Archive for the 'Worship' Category

What’s up with pews? Does it matter what we sit in on a Sunday morning? Can I be at church and sit in a bar stool, movie theatre seat, cushy chair, sofa, etc? Does it matter what the material is, whether it’s wood, cloth, or plastic?

According to Wikipedia, the pew wasn’t even invented until the Protestant Reformation and the rise of the sermon.

Jesus and his disciples never sat in pews. However, since some think that uncomfortableness equals godliness and the human body is a bad thing, it seems that this becomes a way of self punishment. Do critics actually think they are more holy because they have sore backs and sore bums? Are they less holy if they have padded pews? And where is this in scripture, that sitting on hard wooden benches is a requirement in being a member of God’s army? Is it ok to sit on the ground?

Too many questions and so little answers.

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Have you ever thought that we’ve got that whole idols problem licked? I mean, there’s no golden calves around to bow down to, or kings making giant statues that everyone has to worship when the band starts playing. But consider for a moment that an idol isn’t strictly a formed image, but anything we place above God. In that way every sin falls in some way into that first commandment. Martin Luther in “Treatise Concerning Good Works” wrote:

All those who do not at all times trust God and do not in all their works or sufferings, life and death, trust in His favor, grace and good-will, but seek His favor in other things or in themselves, do not keep this [First] Commandment, and practice real idolatry, even if they were to do the works of all the other Commandments

In other words, idolatry is a sneaky, sneaky thing because God has given us many good and excellent gifts which can be used as idols. One of those good and excellent gifts is the scriptures themselves. There’s a thin line we walk with the scriptures between respect and idolatry. Without respect for the scriptures we miss the whole point of why God blessed us with them (primarily, though not exclusively, to communicate the gospel with the world) and strip the scriptures of their authority and truth. However, if we go so far as to make the scriptures an idol we miss the gospel completely. We don’t enter the kingdom of God by what we believe about the Bible, we enter the kingdom of God by the work of Christ which is communicated by the Bible. I believe that once we reach the point where the Bible can’t be used as an inspiration for art we’ve reached the point where the Bible has become our golden calf.

As many of you have already suspected I am a huge nerd, and I like nerdy things. Things like comic books. Recently there was published a comic called “Testament“, that was based on the stories of the Torah. The basic concept was to use the Biblical stories as a framework, but to set them in the future. The writer, from what I could tell from an interview he gave to the Fanboy Radio Podcast (yes I am that nerdy) is Jewish, and I believe is only Jewish by genetics, as he seemed to have a secular worldview, even going so far as to say something along the lines of “it doesn’t matter that these stories didn’t actually happen”. So, needless to say this was not a work of worship to the living God, nor was it meant to evangelize, or do anything other than to create a compelling work of art. And that doesn’t bother me at all. In fact, I praise God that its happening.

When it comes to the scriptures, and how they’re viewed by the critical mass of the unchurched there’s only three options:

  • 1. Respectful appreciation.
  • 2. Total apathy to the point of not knowing they exist.
  • 3. Aversion to the point of abhorrence. As in if something is in the Bible they automatically discount it.
  • When works of art like Testament are drawn from the scriptures, even in the cases where its art for the sake of art and there is nothing evangelical, or worshipful about it the appreciators of that art are naturally moved from aversion or apathy towards the Bible to respectful appreciation, and so I praise God when secular artists draw their inspiration from the scriptures. And I especially praise God now because it has been quite some time since the scriptures were viewed this way by non-Christian artists.

    But I would take even take it a step further. I would say that if you believe that when a non-Christian uses the Bible to produce art that it is somehow an affront to the scripture themselves you are dangerously close to turning the Bible into an idol. If you believe that non-Christians taint the scriptures just by the act of picturing Biblical events, or singing scriptures then it may be time to take a step back and put Christ back at the center of your faith instead of the scriptures.

