Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Intervention-2

Continuing from last time with the same interlocutor:


More response to come, but since this is essential, I'd like to remind you of the actual content of my 1-10 question.

--what would you say is the Bible's general evaluation of knowledgeable apostates, who attempt to turn people's hearts away from Jesus?  Maybe rate it on a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 is your basic hellspawn and 10 is straight from the lips of God Himself.  

Not what was Pulliam's position vis-a-vis Christianity.  What is the Bible's position vis-a-vis people like Pulliam?  (And you, incidentally, just so we're clear.)
I'd like to know what you think the Bible says about men like Pulliam (and yourself).
Does the Bible think that apostates who have a great deal of learning about Jesus and who turn away and put out a great deal of energy trying to turn others away from Jesus as well are really really good people? Or does it speak of them in slightly, um, more condemnatory terms?  1 = the Bible is very condemning of such people.  10 = they're going straight to Heaven barnone.

This is what you think the Bible says about you and Pulliam.

-----------------------------Later email-----------------------------

--"Your comment was a breach of decorum, a violation of custom."

Is this really persuasive to you?  It's amazing that someone could say this with a straight face.  
Turning away from orthodox Christian faith is itself a breach of decorum, as you and Pulliam have done.  So...what?  
A Yanomamo about to plunge his spear into a rival tribesman's heart would react the same way if a whitey like me shouted "Stop!" and got in his way. What possible meaning could this have?


--"Having been a missionary you must be familiar with this kind of issue."

Enough to realise when it's really an issue and when baiting a bunch of atheists to make idiots of themselves is quite worthwhile, yes.  Pulliam's blog is not exactly a missionary ground for open-hearted people, ready to hear the Gospel.  I go there to overthrow tables and challenge people, and thus appeal to the lurkers that the "we're the High Priests of Rationality" atheists are just empty poseurs.  Judging by the emptyheaded but fervently-emotional response, mission accomplished. 
That's not the only reason I posted what I posted, but it's one of the principal factors.



--"Out of ignorance you make a gaffe and offend the natives. "

Only someone UNfamiliar with actual mission work could make such a comparison.



--"Americans don't think it is appropriate to speak ill of the dead in the presence of their family and friends, especially during the grieving period. "

Some don't think it's EVER appropriate to talk about religion or politics.  You don't seem to mind offending THEM. 
Others don't think it's EVER OK to turn your back on the religion you once espoused.  Why be so hypocritical? 
The answer is that some customs are best broken, b/c they are stupid and/or wicked customs. 



--" I'll grant you that it appears to be a bit of a stretch to associate a blog with "in the presence of family and friends."  "

It's not a BIT of a stretch.  It's an unreasonable stretch.  If family mbrs were atheists, I'm aiming right at them - they need to repent and get their heads out of the sand.  If they are Christians, why are they reading his blog?  his blog itself is offensive to Christians!  And why read THAT PARTICULAR COMBOX?  
This is not even debatable, it's so silly, and yet it's the crux of that for which most people have been abusing me.


--"We're still building the cultural rules around behavior in the blogosphere and trying to figure out how it should relate to the rest of our lives.  "

You don't seem like you're "building rules" when you condemn me, or when you fail to call others out for abusing me.  Why be so hypocritical?



--" You are not the only one confused by this situation."

Do be kind enough to speak only for yourself.



--"Shortly afterwards somebody else created a Facebook page dedicated to taking messages for Ken's family"

On which page I made a conscious decision NOT to post. 
And on which page a fellow Christian blogger posted a pure condolence, and then was abused for it!  How do you not see this?



--"you apparently misjudged the social situation"

I did?  
Not at all - I knew exactly what was coming.  I baited the atheists, and I got exactly what I expected - a spot lesson in atheist and liberal hypocrisy.



--"This is where 1 Cor 9:19-27 comes in.  Paul "became all things" and so conformed to a lot of ridiculous restrictions on his freedom so that he wouldn't offend his audiences."

Yes, for issues like eating meat.  Not in issues like proclaiming the truth.  See, Paul also said Acts 17, and Galatians.  It's BOTH, and there's a time for each.



--"What in God's name did you mean by that first sentence?"

I meant that his arguments against Christianity were pitifully bad and weak, and the implication is that he wasted much of his life since he had great education in Christian theology and yet couldn't muster anything close to a powerful stroke against it.  
It is an expression of contempt for the way the man led his life, much like you'd have contempt for a 50 year old man throwing a tantrum b/c his mommy said he couldn't have a popsicle.  



--"Was it your greater purpose to let everyone know that you hated Ken so much you got pleasure out of humiliating him?  What kind of tactic is that? "Let us do evil that good may come?""

1) Hatred?  The only time "hate" has been expressed, it's opponents ascribing it to me.  You can't read my mind, and you don't know whether I hate Pulliam.  But you apparently feel freedom to impugn my character, don't you?  How is that not a violation of "social custom" and rank hypocrisy on your part?
2) You've just now elevated "violation of social custom" to "evil"?  How did that happen?  Where's your connecting argument? How do you even know what evil is?
3) Is there sthg evil about humiliating a man like Pulliam, who spent a great deal of his time trying to drag people to Hell with him?  Do you ever call out PZ Myers, Richard Dawkins, and Hitchens for humiliating Christians?  I doubt it!  Hypocrisy.


--" a whole flock of his friends from work and the neighborhood got up during the eulogy to thank my brother for things he had taught them."

I'm sorry to hear about your brother, but an anecdote about a bunch of people who obviously couldn't tell their left hands from their right does not constitute an argument.  What good did your brother do them?  On atheism, they'll all be dead in 50 years and all will be forgotten in another 100. So what? 



--"Had that happened and I had learned about it, I would have firmly escorted the individual out of the area with a warning not to return unless he wanted to deal with the police."

1) Hopefully you're not making a foolish analogy as if my posting on Pulliam's blog is similar to showing up at his funeral to shout and yell.
2) Apparently might makes right for you.  Your comment is very educational.
3) You apparently think that it's OK to call down judicial punishment on someone who violates social custom.  You're quite the judgmental man!


--"If you had heard somebody making comments like that about your child at the viewing or in the vestibule at church or at the gravesite or at some community event a week or a month or even a year later, wouldn't you want to do the same thing?"

1) Once again, a foolish analogy. Why not make a real analogy?  Is this really the best you can do?
2) Was my baby an apostate from the faith, with a PhD in theology?  Help me understand what you're thinking here.
3) Why are the same atheists who rip me for my comment the ones who make tawdry and disgusting jokes about my beloved wife? 




--"Your comment not only provoked understandable hostility, it completely undermined your testimony."

What's the argument?  
It might undermine the wrong ideas who think that Jesus was a pansy Who never offended anyone!  Maybe that's why you're where  you are - you can't bear to deal with the real Jesus.



--"I see a lot of discussion about your behavior.  I see hardly anything about Jesus. "

And the argument that this is my fault and not the fault of those who hate Jesus?



--"Not being the sharpest knife in the drawer, it can take awhile for me to recognize when I'm being conned. "

Conned by asking you to demonstrate that you have any idea what you're talking about, biblically speaking? You said you used to be an evangelical pastor, and that you've been in church longer than I have. 

If you were really a pastor and if you knew anything much about the Bible other than you can quote John 3:16 and think that Jesus wants us to be nice to everyone, you'd know that the Bible has nothing good to say about such apostates as you and Pulliam.  What it has to say is fearful.  

The entirety of 2 Peter 2 - http://nasb.scripturetext.com/2_peter/2.htm

And on and on it goes.  
The answer is that the Bible regards men such as Pulliam and you at a 1; your end will be fearful and horrific. I of course hope Pulliam repented before he died suddenly, but it's doubtful, sadly.  You still have time. Repent now and ask Jesus to forgive your great sin.  He will, but He won't if you continue in your foolish and hypocritical rebellion.  It'd be one thing if you had a good reason to buck against Him, but you don't even have that, as we've seen here.  Your predicament is sorry and sad, but all too common.

Peace,
Rhology

191 comments:

Brabble Frabbitz said...

Methinks Rhology doth protest too much.

Dean Dough said...

@Brabble Frabbitz:

I'm responsible for the correspondence with Rhology. In this case he's elided most of my letter. I think it makes sense with the parts he left out, but what do I know? Actually, I wish he'd left the whole thing out of the public domain. In any case, I recommend you not comment any more here or at Triablogue on this matter. It's just not doing any good.

steve said...

Dean Dough:

"Your comment not only provoked understandable hostility, it completely undermined your testimony."

Of course that's viciously circular. He and others attack your post, then, on the basis of their attacks, pronounce your effort counterproductive. Like a crooked cop who plants evidence, then points to the planted evidence to justify arresting the "suspect."

