yung Moon and a host of other Jesus wannabees fare sumptuously. I’m just amazed God hasn’t killed me. Although PB is a believer, he has a decidedly different view of the nature of God which in my opinion is an unhealthy meshing of the OT divine revelation and the far superior Jesus revelation.

BTW – People cannot reexamine their lives unless God allows it. :cool:

The “tragedy saves lives” principle is always put forth by those still alive. It is nothing more than manipulating events into a more palatable narrative. There are tragedies that are nothing more and nothing less than tragedies.

133   Jerry    http://www.jerryhillyer.com
January 22nd, 2011 at 2:28 pm

#132, wow. i completely agree.

134   pastorboy    http://www.riveroflifealliance.com
January 22nd, 2011 at 2:55 pm

I just came home from praying for a Pastor who has stage four cancer in his liver and stomach. A former Missionary to the Phillipines, he and his wife have been faithful preachers, ministers, and prayer warriors over the years.

Their take away is that this will bring glory to God as he suffers through the pain of cancer. If he lives, He serves and glorifies Jesus. If he dies, He lives and glorifies Jesus. Both of them know this sickness is not Lord, Jesus is. And they are willing to be weak so that He can show Himself mighty.

There is a purpose in sickness, and in death. For the Christian, it is for the good, that is, to glorify Christ. God can use anything for the good, even the death of a pastor in a baptismal. Even if he was a false teacher, God could still bring attention to the brevity of life and people can get saved.

135   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
January 22nd, 2011 at 3:07 pm

#134 – Of course God does use everything. But did God give your friend cancer, as you suggest God electrocuted that other pastor? Not everything was “predestined” by God.

I also reject the principle that humanity is creating history upon a intricate set of divine people movers turned on and off by God as He sees fit. That principle undermines our accountability as well as makes God a partner in all sorts of despicable acts.

136   pastorboy    http://www.riveroflifealliance.com
January 22nd, 2011 at 3:17 pm

Of course God does use everything. But did God give your friend cancer, as you suggest God electrocuted that other pastor?

Maybe He did, but one thing for sure, He knew it was going to happen and was not surprised by it as some (like Greg Boyd, Chad, and Phil) would suggest

Not everything was “predestined” by God.

Sure it was. Evidence: it happened.

137   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
January 22nd, 2011 at 3:19 pm

#136 – Systematic Theogoofy. :cool:

138   neil    
January 23rd, 2011 at 5:50 pm

pboy, when has phil ever… oh never mind… you have proven too often that what people say and mean is not important.

what is important is how you can twist their words to attack them.

139   Joe    http://christianresearchnetwork.com/index.php?s=john+chisham
January 23rd, 2011 at 9:00 pm

#136. Recently a young girl was raped and killed not far from here. Was that predestined by God?

140   pastorboy    http://www.riveroflifealliance.com
January 23rd, 2011 at 10:25 pm

#138 So, then Greg Boyd is not an open theist?

#139 It may not have been predestined, but it was known by God and God was not surprised by it. I hope that she was a believer and that her parents have found comfort in Christ.

141   Joe    http://christianresearchnetwork.com/index.php?s=john+chisham
January 23rd, 2011 at 11:01 pm

#140 But in #136 you said that everything is predestined and the evidence of that is that it happened. This girl was raped and murdered. It happened so by your logic in #136 it must have been predestined or did you change your mind between comments #136 and #140.
The question of evil is something I live with daily. I work with kids who will never have the cognitive ability to understand the gospel because their parents beat them as a baby or did drugs or fill in the travesty.

142   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
January 24th, 2011 at 8:04 am

#140 – Of course God was not “surprised” by an act such as Joe described, however if God did not orchestrate it that proves that God has allowed mankind a large measure of free will.

God is not the orchestrator of evil and in fact He does not even tempt people to do evil. I am not agree with Boyd, however his view is closer than Calvin’s.

143   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
January 24th, 2011 at 9:26 am

Sigh… I debated as to even write anything, because I think there are some people who just simply refuse to believe the truth. Boyd has never said God can “not know” something. What Boyd’s thesis is built around is defining what actually is knowable, and what is the nature of time and the universe itself.

An overly simple comparison would be a roulette wheel. Say a wheel was designed with a certain number of slots. There’s a finite number of positions the ball could come to rest on, and each of them are equally as probable (assuming the wheel is perfectly designed, which isn’t really humanly possible, but that’s another issue altogether). I know the ball will land on one of the slots, and in some sense, I would “foreknow” what the ball landing in any of the slots would look like. However, I would not predetermine what slot the ball would land in. I designed the wheel with real freedom so the outcome isn’t predetermined.

Now, God in His infinitely more powerful creative abilities designed the universe in such a way that there is real freedom in the outcomes that may happen. None of them are beyond His knowledge, but yet, none of them are predetermined (well, I would say some of them are in a sense, but not in the Calvinistic sense).