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    Ingrid did not write this article, a concerned slice reader did.  Due to using ” ” within a quotation (not ‘ ‘), I thought that the readers question ended after the first paragraph.  My apologies to Ingrid for any harm done.  The issues addressed still stands.  This person is basically leaving their church because of music style (that is what they devoted most of their ranting to).  They walked out when Point of Grace performed at their church.  I wonder if they would have the same reaction if the Gather Singers came and performed.  Here is my original article:

    Ingrid recently wrote an article on when to leave a church. She explained that “Over the past year or so I have noticed subtle uncomfortable changes taking place at our church and in how we “have church”. Things I never dreamed would ever darken our doors are now welcomed and endorsed.” What evils could have plagued her community of faith.

    Worship was affected for one (go figure). However she failed to show how worship, in the true sense of the word, was changing in her church. She simply talked about how contemporary Christian music was entering into the services and how a list of Christian artists were invited to perform at certain events. Point of Grace even performed during a service (isert gasp here)
    The only signs that this church was going apostate was that “at this church Benny Hinn is openly endorsed from the pulpit as well as the Crouches of TBN. There is a huge picture of the pastor and Mr. Crouch (together) in one of the church’s main hallways.” We are given no information on how Benny Hinn is supported. The pastor could have simply made a positive reference to him for all we know.

    The comments at the end of the article saddened me the most. People leaving their churches left and right to go find communities that better suited their needs. If the emerging church supposedly makes churches more suited for non-believers, the people that read slice desire churches that simply make them feel as comfortable as possible.

    I will give Ingrid this… she is asking the hard question of when leaving a church is acceptable. And, she has not rushed to leaving her community of faith, even when she has disagreed with orthopraxy there. However, the article confirms that opponents of the emerging church are as just concerned with music style and methodology as we are.

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    Watchdawggies Don't Do RockDEFINITION:

    ca·nard (k-närd)


    An unfounded or false, deliberately misleading story.

    While this word might be used to describe most ‘miss-ives’ on AM and many stories on CR&N and Slice, Ingrid has chosen it to describe a canard of her own – that musical style is not a neutral element, when applied to worship.  In Ingrid’s world, there are styles of music which the Lord approves and styles He does not.  Fortunately, for the rest of us, we live in God’s world, and not Ingrid’s.

    On neutrality in music, I think it is safe to say the music used for a stripper show would not be acceptable as worship to God. (Ingrid 4:42-43)

    There was a story a couple of years ago (which my Google search hasn’t found yet), where a stripper who posed as a “nun” would play classical pipe-organ music while she performed private shows.  Does this mean that classical pipe-organ music, as a style, would not honor God – or, would it imply that the stripper was using something of God (music) for an ungodly end (sexual enticement)?

    Music itself has a message and an attitude. (II Opinions 3:13)

    Without words, how is it that music has a message?  Without words, how is it that music has an ‘attitude’?  Western music, as we know it, with meter and 12-tone scales, is only a few hundred years old.  Yet we know, from multiple Biblical accounts, that it existed thousands of years ago, with both percussion, woodwind, brass and stringed instrumentation.  From historical recreation, it is fairly certain that we would find ancient music to be atonal and somewhat offensive to our modern ears.

    Yet, we learn from scripture that it is what comes from the mouth that reveals what is in the heart.  It is the words of music which give it message.  It is the words of the music which give it attitude.

    Haughtiness/arrogance, sensuality (think dirty sax), hard driving rock and death metal that speaks of hatred and wrath, the rebellion of rap, none of this speaks of holiness, majesty, honor and love for our monarch, Jesus Christ. (II Opinions 3:14-20)

    Notice that here, Ingrid blurs the lines between style and lyrical content via the verb “speaks”.  It is not a style that ’speaks’, but words.  What makes a saxophone “dirty” or “clean”?  What makes a guitar chord wrathful?  What makes rap rebellious?  Words give meaning.

    That is not to say, though, that all musical styles can be used as worship by all people – to some it would be distracting (or nigh impossible).  Indian music has a completely different tonal scale that I cannot sing and that makes me cringe.  My brothers and sisters in Christ in India use it to worship God, but I doubt I could (without serious immersion in their culture).  Likewise, I doubt they would be able to focus on God and worship of Him to the strains of Handel’s Messiah.  Each church community works with its own body to find what style(s) are acceptable and can be used to lead others into a time of worship.  They don’t need an Ingrid to tell them what’s OK and what’s not, based on her own definition of what brings honor and what does not.