Dean can't reasonably attack your post, then appeal to his attack to say your post backfired.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

"The answer is that the Bible regards men such as Pulliam and you at a 1; your end will be fearful and horrific. I of course hope Pulliam repented before he died suddenly, but it's doubtful, sadly. You still have time. Repent now and ask Jesus to forgive your great sin. He will, but He won't if you continue in your foolish and hypocritical rebellion. It'd be one thing if you had a good reason to buck against Him, but you don't even have that, as we've seen here. Your predicament is sorry and sad, but all too common."

This is loving advice to embrace the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Thanks Rho for lovingly delivering it.

David said...

Let me get this straight. You were engaged in a private correspondence, and he chose to make this public. Is this accurate?

David said...

Sorry, should read "you (Alan) chose to make this public".

Rhology said...

Yes. Not as if Dean was obligated to identify himself.

I predict that you're going again to put on your Pope of Morality mitre and rip me for how terrible I am for doing so. Make sure to do what you've never done before and provide a justification for your moral judgments.

Or is this going to be another "my opinion is that you're not nice according to my mommy"?

steve said...

David said...

"Let me get this straight. You were engaged in a private correspondence, and he chose to make this public. Is this accurate?"

Almost as shocking as this project:

http://russell.mcmaster.ca/brletters.htm

steve said...

Rhology said...

"Or is this going to be another 'my opinion is that you're not nice according to my mommy'?"

I expect David reserves maternal guidance for important issues like asking her permission to have conjugal relations with his wife.

David said...

"I predict that you're going again to put on your Pope of Morality mitre and rip me for how terrible I am for doing so."

Nope, I wasn't. I'll get to my point in a minute.

However, since you brought it up, I think that it would generally be considered to be polite to ask permission in the culture in which you live. It's not a "terrible" thing that you failed to ask permission, just bad manners again. But what else can we expect at this point?

"Or is this going to be another "my opinion is that you're not nice according to my mommy"?"

What about YOUR mommy's opinion? You never actually answered the question. Don't you honor and respect your mother? Just curious.

(Cue Hays questioning of my manhood.)

Now, to the point I was intending to make before you jumped in with your assumptions.

This all started over a week ago. As far as almost everyone involved is concerned, it's over by now. People have moved on. Your excuses and rationalizations failed to change anyone's minds, and your arguments only made you look smaller and more petty, but what is done is done.

But it's not over for you. Here we have yet another post. Another post? Really? You keep wanting to re-ignite the fire, even going so far as to publish a private exchange. Why? You're not helping your cause. No one is swayed by your arguments. And yet you won't let this go.

Brabble is right. You protest waaaaaaaaay too much. Maybe it's because you don't really believe your own excuses. Maybe something about your actions actually bothers you, and so you have to keep re-visiting the issue to post yet more excuses.

Let it go, dude. It's over.

(Ah, even as I was writing this, Hays arrives to provide the latest insult. Ok, Alan. Here's your chance. Here's your chance to prove that you're not a hypocrite.)

steve said...

David said...

"However, since you brought it up, I think that it would generally be considered to be polite to ask permission in the culture in which you live. It's not a 'terrible' thing that you failed to ask permission, just bad manners again. But what else can we expect at this point?"

Was it impolite when McMaster University failed to ask Bertrand Russell permission to publish his private letters? Was that a cultural faux pas?

But perhaps they held a séance to contact the late Lord Russell.

steve said...

David said...

"However, since you brought it up, I think that it would generally be considered to be polite to ask permission in the culture in which you live. It's not a 'terrible' thing that you failed to ask permission, just bad manners again. But what else can we expect at this point?"

Yes, Alan is so gauche. Why, I have it on good authority that he was once caught using a salad knife to eat dinner, and a dinner knife to eat salad. But what do you expect from Christians?

steve said...

David said...

"What about YOUR mommy's opinion? You never actually answered the question. Don't you honor and respect your mother? Just curious."

Well, this will come as news to David, but that's age-appropriate. The filial obligations of a twenty-something are not interchangeable with the filial obligations of a 5-year-old.

David said...

"Was it impolite when McMaster University failed to ask Bertrand Russell permission to publish his private letters? Was that a cultural faux pas?"

What? Has someone accused McMaster University of failing to get permission to publish these letters? Is Dean Dough as unavailable as Russell? This doesn't really seem to be an equivalent situation.

David said...

Yes, Alan is so gauche. Why, I have it on good authority that he was once caught using a salad knife to eat dinner, and a dinner knife to eat salad. But what do you expect from Christians?

Did I do anything to suggest that I was referring to Christians in general in my comments? I was only referring to what we can expect from Alan. You are making unjustified assumptions. And your knife example is not an equivalent to what occurs between corresponding adults.

steve said...

David said...

"You keep wanting to re-ignite the fire..."

To the contrary, it's you, and Brabble, and Dean Dough who keep stoking the fire.

"You're not helping your cause. No one is swayed by your arguments."

Actually, Alan has been making a fine case. More than I can say for you or Dean or Brabble.

David said...

Well, this will come as news to David, but that's age-appropriate.

So, what are the obligations of a twenty-something? Is there no longer a need to honor and respect after a certain age? Did I miss something when I read the Ten Commandments? When is parental wisdom no longer of value?

David said...

To the contrary, it's you, and Brabble, and Dean Dough who keep stoking the fire.

The exchange with Dean was private. Alan made it public. If Alan doesn't make this public, I have no knowledge of it, and so cannot possibly "stoke the fire".

steve said...

David said...

"What? Has someone accused McMaster University of failing to get permission to publish these letters? Is Dean Dough as unavailable as Russell?"

Oh, so we should simply wait until they're safely dead. Or at least in a coma.

If they're in no position to object (death tends to indispose the interested party), even if they found it objectionable, how does that make it better rather than worse?

"And your knife example is not an equivalent to what occurs between corresponding adults."

You said it was about "bad manners." So now you have a pecking order for good or bad manners.

Does this mean you think using the wrong knife is less impolite or more impolite than publishing an email?

Dean Dough said...

@Steve, re: "viciously circular"

Not my argument. You'd have to read the whole letter. I won't supply it to you but maybe Alan will. Then feel free to rip away if you want, but you're better off just forgetting about it.

@David

Don't be too hard on Rhology about making the correspondence public. His blog doesn't alert people that he might make correspondence public, but I've already brought that to his attention and expect we'll see him make the necessary changes to the blog soon. He kept my name out of it and, I think, had no idea that the contents of my email would reveal who I was to anybody who was following Steve Hays's "Coping with Death" post on Triablogue. Steve, of course, recognized the relationship between the comment and my letter right away and named me.

I told Alan I'd prefer our correspondence stay out of the public domain, but I knew he might post it and sent my second letter regardless. Forewarned is forearmed. He has judiciously quote-mined my letter, but that's OK. Revealing its contents in whole or part isn't hurting anybody but Alan.

I agree with you; we ought to give up on this matter. Sometime soon I'm going to post on my blog some things I've learned from this fiasco, but without dredging up any of the specifics or naming any names.

The Jolly Nihilist said...

The answer is that the Bible regards men such as Pulliam and you at a 1; your end will be fearful and horrific. I of course hope Pulliam repented before he died suddenly, but it's doubtful, sadly. You still have time. Repent now and ask Jesus to forgive your great sin.

Although I recognize that you are merely preaching a doctrine in which you fully and faithfully believe, and I also acknowledge that, inasmuch as I have made this selfsame point before, I am being redundant in articulating my criticism, I cannot help but remark upon what I perceive to be the odious, noxious nature of the Christian faith, insofar as the “Good News” to which Christians so often refer really boils down to servile, abject submission to a deity who, despite being infinitely superior to jealous, egocentric humans, requires glorification by and obedience from his puny subjects, demanded on penalty of eternal punishment in a lake of fire of which, unfortunately, we have no credible evidence.

steve said...

David said...

"The exchange with Dean was private. Alan made it public. If Alan doesn't make this public, I have no knowledge of it, and so cannot possibly 'stoke the fire.'"

Are you commenting at gun-point?

"Did I miss something when I read the Ten Commandments?"

Yes, you do. Where does it direct a grown man to first ask his mother if it's "good manners" to express pity for a dead militant apostate.

David said...

"I agree with you; we ought to give up on this matter."

I believe that I'll take Dean's advice here, although I'm still curious of Alan will do unto Hays as he would have us do unto Hitches.

Alan?

Rhology said...

More hypocrisy from David. *I'm* the one stoking the fire, yet am I the one who began the email exchange? Did I email Dean first? Nope.

I only start what I start, but usually I finish things that others don't care to finish. We can speculate on motives for dropping out, to be sure, but it often happens around the same time their arguments get demolished. It might just be coincidence.

Rhology said...

although I'm still curious of Alan will do unto Hays as he would have us do unto Hitches.