144   pastorboy    http://www.riveroflifealliance.com
January 24th, 2011 at 9:59 am

God is the guy who created the roulette wheel, and who spins it. Where the ball lands is predetermined and completely controlled by the guy in control of the wheel.

145   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
January 24th, 2011 at 10:05 am

I refuse to be drawn into anymore ridiculous arguments with you, PB. I remember taking a basic logic class in elementary school that gave me more than enough ammunition to dismantle your pathetic constructions. All I can say is that if you truly believe what you say you believe, than calling people to repentance at all is a wasted and futile thing. You might as well go encourage to people to sin more boldly. They are, after all, predetermined to be sinners. The more they sin, the more they glorify God according to your twisted logic.

146   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
January 24th, 2011 at 10:41 am

Calvinism is unbiblical, illogical, and goofy. It is good to know that God ordained Marcus Borg to teach his heresy. That God – He’s such a card!

147   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
January 24th, 2011 at 11:17 am

Is there a reason why some people cannot distinguish between foreknowledge and orchestration?

148   pastorboy    http://www.riveroflifealliance.com
January 24th, 2011 at 11:51 am

#146 Who is a Calvinist? #147 it is clear that Phil cannot. God knows it will happen, sometimes He makes it happen, sometimes He allows it to happen. But God is omniscient. #146 He allows Borg, Bell, Pagitt, Jones, McLaren, Osteen, and Warren to teach their heresy because it is part of his righteous judgment- itching ears and all.

149   Joe    http://christianresearchnetwork.com/index.php?s=john+chisham
January 24th, 2011 at 12:00 pm

John Chisham, please tell me which answer you stand by. The one in #136 which says that God predestines ALL things that happen or the one in #140 which says God may not have predestined all things.
You have contradicted yourself within three comments and I am curious to know which one is actually your belief.

150   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
January 24th, 2011 at 12:24 pm

” He allows Borg, Bell, Pagitt, Jones, McLaren, Osteen, and Warren to teach their heresy because it is part of his righteous judgment- itching ears and all.”

That’s like pulling the wings off of a fly.

151   John Hughes    
January 24th, 2011 at 2:35 pm

Jeremiah 32:34-36 – “But they put their detestable things in the house which is called by My name, to defile it. “They built the high places of Baal that are in the valley of Ben-hinnom to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire to Molech, which I had not commanded them nor had it entered My mind that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.

So much for the “God predestinates everything” argument.

152   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
January 24th, 2011 at 2:37 pm

John – Plase don’t confuse our theology with the Scriptures! :)

153   Jerry    http://www.jerryhillyer.com
January 24th, 2011 at 2:56 pm

who is this ‘jeremiah’ guy anyhow?

154   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
January 24th, 2011 at 3:28 pm

#153 – I believe he was an amphibian.

155   John Hughes    
January 24th, 2011 at 4:13 pm

154 – Old geezer alert!

156   neil    
January 24th, 2011 at 4:25 pm

Re:140… you accused phil. i responded re phil. and you dodge the question re your accusation against phil by referencing boyd. why?

157   neil    
January 24th, 2011 at 4:33 pm

I too would like to know which of the two positions pboy actually holds

158   Brendt    http://csaproductions.com/blog/
January 24th, 2011 at 11:30 pm

Rick (#154), joy to the world, indeed.

159   pastorboy    http://www.riveroflifealliance.com
January 25th, 2011 at 8:24 am

God is Sovereign- He reigns over all
God is omniscient- He knows everything
and is surprised by nothing
God predestines certain things to happen, and he allows others to happen and when they do happen, it is because God allowed it to happen, he did not withhold it happening.

Kyle Lake got electrocuted- was it predestined or did God allow it to happen? We will never know this side of the veil.

160   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
January 25th, 2011 at 9:21 am

#159 – I agree. A free will theology with certain divine interventions.

161   Joe    http://christianresearchnetwork.com/index.php?s=john+chisham
January 25th, 2011 at 9:44 am

#159
Well, that is a far cry from the “if it happened it was predestined” comment earlier in the thread. Thank you for clarifying your position.

162   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
January 25th, 2011 at 12:52 pm

To me, acting like you have figured out the precise equation between God’s sovereignty and man’s divine gift of free will is the ultimate doctrinal hubris.

God is a spirit. Someone give me an accurate definition of a spirit.

Oh yea, we all have the nature of God all wrapped up and tied with a bow!

163   John Hughes    
January 25th, 2011 at 2:12 pm

#159 – Gosh. I can actually agree with that.

164   John Hughes    
January 25th, 2011 at 2:14 pm

the precise equation between God’s sovereignty and man’s divine gift of free will = 42 ;-)

165   John Hughes    
January 25th, 2011 at 2:15 pm

PS – and thanks for all the fish!