    The aforementioned music is about our flesh, all of it. (II Opinions 3:21)

    Here, Ingrid has now blurred what worship actually IS.  It is bringing honor and glory to God – aligning our hearts with His.  In each community in worship, it is important that the music used in worship is not a distraction from who it is that we worship.  As such, forcing a universal list of what is acceptable stylistically and what is not completely misses the point of worship, and in many cases, may make use of music in worship impossible.

    Further, can you imagine Queen Elizabeth II stepping out of the limo at the White House and being greeted by the sounds of a sleazy saxophone or some rapper with pants falling off, doing his street thing? (Hezekiah 14:28-30)

    What do Queen Elizabeth II and the Pope have in common?  They both think the world smells like fresh paint.

    God does not want us to be one thing when we are in worship of Him and something else the other 167 hours of the week.  Not only that, but Ingrid’s comment has nothing to do with musical style, but everything to do with the dress and mannerisms of the musicians.  Indeed, those who lead worship, like the music itself, should not serve to distract from the purpose of worship, and should worship in a manner that is in reverence of God (so pants falling off would not really qualify).  But that is, again, apart from style – which is what Ingrid is supposedly addressing.

    How dare we throw our filthy cultural music at Him and call it worship?  (Ingrid 1:4)

    How dare we throw our filthy opinions of other people’s worship at them and tell them they aren’t worshipping the way WE think they should?  To repeat – it is not the musical style which determines what is acceptable in worship - it is the words, the actions and the hearts behind the words and actions which make this determination.  Let’s not try to make our opinions into God’s opinions.

    After a few days of Slice 2.0, I think I’ll go with Russ N’s assessment:

    Maybe Slice 2.0’s tag-line should read “Worrying about the externals, so you don’t have to.”

    Thanks Russ!

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    Issue: Music as a neutral element that can be used for worship

    Slice/CRN take: Dwayna, from “Music is not Amoral

    Consider these points from Dan Lucarini, former Contemporary Christian Worship leader:

    “…I do not trust the argument that all music is or can be good, because of the biblical record. The first musical reference in the entire Bible is not in Psalms or Chronicles, as many believe. It is not in the stories of David or the song of Moses. The first mention of music is found very early in Genesis 4:21, where we are introduced to Jubal, the father of all musicians: ‘He was the father of all those who play the harp and flute.’ Our modern band and orchestra instruments can probably be traced to the handiwork of Jubal and his descendants.Furthermore, the first musician named in the Bible was a direct descendant of Cain, whom God had judged so severely, because he used his own personal [p]references in worship! Ponder that for a moment.

    God told Cain that his personal style of worship was unacceptable, because it violated the specific rules given by God. Cain was infuriated with this rejection and extremely jealous that God accepted  his brother, Abel’s, worship. Cain murdered Abel and was banished from the presence of the Lord and His family.Cain’s descendants continued to disobey God. They were so wicked that when they intermarried with the line of Seth, God decided to destroy them with the Flood. This was the heritage and environment of Jubal…I also recommend a diligent study of 1 Chronicles 15 and 16 where David organized the musical structure of temple worship. This will help us to understand how a fallible man can become acceptable to  God as a music minister before Him, trusted to choose the music and the instruments wisely.”

    [Why I Left the Contemporary Christian Music Movement, Lucarini, pp. 93, 133; Evangelical Press] [emphasis hers]

    My Take:

    I suppose you can twist scripture to say a whole lot of things, but this not only takes the cake, but it then tries to eat it, too…  This is another attack on the Third Commandment, trying to make our preferences into “God’s preferences”.