You're apparently unfamiliar with the concept of an internal critique, or reductio ad absurdum. For this critique to work, you'll need to show why, ON MY WORLDVIEW, what Steve's been doing is a bad thing. Get to work.

What I've mostly been saying is that, ON YOUR PROFESSED WORLDVIEW (given your criticisms against me), you're doing the same thing, acting hypocritically. And, true to form, you lazily slough off your responsibility in the form of tu quoques. Go sell your logical fallacies to someone who's buying.

David said...

“Did I email Dean first? Nope.”

Did Dean post this correspondence? Nope. You did that. Over a week after this started, and at a point where almost everyone else had moved on, you put up yet another public post about this matter. There was no need to do this, and nothing to be gained, and you chose to do it anyway. Again, it is very clear that you protest waaaay too much.

“It often happens around the same time their arguments get demolished. It might just be coincidence.”

Or it might be that people come to understand that their points will be ignored, misunderstood, misrepresented and/or dismissed through the use of disanalogous examples.

It’s a matter of coming to understand the futility of arguing with a brick wall. The only demolition that has occurred is the prior demolition of that part of your brain where you consider the possibility that you might be wrong.

“You'll need to show why, ON MY WORLDVIEW, what Steve's been doing is a bad thing. Get to work. “

Ah, I see. You actually approve of sneering and insult, the showing of contempt and attempts to humiliate. Now I understand. Well, at least you’re honest about it.

Rhology said...

Did Dean post this correspondence? Nope. You did that.

Yep. I like to help others to benefit from interactions I have. I bet you're not going to insist that Dean shares blame for "stoking" the fire, are you?
[[reads]]

Nope. Hypocritical.


Over a week after this started, and at a point where almost everyone else had moved on, Dean emails you about this matter.

Fixed it for you.


it is very clear that you protest waaaay too much.

Not at all sure what this is supposed to mean.
And since you keep commenting (and talking about people's mothers), how much waaaay too much protesting is that? What does that say about you?


it might be that people come to understand that their points will be ignored, misunderstood, misrepresented and/or dismissed through the use of disanalogous examples.

Or it might be what I said. Let the reader judge.


You actually approve of sneering and insult, the showing of contempt and attempts to humiliate.

In specific contexts. Triablogue has spilled a lot of ink on this topic, if you're willing to learn what the Bible says about the topic. But of course, I doubt you are, so never mind.

David said...

“Nope. Hypocritical.”

Sorry you can’t see the difference between a private interaction and a public discussion.


“Dean emails you about this matter.

Dean didn’t post this on a public blog. Get the difference?



“Or it might be what I said. Let the reader judge.”

Yeah, there are nothing but impartial judges here.


“In specific contexts.“

Really? Insult, contempt and humilation is ok? In which contexts? And how far does Jesus allow you to do in your insults, contempt and humiliation? Where is the line to be drawn when we set out to harm others?

When is sneering, the showing of contempt and attempts to humiliate Jesus-approved? Presumably you think you have some sort of message to pass along using these counter-productive methods, but when have such techniques ever changed anyone’s mind?

We insult and attempt to humiliate because we’re human, and this is simply how we respond at a gut level to those we disagree with or to those who threaten us or to those who insult us. This is what we do to those we hate. Trying to find a heavenly rational for this is just putting lipstick on a pig.


As far as willingness to learn goes, I think you're straying into hypocrisy again.

David said...

"If you're willing to learn what the Bible says about the topic."

You mean that the Bible can be used to justify any behavior? Knew that already.

Coram Deo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Coram Deo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Coram Deo said...

"This all started over a week ago. As far as almost everyone involved is concerned, it's over by now."

Yes, the gene-replication machine presently under discussion is currently a non-entity, get over it already people; time to move on!

How long is an anti-theist's blindly programmed grieving ritual supposed to last anyway?

There can't be much in the way of survival benefit for anyone's DNA arising from this peculiar death; merely one of tens of thousands that no doubt occurred on the same day.

It was basically a non-event, right?

In Christ,
CD

Brabble Frabbitz said...

Coram, it's been days since anyone has commented on this. And you drop in and tell people to "get over it." In other words, "Hey, I'm spoiling for a fight. Where did everybody go??"

Regardless of one's metaphysical beliefs, there's a thing called human sympathy that most of us feel. Why don't you take your nose out of whatever Banner of Truth Trust publication you're currently reading and look it up.

Paul C said...

In Christ, CD

CD clearly a big fan of irony.

Rhology said...

Paul C apparently thinks that Jesus is the Lord of lollipops and bunny rabbits, and all the mean stuff is reserved for the God of the Old Testament. Maybe he DOES understand liberal theology...

Dean Dough said...

Here is a useful link about online etiquette. People generally respond better when the guidelines mentioned there are adhered to. If you flout guidelines like these regularly because you believe some ethical principle requires it, expect to lose a lot of influence online.

I also posted my own thoughts about when to get into and out of arguments like the one we had here.

More important question. What's happened to Alan? I know he posts to his own blog only periodically, but I haven't seen any comments from him elsewhere lately either. Hopefully he's on vacation or too busy with ordinary, real-life responsibilities.

Dean Dough said...

Ah, I spoke too soon! Glad to see you're back, Alan!

Rhology said...

Thanks Dean.

I go thru periods of great inspiration and also periods of time where I lack any inspiration. I'm in the middle of one of the latter. :-)

steve said...

Hi Dean,

I can’t help noticing that the sidebar of your blog draws a contrast between “Progressive/Alternative Christians” on the one hand, and all the “a**holes” on the other.

Nice to see that your highly-refined sense of netiquette doesn’t pose too much of an obstacle to expressing your true feelings.

Brabble Frabbitz said...

Ouch! Dean, I think Hays actually has a legitimate point there. (Am I really typing those words?)

Dean Dough said...

100% correct. I'm taking that down now.

Dean Dough said...

@Steve

Well, not all. A few, sometimes, maybe, and using crude language doesn't help anything. The phrase is gone. Thanks for holding my feet to the fire.

David said...

Any chance you can explain that "context" thing to me?

Rhology said...

Dean,
2 other things:

1) "Progressiive Theology" appears on your sidebar. I'm a spelling dork; thought you'd like to know.

2) One has to wonder at the heart attitude that would lead one to characterise people publicly on one's sidebar in such obscene and disrespectful terms. And all the time you and other were reaming me about my one comment expressing pity for Pulliam, that was up there! Will hypocrisy never cease?

BTW, let me forestall any "just let it go!"s from y'all here by reminding you that the blatant hypocrisy practiced by my critics has not yet been repented of. Like Jesus, I prefer to remind ppl of their sin until they repent of it, and forgive when they do.

Brabble Frabbitz said...

Rhology, I'd say Dean made amends. Why keep harping on it? Did Jesus keep browbeating people after they changed their ways?

Rhology said...

I haven't seen Dean apologise for his hypocritical criticisms of me. If you have, please post the link and I'll happily stop "browbeating" him.

Dean Dough said...

Alan,

1. Fixed. Thanks!

2. Guilty as charged re: a bad attitude. There are some things some Orthodox Christian apologists say that I find very troubling, but I should have left out the the scatology.

Dean Dough said...

Alan,

I don't think my criticisms were hypocritical. My disrespectful language occurred in a different context from yours. That is crucial to my criticisms. Had you restricted your comments on your own blog I wouldn't have said anything to you.

At any rate I've sworn off that kind of language entirely in any public forum. Won't happen again. I can curse a blue streak as well as anybody, but I'll keep that between me, God, and the four walls of my house.

David said...

See how it's done, Alan?

Your turn.

Rhology said...

My turn for what?

Anonymous said...

Jesus:
"Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do."

Rhology:
"I haven't seen Dean apologise for his hypocritical criticisms of me. If you have, please post the link and I'll happily stop 'browbeating' him."

Rhology said...

Anonymous,

Here and here you go.

David said...

"My turn for what?"

Heh, heh, yeah, that's what I expected.

How explaining that "context" thing to me.

David said...

Should read...

How about explaining that "context" thing to me.

Rhology said...

I think you're referring to when I said:
In specific contexts. Triablogue has spilled a lot of ink on this topic, if you're willing to learn what the Bible says about the topic. But of course, I doubt you are, so never mind.

Here's a start.

David said...

So, what you're saying is that the Bible contradicts itself.

By the way, did Jesus himself ever make attacks on the person? I don't mean attacks on a person's beliefs or theological positions, I mean did Jesus ever attack the person?

Rhology said...

So what you're saying is you're incredibly shallow. Yup.

Yes, Jesus most certainly did. Matthew 23 among many other places.
David, why not do some reading?

David said...

You are saying that the Bible gives you permission to insult, humiliate, harm and/or show comtempt for your enemies, yes?

That's good to know. I used to think that maybe Christianity was special in some way, but nope, it's just like any other belief system in its attitude towards those who are perceived as "enemies of the faith".