    So, let’s see:

    1. Jubal is the first musician in the Bible, who was the ‘father of all those who play the harp and flute’.
    2. Jubal was decended from Cain, who was rejected by God for “using his own personal [p]references in worship”. [This is certainly a huge stretch in Biblical interpretation, far beyond Rick Warren's stretches in interpretation in the Purpose Driven Life that his detractors gnash about ad naseum.  The remainder of the exposition of Genesis 4 is also a bit of a stretch in interpretation, but hey, Dwayna and Lucarini are on their side, so they can be given a pass...]
    3. “Our modern band and orchestra instruments can probably be traced to the handiwork of Jubal and his decendents.”  [I was kind of thinking that Jubal and his decendents were either a) wiped out in the flood; b) ancestors of Noah; c) ancestors of Noah's wife or his son's wives.  Since we don't have Jubal's geneology to know if all of us or a third of us or none of us are related to him, I will have to assume this is a lame attempt at unsupported hyperbole toward whatever instruments/music Dwayna/Lucarini don't like...]
    4. David is then used as the example for how to choose music and instruments.  [Wasn't David's key instrument the harp (1 Sam 16:18)?  Isn't one of his Psalms (#5) written for flute accompanyment?  Didn't he know that *shudder* Jubal was the 'father of all those who play the harp and flute'?  What was he thinking?!?!?]

    I think Dwayna and Dan just need a good therapist, and need to leave the church alone until they grow up a bit and realize that just because something isn’t their preference doesn’t make it displeasing to God.

    God is the creator of everything, including music, and as such, it can – and should – be used to worship Him, in any musical style that is acceptable to the church community worshipping Him.  Even if it includes harps, flutes, drums, guitars or an organ…

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    Issue: Should the modern church be ‘relevant’ to the culture in which it exists?

    CRN/Slice Take: A number of articles in the past have run the gamut from ‘poo-poo-ing’ the idea of relevance (the church doesn’t need to be relevant – it should be timeless) to pulling out the big guns (’apostasy’, ‘heretical’, etc.) to kill such an awful notion.  However, yesterday’s post ( “Why is cultural relevance a big deal?” ) with a link to Ed Stetzer’s post on Mark Driscoll’s Blog on the subject of relevance has left me a bit confused as to whether they might have changed their stance, or if the author (the anonymous “Editor”) was just unclear as to whether the link to Stetzer was an endorsement or a condemnation.  The quote they chose to highlight from Stetzer’s article was pretty mundane and (at least to me) didn’t lend any clarity to their article.

    My Take: I couldn’t have said it any better than Stetzer, and I’m 100% behind his position.  Just some quotes:

    The scriptures are relevant to this and every culture. They do not need updating, correcting, or revisioning. On the contrary, what needs revisioning is our understanding and obedience to God’s word as we live out His mission in context. When we live a humble orthodoxy and humble missiology, we will be salt and light in contemporary culture—a biblically-faithful, culturally-relevant, counter culture.


    On the one hand, the church can be so focused on cultural relevance that it loses its distinctive message. Don’t think it won’t happen—it has happened to countless churches and denominations. On the other hand, it can decide that culture does not matter. That leads to a church whose message is indiscernible and obscure to those who are “outside.” Let me propose an alternative: our churches need to be biblically faithful, culturally relevant, counter culture communities.


    Those who preach against culture are often unaware that they live in one. But the dynamic culture around them is often not the culture of their church. What they yearn for is typically not a scriptural culture, but rather a nostalgic religious culture of days past. The irony of this is that every church is culturally relevant. It is simply a matter of whether the culture of the church is in any way similar to the culture of its community or only meaningful to itself.


    Before anything else, the church and its ministry must be biblically faithful. A lot of great conferences on creativity and ministry are helpful. But, we need to remember that our purpose is to apply that creativity in biblically and culturally relevant ways. The reason we engage culture is not to be cool, trendy, contemporary, or cutting edge—words that have become idols to us—but so that those who live in culture can hear the message of Jesus. That message is more than just “come to Christ,” it involves how we live and structure our lives, and it matters deeply.


    Why, if we have the timeless truth of the gospel, do we need to concern ourselves with culturally relevant ministry? Because if we don’t, the message of the gospel gets confused with the cultures of old. The unchurched think that Christianity is a retrograde culture rather than a living faith. Our job is to remove the “extra” stumbling blocks of culture without removing the essential stumbling block of the cross (1 Corinthians 1:23). Unfortunately, the stumbling block of the cross has too often been replaced by the stumbling block of the church. Most people aren’t being recruited by other religions; they are being confused by the practice of ours.

    Well said, Ed!

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    Issue: Music that is suitable for worship.

    CRN’s Take: Basically, “if there’s anyone currently living who was alive when it was written, it is too new to be used in worship services.” [It should be noted, though, that Chris P. has avoided wading into this topic area when Ingrid (or now, Dwayna) and past contributors have taken this hard of a stance.] Some contributors, like Ingrid, have gone out of their way to suggest that certain instrumentation is improper for worship (drums, bass guitar), while others have taken a slightly softer stance. Most recently, Dwayna wrote,

    “Our message is not like the world’s, and our music should not be like the world’s. The hymns packed with theology are a delight to sing indebted to such a Savior, and our God is exciting to know! He does not need “updating” and neither does the message or music.

    ***UPDATE: My quoted statment above was strictly hyperbole and misrepresented Slice/CRN’s view on the subject.  Ingrid has posted a correction below – please read it!!!*** 

    My Take: Musical style is a neutral cultural element which can be used to glorify God and used in worship of Him, whether it is an ancient hymn, like “Be Thou My Vision”, a later hymn by Isaac Watts, a mid-20th century song like “How Great Thou Art” or a modern worship hymn, like “Indescribable” or “In Christ Alone”. Because the musical and style is not ‘the point’ of worship, it should not detract from bringing the body to a deep and honest worship of its Creator. As such, it should best fit the congregation singing it – which can be a tricky balancing act. It also, most importantly, needs theologically sound lyrics which bring our thoughts in worship of God and not just our emotions and our bodies.

    I am fortunate to go to a larger church that has found a way to balance this in our worship services. We have a 8:00 “Classic” worship service with hymns led with piano and organ instrumentation; a 9:30 “Contemporary” worship service with a mix of hymns and contemporary worship music with orchestra and/or choir instrumentation; and a 11:00 “Modern” worship service with predominantly modern worship music (Tomlin, Crowder, Charlie Hall, Lincoln Brewster, etc.).

    In the latter two services, the hymns that are used generally are those which do not use (or over-use) King James English, because we believe that for those who come to these services, the use of flowery, archaic language feels inauthentic and detracts from worship, rather than showing reverence.

    To claim that one type/style of music as superior is to completely miss the point. Unfortunately, both CRN and some of its idols, like Johnnie Mac, tend to actively pursue missing the point…

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    Source: Russ’ Ramblings

    Comments: Russ listened to one of Ingrid’s podcasts where she ridicules modern/contemporary music performed by Christians, and then plays a hymn so that everybody knows what ‘acceptable’ worship music is. Russ takes issue with this, but the comments he left were not posted, to the surprise of almost nobody, since they were not in agreement with Ingrid, nor were they mockable contrary views.
    Memorable Quotes:

    I say ridicule because she laughs as she plays a section of music and then states that these songs made her “Hall of Shame.” I also agreed that one of the songs was of poor quality. The other song however had solid lyrics and a well-rehearsed group of musicians playing behind them.

    Alas, this song (her term for it was “circus music”) also made the “Hall of Shame” because it induced “gyrations” because of the beat and therefore was unworthy. This lady closed her podcast playing a hymn after talking for several minutes on how this hymn was acceptable as worship music while the other two examples were not.

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    Source: Verum Serum

    Comments: Scott notes that Slice has decided to take a break from all-Rick-Warren-all-the-time coverage briefly to criticize a church that uses dance in its worship. He then proceeds to agree that modesty is important, but that there IS Biblical precedent in using dance to worship the Lord.
    Memorable Quotes:

    OK, Ingrid, we get the point. Anything that isn’t like your church is bad, and anything that doesn’t match up to your expectations is bad, and anyone who does things differently than you do is bad. And certainly, any church that is using dance in some way CAN’T be worshipping Biblically and CAN’T be using Scripture and the preaching of the Word properly. And it goes without saying that nobody who dances in church or who supports the use of dance would be prayerful in their Christian life.