In other words, it has all the markings of just another human invention.

David said...

Incredibly shallow?

What is the biblical definition of "love"?

David said...

Do you think that there is a difference between calling someone a hypocrite and other forms of personal attack? Is there a difference between saying that someone isn't living as one says one believes and calling someone a bucktoothed asshole?

David said...

Just to clarify, is the rule here "if Jesus did it, I can do it"?

Brabble Frabbitz said...

People like Rhology will fly to passages like Jesus' denunciation of the Pharisees, Paul saying "let them be accursed" to the Judaizers, and Elijah mocking the priests of Baal. If textual scholars someday found proof that these passages were spurious, it would be *devastating* to Rhology and company, who rely on them to sanctify their haughty, cantankerous rhetoric.

Here's a challenge to Rhology: Go one better than imitating Jesus in Matthew 23. Go and sell all your belongings and travel on foot, preaching the good news with no place to lay your head. Spend most of your time among beggars, prostitutes, pimps, drug addicts. Become celibate. Put yourself in physical danger for the sake of the kingdom.

I know, I know, you don't feel "called" to do that stuff. Funny how people are "called" to do the relatively easy stuff, like hurl denunciations at heretics and apostates, but hardly ever to do the hard stuff. I think people would be more impressed with the faith if more Christians imitated Jesus in arduous, painfully sacrificial ways rather than wimping out and opting for a Matthew 23 template.

BTW, if you already are doing all these things, I apologize in advance. But if I were a betting man ... I'd say you probably aren't.

Rhology said...

Oh, I see, an argument from the sinful man to the incorrect position. Please show your logical progression from "Rho doesn't do what I think he should do" to "Christianity's position on this topic is wrong".
Until you do that, yawn.


you don't feel "called" to do that stuff.

What?

Brabble Frabbitz said...

It's such a reflex of yours, dashing off to the logical fallacy chart to determine which one a detractor violated. I wasn't even saying Christianity is wrong on any particular position. I'm saying that your claims of following the example of Jesus are based on highly selective samplings of what he said and did in the gospels. You do the relatively easy, self-gratifying stuff, like trash "hypocrites," but not the demanding stuff, like sell everything. How come?

Rhology said...

I can't say I'm inclined to take seriously someone who thinks so little of logic. Have a good day!

Brabble Frabbitz said...

Good time to head for the exit, Rhology. I think you just had both of them handed to you.

steve said...

Brabble Frabbitz said...

"You do the relatively easy, self-gratifying stuff, like trash 'hypocrites,' but not the demanding stuff, like sell everything. How come?"

Maybe because you're obviously quoting Jesus' statement out of context. That isn't a universal command. It was made to a "rich man/ruler." A man who had it all. Wealth, power, prestige.

I don't think Alan fits the job description.

Moreover, the call to "follow" Jesus wasn't a metaphor for exercising faith in Jesus. No, it meant literally leaving everything behind and following Jesus around like the Twelve did.

You don't care what the Bible means. You don't even try.

Brabble Frabbitz said...

I'm merely questioning the consistency of Rhology's stated desire to "ape" Jesus. If you're going to do it, then do it. Not just the easy stuff, but the whole thing.

"Disciple" and "Christian" appear to be metaphors in the NT. The disciples were first called Christians at Antioch. Jesus said that he who does not give up all that he has cannot be a disciple -- which also means he cannot be Christian, either (since they're synonymous terms).

So faith does seem to equate with being a follower, doesn't it?

Where is my reasoning breaking down here?

Coram Deo said...

Brabble Fratz said: I'm merely questioning the consistency of Rhology's stated desire to "ape" Jesus. If you're going to do it, then do it. Not just the easy stuff, but the whole thing.

Where did Rho state a desire to "ape" Jesus? I must have missed that.


"Disciple" and "Christian" appear to be metaphors in the NT. The disciples were first called Christians at Antioch. Jesus said that he who does not give up all that he has cannot be a disciple -- which also means he cannot be Christian, either (since they're synonymous terms).

Certainly a true Christian is truly a disciple of Christ. But because you are a scoffer and an unbeliever your foolish heart is darkened, and you have no understanding of the words you attempt to twist, proving yourself to be a liar, just like your father Satan who was a liar and a murderer from the beginning.

The passage you're alluding to follows:

26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. 27 Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. 28 For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? 29 Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, 30 saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ 31 Or what king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? 32 And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. 33 So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple. - Luke 14:26-33

What you utterly fail to recognize, because you are dead in your sins and trespasses and have no life in you, is that Christ's command here is for His followers to forsake their own worldly possessions for the sake of possessing the inestimable riches of Christ.

Freely giving up one's own worldly goods in exchange for something as apparently useless, worthless, and foolish as a wooden cross and a man who claimed to be God incarnate doesn't seem like much of a deal to the worldling. In fact it sounds pretty stupid and unappealing. And so it is to those, such as yourself, who have not been born-again of the Spirit.

Unsurprisingly you've gotten the meaning of Christ's words exactly backwards from your blinkered perspective.

Notice in these preceding verses the personal nature of discipleship. Rho is an individual, discrete follower of Christ; and he stands or falls before his Master personally.

Christian discipleship has to do with things that are one's own. All Christ's imperatives in the verses listed are decisions that neither you nor I can impose upon, or make for, Rho.

But as Steve has already pointed out in his response to you - which you flatly ignored because you don't really care anyway - the meaning behind Christ's words to His disciples is that maintaining our earthly "stuff" can never be allowed to become more important than Christ, not that everyone who follows Christ must by divine command become an ascetic.


So faith does seem to equate with being a follower, doesn't it?

True faith is the instrument by which Christ's true followers are united to Him.

Where is my reasoning breaking down here?

At the beginning, end, and middle. But you can't help it because you're currently judicially blinded to the truth because of your unrepentant sin.

God commands all men everywhere to repent, and to turn to Christ Jesus as Lord and Savior.

You must be born again.

Repent.

In Christ,
CD

Brabble Frabbitz said...

Coram, a pleasure as always. But then, I also enjoyed getting the mumps.

Here's where Rho was talking about wanting to "ape" Jesus (comments section):

https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=13358611&postID=120548323789624893

I'm not making a big deal out of his choice of words here. Just mentioning it.

OK, now let me try to understand your point -- if I can cut through all the puritanical hot air and actually find one. You said:

What you utterly fail to recognize, because you are dead in your sins and trespasses and have no life in you, is that Christ's command here is for His followers to forsake their own worldly possessions for the sake of possessing the inestimable riches of Christ.

I agree wholeheartedly about the meaning of the text here. It only buttresses my point. Jesus demanded that his disciples (later called Christians) forsake all that they have. Aside from some monks and wandering street preachers, Christians don't ever do this. Even the ones who wax eloquent about imitating Jesus. Of course, they readily emulate him in condemning people they deem "hypocrites," citing Matthew 23. No criminal negligence there. (But that particular imitation of Jesus is a lot more fun, isn't it? And you still get a place to lay your head.)

So far I don't see where I've twisted anything.

Notice in these preceding verses the personal nature of discipleship. Rho is an individual, discrete follower of Christ; and he stands or falls before his Master personally.

Are you seriously suggesting that each believer has tailor-made criteria for being a disciple?? Where does Jesus teach that? Of course, I do have scales on my eyes, but his saying about forsaking everything sounds universal to me ... with scant wiggle-room. Doesn't it to you?

He also pointedly bars the rich from entering the kingdom of God in several places, even pronouncing woe upon them. He places a rich man in torment in the afterlife, noting that he had good things in this life. He demanded that a rich young man sell everything. And here's the kicker: You're probably rich! Filthy rich by worldly standards. Despite this, you undoubtedly see yourself as a disciple in good standing and feel qualified to condemn others who don't believe the right metaphysical things.

"... maintaining our earthly "stuff" can never be allowed to become more important than Christ, not that everyone who follows Christ must by divine command become an ascetic.

Look who's twisting now: Chubby Checker Coram. I've heard this all before: "No, no, Jesus doesn't want you to get rid of your wealth. He only wants you to put him first." What a convenient interpretation. Something about itching ears comes to mind.

If only we had a time machine. You could go back in time and tell Jesus, "I'm simply going to believe on you and be justified by faith alone, but I'll keep my stuff, thank you." Knowing what I know about the gospels, I suspect he'd give you an awfully disappointing answer.

Brabble Frabbitz said...

Coram, a pleasure as always. But then, I also enjoyed getting the mumps.

Here's where Rho was talking about wanting to "ape" Jesus (comments section):

https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=13358611&postID=120548323789624893

I'm not making a big deal out of his choice of words here. Just mentioning it.