    Now obviously, we don’t know what David’s dancing looked like, nor do we know what kind of dancing Solomon had in mind in Ecclesiastes or what the Psalmist(s) had in mind when mentioning praising God with dance. BUT…we do know that dance is mentioned in a positive light and as one of the useful “tools” for worship, praise and celebration.

    But I guess, since dance isn’t practiced in Ingrid’s “stodgy” church, it shouldn’t be practised in any form in any church.

    [Scott replying in comments] She rails against contemporary worship and longs for the good ol’ hymns of her youth, but ignores that those hymns were railed against by the establishment and authorities of the day. When her favorite hymns were penned, those songs were called “hymns of worldly composure” and were deemed man-centered because of the introduction of the human experience and first person perspective.

    She freaks out about churches meeting in movie theaters, but ignores the fact that Charles Wesley’s church was called The Foundry because it met in an old, converted foundry…which again really bothered the establishment and authorities of the time who felt like such a building wasn’t appropriate for the proper and respectful worship of God.

    She and Ken spend the bulk of their time discussing the evils of Rick Warren, Rob Bell et al, but spend very little ink discussing how the fruit of Warren’s Saddleback church carries far more weight with it than does her feeble attempts at trying to point to something that is wrong with his theology. For the most part, they ignore the fruit (1000’s of baptisms, hundred’s of home studies, 1000’s of church members going out and ministering to the needy, etc) and just try to cover it all with a lame characterization of the fruits as “suspect conversions.”

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    Source: Verum Serum

    Comments: Here, Scott dissects the Slice (in particular Ingrid) view of music within the church.  This is probably one of the best articles on this subject, as well.  The comments (there’s almost 100) meander a bit, but also end up drawing Ken and Chris P. into the fray, as well.
    Memorable Quotes:

    Going back over the last couple months, Ingrid and her peeps have thrown up many posts that reference music in one way or another. Most, if not all, of these slam contemporary music and worship styles in favor of the “good old music” of hymns (and hymns pre-1850 seem to be their songs of choice). Ingrid typically makes a statement like this:

    When I hear of churches comprised of Christians with mohawks, body piercings, and worship music that sounds like a rehearsal for hell, I am concerned.”

    Or this:

    This music is hatched in hell itself. It is the sound of spiritual revolt against all that is holy and true. It is spiritual rebellion against God.

    Or this (in reference to the worship leader at Saddleback Chruch):

    What does it take to be a “top worship leader”? Does it mean that your congregation has the coolest worship moves? Does it mean you have the biggest attendance, the best riffs on the guitar? The best bump and grind moves up there with the house worship band? The hottest selling CD or the most downloads on the web? … There are no band leaders mentioned, no jiggly females, no writhing and twitching and no screaming audience members throwing their fannies and their arms around.

    Call me crazy, but I’m guessing that any music that wasn’t composed for a church organ makes Ingrid nervous. Or perhaps she has forgotten that at some point, even the church organ was viewed as the “worldly interloper” into the sanctity of the church.

    Deceptively, SLICE throws up the occasional example of the ridiculous (such as their recent posts regarding Showbread and Zombie Gutz) in an effort to portray most/all contemporary Christian singers/song writers as shallow, brain-dead morons with little or no talent. Ingrid points to the fringe in an attempt to condemn the entire genre. And of course, as always Ingrid and her SLICE-posse use this fringe (which are admittedly sad, lame, and even dimwitted) in an attempt to draw some sort of connection to the Seeker Sensitive/Emergent Church and movements.

    Christ the Lord is Risen Today was written in 1739 by Charles Wesley when he was 32 yrs old. He wrote this hymn in celebration of the first service held in London’s first Wesleyan Chapel. This chapel was also known as the Foundry Meeting House, because it was created out of an abandoned foundry and metal works. Wesley purchased the building to house his growing number of converts to the Christian faith. Many in the “establishment” objected to his use of such a “worldly” building for the purposes of God, but he proceeded with his plans anyway.

    (Interesting that the SLICE peeps don’t have a problem with a foundry being converted to a church, but they sure do take exception to a movie theater being used for the same purpose.)