OK, now let me try to understand your point -- if I can cut through all the puritanical hot air and actually find one. You said:

What you utterly fail to recognize, because you are dead in your sins and trespasses and have no life in you, is that Christ's command here is for His followers to forsake their own worldly possessions for the sake of possessing the inestimable riches of Christ.

I agree wholeheartedly about the meaning of the text here. It only buttresses my point. Jesus demanded that his disciples (later called Christians) forsake all that they have. Aside from some monks and wandering street preachers, Christians don't ever do this. Even the ones who wax eloquent about imitating Jesus. Of course, they readily emulate him in condemning people they deem "hypocrites," citing Matthew 23. No criminal negligence there. (But that particular imitation of Jesus is a lot more fun, isn't it? And you still get a place to lay your head.)

So far I don't see where I've twisted anything.

- continued -

Brabble Frabbitz said...

Coram said:

Notice in these preceding verses the personal nature of discipleship. Rho is an individual, discrete follower of Christ; and he stands or falls before his Master personally.

Are you seriously suggesting that each believer has tailor-made criteria for being a disciple?? Where does Jesus teach that? Of course, I do have scales on my eyes, but his saying about forsaking everything sounds universal to me ... with scant wiggle-room. Doesn't it to you?

He also in several places pointedly bars the rich from entering the kingdom of God, even pronouncing woe upon them. He places a rich man in torment in the afterlife, noting that he had good things in this life. He demanded that a rich young man sell everything. And here's the kicker: You're probably rich! Filthy rich by worldly standards, certainly by ancient middle eastern. Despite this, you undoubtedly see yourself as a disciple in good standing and feel qualified to condemn others who don't hold accurate metaphysical opinions.

"... maintaining our earthly "stuff" can never be allowed to become more important than Christ, not that everyone who follows Christ must by divine command become an ascetic.

Look who's twisting now: Chubby Checker Coram. I've heard this all before: "No, no, Jesus doesn't want you to get rid of your wealth. He only wants you to put him first." What a convenient interpretation. Something about itching ears comes to mind.

If only we had a time machine. You could go back in time and tell Jesus, "I'm simply going to believe on you and be justified by faith alone, but I'll keep my stuff, thank you." Knowing what I know about the gospels, I suspect he'd give you an awfully disappointing answer.

Coram Deo said...

Brabble Fratz said: I agree wholeheartedly about the meaning of the text here. It only buttresses my point. Jesus demanded that his disciples (later called Christians) forsake all that they have. Aside from some monks and wandering street preachers, Christians don't ever do this. Even the ones who wax eloquent about imitating Jesus. Of course, they readily emulate him in condemning people they deem "hypocrites," citing Matthew 23. No criminal negligence there. (But that particular imitation of Jesus is a lot more fun, isn't it? And you still get a place to lay your head.)

See here:

steve said...
Moreover, the call to "follow" Jesus wasn't a metaphor for exercising faith in Jesus. No, it meant literally leaving everything behind and following Jesus around like the Twelve did.

You don't care what the Bible means. You don't even try.


And here:

Christian discipleship has to do with things that are one's own. All Christ's imperatives in the verses listed are decisions that neither you nor I can impose upon, or make for, Rho.

But as Steve has already pointed out in his response to you - which you flatly ignored because you don't really care anyway - the meaning behind Christ's words to His disciples is that maintaining our earthly "stuff" can never be allowed to become more important than Christ, not that everyone who follows Christ must by divine command become an ascetic.


So far I don't see where I've twisted anything.

That's because you're blind, and deaf to boot. You don't have eyes to see, nor ears to hear.

In Him,
CD

Brabble Frabbitz said...

Coram, merely telling someone he's blind and deaf is a rather pathetic argument -- if it even rises to the level of an argument. It's about as compelling as "I know you are but what am I?"

Coram Deo said...

Brabble Fratz said: Are you seriously suggesting that each believer has tailor-made criteria for being a disciple?? Where does Jesus teach that?

Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand. - Romans 14:4

Of course, I do have scales on my eyes, but his saying about forsaking everything sounds universal to me ... with scant wiggle-room. Doesn't it to you?

See my response above.

He also in several places pointedly bars the rich from entering the kingdom of God, even pronouncing woe upon them. He places a rich man in torment in the afterlife, noting that he had good things in this life. He demanded that a rich young man sell everything. And here's the kicker: You're probably rich! Filthy rich by worldly standards, certainly by ancient middle eastern. Despite this, you undoubtedly see yourself as a disciple in good standing and feel qualified to condemn others who don't hold accurate metaphysical opinions.

Actually He says it's easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter heaven, but with God all things are possible.

"... maintaining our earthly "stuff" can never be allowed to become more important than Christ, not that everyone who follows Christ must by divine command become an ascetic.

Look who's twisting now: Chubby Checker Coram. I've heard this all before: "No, no, Jesus doesn't want you to get rid of your wealth. He only wants you to put him first." What a convenient interpretation. Something about itching ears comes to mind.


You're simply confused about salvation since you seem to think it comes as the result of some sort of buy off, or deal with God. I do this (sell my stuff) and I get that (forgiveness, heaven, et al.)

If only we had a time machine. You could go back in time and tell Jesus, "I'm simply going to believe on you and be justified by faith alone, but I'll keep my stuff, thank you." Knowing what I know about the gospels, I suspect he'd give you an awfully disappointing answer.

I don't need to go back in time to talk to Jesus. He's alive right now and hears all those who call on His name, making intercession on their behalf.

In fact you should consider doing that right now; call upon Him confessing your sin and rebellion against Him, and plead with Him to forgive you since Knowing what I know about the gospels your eternal soul is presently on a one way trajectory to unspeakable, neverending torments in hell fire forever and ever.

In Christ,
CD

Coram Deo said...

Coram, merely telling someone he's blind and deaf is a rather pathetic argument -- if it even rises to the level of an argument. It's about as compelling as "I know you are but what am I?"

42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and I am here. I came not of my own accord, but he sent me. 43 Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word. 44 You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45 But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me. - John 8:42-45

25 Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father's name bear witness about me, 26 but you do not believe because you are not part of my flock. 27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. - John 10:25-27

Take your complaint up with God, not me.

In Him,
CD

Brabble Frabbitz said...

Coram said:

Actually He says it's easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter heaven, but with God all things are possible.

Not quite. It's "... for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven." Jesus preached a messianic kingdom ready to be revealed upon the earth in glory. The Sermon on the Mount presented a number of entry requirements into that kingdom (the list did not include "just believe in me," BTW).

Yes, a rich man could enter the kingdom. But it would be as striking and as unlikely as a camel passing through the eye of a needle. Surely that man would be required to divest himself of his riches, if the teaching of Jesus elsewhere makes any sense.

You're simply confused about salvation since you seem to think it comes as the result of some sort of buy off, or deal with God.

No, I just realize that there isn't one consistent message throughout the NT on the conditions for salvation. The Synoptics certainly don't support your message of "faith alone." Matthew 25 even presents the final judgment in such a way that charity toward one's fellow man becomes the difference between the saved and damned. Whether a person was "resting on the merits of Jesus" never comes up in that story.

The Sermon on the Mount clearly states that the forgiveness of sins comes via forgiving others and is withheld on that same basis. It further says that one can be a child of the Father by forgiving his enemies.

The confusion isn't mine. It belongs to those who are obligated to make the text say something that it doesn't appear to be saying -- all so it can dovetail with the foregone conclusions of one's theology.

Brabble Frabbitz said...

Take your complaint up with God, not me.

Coram, let's get one thing straight. YOU telling me I'm blind is not the same thing as GOD telling me I'm blind. If you think otherwise, then you really need to get over yourself.

Paul C said...

It was made to a "rich man/ruler." A man who had it all. Wealth, power, prestige. I don't think Alan fits the job description.

Compared to an overwhelming percentage of the global population, Alan fits that description precisely, so the point stands.

Coram Deo said...

Not quite. It's "... for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven." Jesus preached a messianic kingdom ready to be revealed upon the earth in glory. The Sermon on the Mount presented a number of entry requirements into that kingdom (the list did not include "just believe in me," BTW).

And who meets those requirements? No one. That's why Christ sets the bar so impossibly high; the admission price is unattainable by men because of their sin. Christ makes this as obvious as possible. The point of His teaching, as well as the whole of scripture, is that no one is worthy to enter heaven; no one merits it. All are worthy only of condemnation and hell.

This should drive men to realize they need to be redeemed, that they need a Savior; but instead they shrug their shoulders and shuffle on trying to earn it anyway.

Christianity is centered around God's unmerited grace because of the work and Person of Christ, and the fact that the gift of eternal life is just that, a gift; not something you can attain by doing enough good things or following a set of rules efficiently.

You miss this point because you are dead in your trespasses and sins.

Yes, a rich man could enter the kingdom. But it would be as striking and as unlikely as a camel passing through the eye of a needle. Surely that man would be required to divest himself of his riches, if the teaching of Jesus elsewhere makes any sense.

Again you miss the point, for the same reasons already pointed out previously. One doesn't do A in order to attain B, that's works righteousness and it only condemns, it cannot save.

No, I just realize that there isn't one consistent message throughout the NT on the conditions for salvation. The Synoptics certainly don't support your message of "faith alone." Matthew 25 even presents the final judgment in such a way that charity toward one's fellow man becomes the difference between the saved and damned. Whether a person was "resting on the merits of Jesus" never comes up in that story.

True faith in Christ results in good works performed in His name. True believers in Christ outwardly bear good fruit because of the Spirit of God sanctifying them from within. You keep getting the cart ahead of the horse, because you are blind and deaf and spiritually dead.

The Sermon on the Mount clearly states that the forgiveness of sins comes via forgiving others and is withheld on that same basis. It further says that one can be a child of the Father by forgiving his enemies.

Among other things, yes. And who meets God's standards of absolute sinless perfection? No one but One. That One was Christ Jesus the Lord. See Eph. 2:8-9.

The confusion isn't mine. It belongs to those who are obligated to make the text say something that it doesn't appear to be saying -- all so it can dovetail with the foregone conclusions of one's theology.

Exactly backwards again...I'm sensing a pattern here.

Coram, let's get one thing straight. YOU telling me I'm blind is not the same thing as GOD telling me I'm blind. If you think otherwise, then you really need to get over yourself.

I don't expect you to listen to my words if you won't listen to God's words.

Cont.

Coram Deo said...

Cont.

Paul C said...
Compared to an overwhelming percentage of the global population, Alan fits that description precisely, so the point stands.

Maybe you guys should read the manual before you start commenting on how to fix the machine.

The rich young ruler self-righteously claimed to have kept the whole of the law, and asked what thing he lacked.

Jesus, being omniscient, knew the man's heart perfectly and knew what what in his heart.

Christ knew the man loved his riches and wealth more than he loved God, which thing is idolatry, so He simply called him out. When the man walked away he demonstrated that he loved his wealth and position more than God, and that he was a liar in that he had not kept the commandments perfectly has he claimed.

Again you're setting up a false dichotomy for Rho and all Christians by making salvation contingent upon something one does for God, when in fact Biblical Christianity is based upon what God has done for man in Christ.

Christians base their hope on the latter, while false religionists pin their futile hope on the former.

In Christ,
CD

Rhology said...

Where did Rho state a desire to "ape" Jesus? I must have missed that.

I did say that, just FYI. He's quoting me correctly.


Paul C said:
Compared to an overwhelming percentage of the global population, Alan fits that description precisely, so the point stands.

Yep. Thank God for the grace of Jesus, with Whom all things, even the salvation of a rich wretch like me, are possible.

Wow, all this time and these guys still appear to have no idea what the Good News of Jesus really is. Deaf and blind indeed.

Paul C said...

Yep. Thank God for the grace of Jesus, with Whom all things, even the salvation of a rich wretch like me, are possible.

Steve's argument was that Jesus' statement wasn't "a universal command" but that it was "made to a rich man".

You agree that you're a rich man; does Jesus' argument, and his subsequent command, apply to you?

Wow, all this time and these guys still appear to have no idea what the Good News of Jesus really is.

How could we? To an outsider, Christians have almost no common ground on these issues.

Paul C said...

Truly I tell you, it is hard for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven.

It doesn't get much simpler than that. It's not a metaphor. It's not a parable. It's a plain statement of fact, told directly to the apostles.

It's not impossible. It's just very unlikely. This simple point is reinforced by almost everything else that Jesus says about wealth.

Here's a thought that won't leave you alone from now on. You're the rich man in the story, and you love your wealth just as he did, and you feel sad.

Rhology said...

And of course, Paul C forgets the rest of the story. Why? B/c it's convenient for his condemnation of Christians.

"'Who then can be saved?'
'With man this is impossible but with God all things are possible.'"
Matt 19:26

No evidence you understand the Gospel. Sad.

Brabble Frabbitz said...

Rho said: "No evidence you understand the Gospel. Sad."

Yeah, cry me a river.

Of course I understand what you guys say comprises the gospel. You claim that Jesus laid down all these austere commands -- solemnly telling people that they cannot enter the kingdom of God unless they keep them -- only to reveal their inability. Not because he really makes such demands, but because he wants to show people how powerless they are.

So the discouraged, convicted soul is to fall before Jesus and admit he can't do any of this stuff. The sinner trusts only in the merits and sacrifice of Jesus, abandoning all confidence in anything he can ever do, thereby being justified by faith.

So despite the Sermon on the Mount you really CAN enter the kingdom of God without loving your enemies, being meek and pure of heart, being poor in spirit, forgiving others, keeping the commandments as the man who built his house upon the rock. In fact, you can simply say, "Lord, Lord" (as long as it's accompanied by justifying faith) and you're in.

The rich young man didn't really have to sell anything, just receive the grace of God. People can be disciples without taking up the cross daily and denying themselves -- as long as they trust the finished work of Calvary.

And you think I'm the one who has it all backwards?

David said...

So, Alan, according to the NT, what does "love" mean?

David said...

...And is Brabble right? Can you enter the Kingdom without loving your enemy?

Rhology said...

1 Cor 13 defines love quite well.

And not only can one get into the Kingdom w/o loving one's enemy, but w/o doing all kinds of good things. Gospel.

David said...

"1 Cor 13 defines love quite well."

So, how is anger, scoffing, insulting, humiliating and showing contempt, etc., consistent with...

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

"And not only can one get into the Kingdom w/o loving one's enemy, but w/o doing all kinds of good things."

Exactly, thus, rendering the commands of Jesus pointless.

David said...

...and allowing you to live pretty much the way you want to live. As I said way back when, you are what you are, and there is little evidence that your faith has had any effect on that.

Paul C said...

B/c it's convenient for his condemnation of Christians.

I'm not condemning "Christians". I'm not condemning anybody. I'm merely pointing out that Brabble's critical point appears to be true.

"'Who then can be saved?' 'With man this is impossible but with God all things are possible.'" Matt 19:26

Of course I didn't forget it. Jesus imparts three very clear lessons in this story:

1. "If you want to enter life, keep the commandments."
2. “It is hard for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven"
3. "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

These are fairly self-explanatory, and it's also fairly obvious that 2 does not abrogate 1, and 3 does not abrogate 2; and so the point stands.

You can avoid facing it, Rhology, but you are the rich man; and you love your riches so much you'll find any excuse not to give them up.

That's just how it is.

Brabble Frabbitz said...

And not only can one get into the Kingdom w/o loving one's enemy, but w/o doing all kinds of good things. Gospel.

There you have it. Everything, including the plainest sayings of Jesus, must be subordinated to the theology that grew out of a few hard-to-grasp letters of Paul and Luther's inner religious travails. And if you opt for the painfully obvious meanings of Jesus' teaching about who can and can't enter the kingdom of God -- if you think he actually meant what he said -- well, you're just blind, deaf, dead in sins, blah, blah, blah.

Rhology said...

Jesus had righteous anger. Jesus embodies love.
Jesus scoffed... at scoffers.
Jesus insulted...those who hard-heartedly insulted God and His law.
Jesus humiliated...those who humiliated others (see Matt 23, John 8).
Etc. I'm sorry that you have difficulty with understanding the Bible, but do you have to show your incomprehension to such an obvious extent?


Exactly, thus, rendering the commands of Jesus pointless.

Or maybe the commands of Jesus serve a different purpose. Galatians 3-5.


Paul C said:
You can avoid facing it, Rhology, but you are the rich man; and you love your riches so much you'll find any excuse not to give them up.

Let's say that were true. You've been trying to connect it to my eternal destination. On what basis do you do so?

Brabble Frabbitz said...

Excellent point, Paul C. As sound a piece of reasoning as we'll find anywhere. But theologues abandon such common sense when they're trying to make all the puzzle pieces fit neatly into their system.

David said...

I see that you'll do anything to avoid giving up your love of insult and humiliation.

So, Jesus scoffed, insulted and humiliated others.

Right, exactly. The New Testament is internally contradictory. It says that the you must love your enemies, it decribes what love means, and then have the allegedly perfect Jesus violating the command to love.

By the way, again, is the rule here "if Jesus did it, then I can do it"? Is this the rule that you are following?

Rhology said...

Brabble said:

But theologues abandon such common sense


and



It's such a reflex of yours, dashing off to the logical fallacy chart to determine which one a detractor violated. I wasn't even saying Christianity is wrong on any particular position.


and


I have a knack for spouting off, then realizing the need to restrict my comments to rational argumentation

and


But what the hey -- a fallacy doesn't cost me a dime and sometimes it's fun to sling a few.


and also, ironically:
I can't stomach arrogant hypocrites.