    One last time…by the SLICE standard, Isaac Watts would have missed the mark. He was young, advocated the personalization of the worship experience, advocated a departure from the traditional forms of worship (the Psalms), was denounced by church leaders on both sides of the ocean, and was the cause for church splits rooted in the controversial and radical use of his new ideas.

    [Chris L. commenting] The article you linked to is another one that just follows Ken’s current kick of using “letters” from “other people” to try and make his points (since he has been woefully short of any new anti-Bell material, of late). Apparently quoting dead theologians is no longer as “convincing” as quoting nameless letter-writers. (When he actually named a writer earlier this year, he was embarrassed when the living, named person criticized him for taking his words out of context.)

    [Chris L. commenting]  Laz writes:

    so you don’t agree with her that there might be (however minute) anger and hatred towards Bell in your theses?

    I guess the better question would be, is there love in your rebukes?

    Ken writes back:


    We’ll have to let the Lord be the judge of that but thanks for your feigned concern.

    And to answer your question: I am expressing the same love for Bell’s doctrine as expressed by John the Baptist here:

    [contextually abused/misused KJV quote omitted]
    [emphasis mine]

    And so it is that Ken automagically makes an ad homenim attack on Laz, assuming that his concern is a false one.

    I went and checked out Laz’ blog, and I would hazard a guess from the posts (and Slice on the blogroll) that Laz might agree with Ken some of the time, and that his concern was probably real.

    I guess when you’re a misguided pit bull, you’ll bite the friendlies along with everyone else.

    [Reposted comment from Slice] This posting and most of the comments thereafter are a perfect microcosm of this website. It is very difficult to argue with this kind of logic:

    “I know what the scripture says and how to interpret portions that others disagree about or struggle with. God has told ME clearly what is right and wrong. The Holy Spirit has revealed to ME what is truth and heresy. Anyone who disagrees with ME (because God has told ME these things) is therefore in disagreement with God.

    “No one has a more revealed, truthful perspective than ME, and if anyone disagrees with ME then they are obviously disagreeing with God. Knowledge of Truth is only obtained through methods I know about and agree with and if I disagree with your methods, it must be because God disagrees with them. God’s logic is perfectly understandable to me; it has become my own logic.

    “God spoke to certain historical men clearly and completely, but He does not speak to other men clearly or completely today, unless they are men whose perspectives agree with ME. I read the Bible literally except where God has revealed deeper meaning to ME.

    “If you are a person with whom I generally disagree or if you are associated with another person or movement whom I have already deemed to be heretical, then I will examine your statements and tell you what you mean, even if my interpretation was not your intended meaning. If we disagree, I will not give you an opportunity to answer questions, but instead I will immediately begin proclaiming your heresy from the highest rooftops. I know what you mean better than even you know what you mean, because God has revealed this all to ME.

    “If you and I disagree, I am obviously right because I know God better than you know God. I know God’s nature, methods, and Spirit better than you know those things. God has given ME and those who agree with ME the ultimate discernment to pronounce Truth and denounce heresy. I will quote Scripture and tell everyone if God has shown me your interpretation of the same Scripture is incorrect.

    “I will make generalizations about people and groups because God has revealed to ME their true natures. I will see the motives of people’s hearts just as God sees those motives, and I will tell everyone what I see. Perhaps you do not even know your own secret motives or deceptions, but I can see them and I will reveal them to you because God has revealed them to ME.

    “I will be the champion of the faith and preserve the traditions that God has shown ME to be correct.

    “Do not disagree with anything I have said, because the Bible is MY final authority and if you argue with ME, you are disregarding the Bible’s authority and are, therefore, a heretic.

    “You are obviously not correct, but I AM.”

    [ASIDE: Is this not the ultimate pride? If I hold these inflexible views, do they not place me in violation of Commandment #1? Perhaps having no other God before God does not include the God of SELF, when I proclaim that my own understanding, logic, and truth are those of God himself?]

    “If you post something on my website which disagrees with ME or anyone with whom I agree, I will delete it as God has labeled it a dissention among our bretheren.”

    I guess we’ll see how long this stays posted.

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