That's worth a chuckle.

Paul C said...

Let's say that were true. You've been trying to connect it to my eternal destination.

No, I wasn't. Getting back to the point, can you explain why you cherry-pick the teachings of Jesus in order to avoid making changes in your life that would make you uncomfortable?

Rhology said...

Your interest in my personal life is kind of creepy and probably unhealthy, Paul C. Thanks but no thanks!

Paul C said...

Your interest in my personal life is kind of creepy and probably unhealthy, Paul C.

I have expressed precisely no interest in your personal life. Getting back to the point, your vain attempt to avoid answering a simple question merely confirms that you are the rich man that the Bible describes.

Rhology said...

Darn, and I've gone to such great lengths to hide the fact that I'm a sinner. Paul C has found me out.

David said...

"Darn, and I've gone to such great lengths to hide the fact that I'm a sinner."

So, you're saying that you fail to live according to your beliefs?

Paul C said...

Darn, and I've gone to such great lengths to hide the fact that I'm a sinner.

The evasion continues, even if it's just an unconscious reflex for you now. Getting back to the point; it's interesting to see how loudly you decry those sins which you find easy to avoid, while taking a perverse pride in those sins which would cause you personal discomfort to mitigate.

Rhology said...

David,

That's a bad question. The Bible describes all men as sinners.


Paul C,
That's what I mean about your bizarre interest in my personal life.
But whatever. And where have I taken pride in my sins? A direct quote will suffice, thanks.

Dean Dough said...

Partly in Coram, Steve and Alan's defense:

The early Christian communities among whom the Gospel writers lived included large numbers of non-itinerants. The Gospels were written for these communities. Clearly, there had to be some kind of practical distinction between the surface meaning and application of Jesus's commands to potential disciples whom he commanded to "follow" him in his journeys and the "extended" application, if you will, to the members of the settled Christian communities. Contrast the command to the rich young ruler with the command to the Gerasene demoniac, who wanted to travel with Jesus. People played different roles in the Christian community and each role had its particular obligations. All of them required sacrifice of one's personal ambitions and "stuff" for the common good. I think Phil 2:1-11 and Romans 12 are good examples of how the love commands given to Jesus's travelling companions in places such as the Sermon on the Mount were applied to members of the settled communities.

Members of the settled communities were (supposed to be) held to standards applicable for their mode of life. A small businessperson in a Greek city in Asia Minor wouldn't necessarily be obligated to sell everything she had and join, for example, Paul's circle of missionary companions. Paul told the Corinthians NOT to abandon their current mode of life more than was necessary. They were obligated to love one another (and their enemies) in a way that accorded with their social role. Hence the differing commands to slaves and masters, husbands and wives, etc. In the early communities we have good reason to believe that people who violated these standards were subjected to "discipline." The presentation of Jesus's earthly ministry in the Gospels was not meant to contradict these general guidelines.

Paul C said...

You'll say anything in your attempts to avoid this hard truth, won't you? Anything to hang on to your riches, anything at all.

Paul C said...

Dean, that's lovely and all; but the meaning of Jesus' statements are as plain as the nose on your face. You are rich; what will you do?

David said...

"That's a bad question."

That's an evasion. Bottom line is that you fail to live your life according to your beliefs. You say that you believe that a given Act X is wrong, but you do it anyway. This is the same thing that you accuse other of doing when you shout "hypocrite".

Brabble Frabbitz said...

Dean, I appreciate the fact that you can make some thoughtful comments and NOT damn anyone who has the temerity to disagree (take note, Coram).

I believe that Jesus demanded a high level of austerity because he saw the kingdom of God ready to break into the current world order. And it makes sense from that perspective. What's the point of pursuing wealth, getting married or even sticking around to bury Dad if that event is so imminent?

After the Parousia appeared to be much less imminent than originally anticipated, the austerity of the disciples softened. Now you could be rich, as long as you were willing to share. Now the Mosaic law was optional, even though Jesus made it clear that not one stroke of the pen would be abrogated until all was fulfilled. The event was still "at hand," but not so near that people should give up everyday life.

The Ebionites resisted this and insisted that Christians still had to follow the commands of Jesus and obey the law. But the more lenient faction won out, and now that faction is what we call Christianity.

steve said...

I admit that Alan is a blatant hypocrite for refusing to sell his Bugatti Veyron and donate the proceeds to UNICEF.

steve said...

Notice how Jesus commanded Mary and Martha to sell their house and go live under a freeway overpass.

Brabble Frabbitz said...

I doubt that homelessness was an entrance requirement for the imminent kingdom of God, but poverty certainly was (Luke 6:20). I imagine Mary and Martha were sufficiently poor to meet that standard.

steve said...

That's metaphorical poverty, as in "poor in spirit" (see the synoptic parallel in Mt 5:3. But thanks for once again illustrating your Biblical illiteracy.

steve said...

Paul C said...

"You can avoid facing it, Rhology, but you are the rich man; and you love your riches so much you'll find any excuse not to give them up."

Yes, I've afraid that Alan has gone soft by living far too long in The Breakers. If only he could bring himself to trade down his Newport address for something modest in the Hamptons, and give the rest to the poor.

steve said...

Paul C said...

"The evasion continues, even if it's just an unconscious reflex for you now. Getting back to the point; it's interesting to see how loudly you decry those sins which you find easy to avoid, while taking a perverse pride in those sins which would cause you personal discomfort to mitigate."

Yes, Alan, isn't the time past due that you give up your private harem, or at least downsize it from 10 chorus girls to 5 or 6?

steve said...

Brabble Frabbitz said...

"So despite the Sermon on the Mount you really CAN enter the kingdom of God without loving your enemies..."

Some of you suffer from a highly inflated sense of self-esteem when you elevate yourself to the status of Alan's "enemies." Try to learn what that term actually means in context.

Brabble Frabbitz said...

"... see the synoptic parallel in Mt 5:3. But thanks for once again illustrating your Biblical illiteracy."

Ah, so the crowds listening to Jesus could easily have understood this saying as metaphorical by turning to the parallel passage in Matthew! Why didn't I think of that?

But ... what about the other passages that speak of wealth keeping a person from the kingdom of God? The "eye of the needle" text isn't metaphorical, but the Luke 6 text is. James seems to be speaking literally against the rich. Literal, metaphorical, literal, metaphorical.

It's really neat how that works, and how Jesus always ends up rubber-stamping your theology.

David said...

I think it was 'Blessed are the cheesemakers.'

Aha, what's so special about the cheesemakers?

Well, obviously it's not meant to be taken literally; it refers to any manufacturers of dairy products.

Brabble Frabbitz said...

"Some of you suffer from a highly inflated sense of self-esteem when you elevate yourself to the status of Alan's 'enemies.' "

Ha! No, I was speaking in the general sense here. I very much doubt that Alan prays at night, "Give me the necks of mine enemies -- especially Brabble Frabbitz."

Even if I knew he did, I think my self-esteem would be largely unaffected.

steve said...

Which is predicated on the false premise that Alan is rich. But if you're going to analogize from 1C Palestine to the 21C America, then you also have to make comparable adjustments in the socioeconomic system for your argument from analogy to be valid. A rich ruler in 21C America would be analogous to, say, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, not a Bible translator in Oklahoma City.

But, of course, you and your fellow infidels were never attempting to present a morally, exegetically, or logically serious argument. Rather, we have the specter of three amoral infidels who fill the time in their vacuous existence by simulating righteous indignation.

David said...

A question about definitions.

If I say that I think doing X is wrong, and then I do it anyway, does this make me a hypocrite?

Brabble Frabbitz said...

So we agree that a 1C Bloomberg would be rejected as an heir of the kingdom because of his abundant riches.

steve said...

David said...

"A question about definitions. If I say that I think doing X is wrong, and then I do it anyway, does this make me a hypocrite?"

Not necessarily.

i) You could *say* you think it's wrong, but not really think it's wrong.

ii) Some people think we may be confronted by tragic moral choices, where there is no right thing to do. (I don't agree, by there are folks who sincerely believe that.)

iii) Some people short-sightly believe something is wrong, abstractly or superficially considered, but when they find themselves in the concrete situation, they find out it's more complex than their snap-judgment took into account.

steve said...

Brabble Frabbitz said...

"So we agree that a 1C Bloomberg would be rejected as an heir of the kingdom because of his abundant riches."

The Bible introduces various qualifications regarding poverty and wealth which you deliberately ignore to trump up a false allegation against Rhology.

steve said...

Brabble Frabbitz said...

"No, I just realize that there isn't one consistent message throughout the NT on the conditions for salvation."

Assuming, arguendo, that this is true, it neutralizes the charge that Alan is a hypocrite. For if Scripture is inconsistent, then it's logically impossible for Alan to consistently obey an inconsistent code of conduct. Therefore, even if, arguendo, Alan were picking and choosing which injunctions to follow, that wouldn't be hypocritical given your stipulation that consistency is logically unobtainable within that framework.

Brabble Frabbitz said...

"For if Scripture is inconsistent, then it's logically impossible for Alan to consistently obey an inconsistent code of conduct."

OK, that makes sense, Steve. You and Alan are not hypocrites. At least not based on that particular standard.

"The Bible introduces various qualifications regarding poverty ..."

I've been talking specifically about the sayings of Jesus (although I did mention James briefly). Frankly, I don't see anything "various" about the qualifications Jesus introduces. He says nothing positive about them or about rich people themselves. It's all negative. He even commands his hearers to refrain from "storing up" wealth -- which I imagine precludes bank accounts. The call to be a disciple is a clear call to austerity, based on the soon coming of the kingdom.

This material -- particularly the Sermon on the Mount -- is a million miles from the idea that simple "faith plus nothing" is the only condition of final blessedness in the kingdom of God. As James echoes, "A man is justified by what he does and not by faith only."

Brabble Frabbitz said...

BTW, I just looked through all the comments here and couldn't find any instance where I accused Alan of hypocrisy -- at least not on this thread dealing with riches. (If I'm wrong, point it out for me.)

Coram Deo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David said...

"Not necessarily."

Ok, so Alan, when you say that doing Act X is wrong, and then you do it anyway, which of the three "not necessarily" loopholes are you using to avoid being called a hypocrite?


"For if Scripture is inconsistent, then it's logically impossible for Alan to consistently obey an inconsistent code of conduct."

Ah, finally, something that we can agree about, although I would change the "if" to "since".

Rhology said...

when you say that doing Act X is wrong, and then you do it anyway, which of the three "not necessarily" loopholes are you using to avoid being called a hypocrite?,

That makes me a sinner, a lawbreaker. I'd be a hypocrite if I said that I never did Act X but in fact I did do Act X.

Brabble Frabbitz said...

The area where I think Alan and Steve really are hypocritcal is their insistence that every argument be logically impeccible, fallacy free. But then they hurl ad hominem insults, poison the well, etc., themselves. For example, Steve's assertion that we're "three amoral infidels" with a "vacuous existence" hasn't a bloody thing to do with the veracity or falsity of our arguments. I realize he may be unable to restraint himself from resorting to such bellicose rhetoric, but it certainly falls short of the argumentation he demands from everyone else.

Rhology said...

Steve's assertion that we're "three amoral infidels" with a "vacuous existence" hasn't a bloody thing to do with the veracity or falsity of our arguments

Did he make that a condition of your rightness?
No, he used it to show your own hypocrisy in accusing us of hypocrisy.

Brabble Frabbitz said...

You seem to be suggesting that insults are ad hominem attacks only if the person wielding them specifies something like, "Your argument is wrong because you're an amoral infidel." Are you serious?

Rhology said...

Pretty much, absent an argument to the contrary.

David said...

"That makes me a sinner, a lawbreaker. I'd be a hypocrite if I said that I never did Act X but in fact I did do Act X."

Ok, so all one has to do is admit that one did Act X even though one thinks that it's wrong to do Act X. One is not a hypocrite is one acknowledges that one did did follow one's own moral code.

So, for example, we can conclude that Dean is not a hypocrite, because he acknowledged that he was not following his rule for good manners when online. Yes? Do I understand you correctly?

And so we can conclude that you are a hypocrite when it comes to following the command to love everyone, even your enemies. Either that, or the Bible is inconsistent and/or contradicts itself.

As a side note, I'd like to know, in current U.S. dollars, with respect to income and accumulated wealther, when is a modern Christian considered to be a "rich man". I'm wondering at what point is a modern Christian required to follow the command given to the first century rich man.

David said...

Ooops, should read...

One is not a hypocrite is one acknowledges that one did not follow one's own moral code.

David said...

Brabble,

You have to remember that the insults are not a part of the argument. These are just gratuitous displays of Christian love. They're just a little added bonus, specially designed for anyone who disagrees with Alan and Steve. And it's all ok, because this what Jesus would do. This is how Jesus showed his love. If Jesus did it, that Alan and Steve can do it, too.

Rhology said...

And so we can conclude that you are a hypocrite when it comes to following the command to love everyone, even your enemies. Either that, or the Bible is inconsistent and/or contradicts itself.

? I think I just covered that. Bible commands it. I don't do it. I'm a lawbreaker, not necessarily a hypocrite.


I'm wondering at what point is a modern Christian required to follow the command given to the first century rich man.

You just answered your own question. The command given to the first century rich man.
Let's let our systematic theology take ALL of the Bible into acct, not one sentence.


the insults are not a part of the argument. These are just gratuitous displays of Christian love.

Since you haven't shown how following Jesus and the prophets is a bad thing on Christianity, you haven't made a dent in our position. Your poor knowledge of the Bible leads me to think such an argument won't be forthcoming.

David said...

So, is Dean a hypocrite? Yes or no. Just want to clear this up.

“I think I just covered that. Bible commands it. I don't do it. I'm a lawbreaker, not necessarily a hypocrite.”

So, you are acknowledging that your use of scoffing and insult and your attempt to humiliate are all breaking the command to love your enemy?


“You just answered your own question. The command given to the first century rich man.”

Right. It’s not to be taken literally if doing so would be inconvenient. Got to love the Bible. It can say anything that you want it to say. Blessed are the cheesemakers.

"Since you haven't shown how following Jesus and the prophets is a bad thing on Christianity, you haven't made a dent in our position."

So, the insults, etc., are a part of following Jesus? If Jesus did it, then you can do it? I’m trying to understand the rules and rationale here.

Rhology said...

you are acknowledging that your use of scoffing and insult and your attempt to humiliate are all breaking the command to love your enemy?

No. You're losing track of what was said when.


Got to love the Bible. It can say anything that you want it to say.

ANYthing can, mostly. But that doesn't bother those who understand proper hermeneutics.


If Jesus did it, then you can do it

Morally speaking, give me a reason why imitating God would be a bad thing.

David said...

Do you have a problem with acknowledging that Dean is not a hypocrite with respect to good manners online?

“No. You're losing track of what was said when.”

I don’t think so. Let’s review.

ME: And so we can conclude that you are a hypocrite when it comes to following the command to love everyone, even your enemies. Either that, or the Bible is inconsistent and/or contradicts itself.


YOU: I think I just covered that. Bible commands it. I don't do it. I'm a lawbreaker, not necessarily a hypocrite.

Your acknowledgement that you are a “lawbreaker” was a response to my point that you are a hypocrite when it comes to the command to love everyone. You said the you were not a hypocrite because you admit that you “break the law”, and the “law” under discussion in the comment to which you replied was…love your enemy.

So, now you’re denying that you’ve broken this commandment?


“ANYthing can, mostly. But that doesn't bother those who understand proper hermeneutics.”

Ah, yes, proper hermeneutics, i.e., your opinion about what the Bible says.


“Morally speaking, give me a reason why imitating God would be a bad thing.”

Well, first, the behavior of Jesus appears to be self-contradictory and inconsistent.

But ok, let’s say that it’s good to do as Jesus did. So, we can conclude that it’s ok to violently assault those who disagree with your theological positions.

Rhology said...

now you’re denying that you’ve broken this commandment?

Not at all, but you need to show that my conduct with respect to the insults and such you're whining about has been morally objectionable.
If you were so inclined, you could even go further and work it out for all of us what consequences you think that would have for someone who is an adopted child of God.


Ah, yes, proper hermeneutics, i.e., your opinion about what the Bible says.

A very ignorant statement. Thanks for dismissing yourself.


the behavior of Jesus appears to be self-contradictory and inconsistent.

Hmm, time to apply your own statement to yourself - your opinion about what the Bible says.


So, we can conclude that it’s ok to violently assault those who disagree with your theological positions.

Another statement revealing your ignorance of Jesus' life.

David said...

It’s truly extraordinary that you seem unable to acknowledge that Dean is not a hypocrite. Is this a part of Christian love?


“Not at all, but you need to show that my conduct with respect to the insults and such you're whining about has been morally objectionable. “

I’m totally confused. In your opinion, when you scoff, insult and attempt to humiliate, are you breaking the commandment to love your enemies? At times you seem to be saying yes and at other times you seem to be saying no. So, which is it? Yes or no? At the moment, I can’t tell which it is.


“A very ignorant statement. Thanks for dismissing yourself.”

Just looking at the history of the many ways in which the Bible has been interpreted. Seems to be a lot of evidence to support my position.


“Hmm, time to apply your own statement to yourself - your opinion about what the Bible says.”

Huh? What does this have to do with the contradictory and inconsistent behavior of Jesus?


“Another statement revealing your ignorance of Jesus' life.”

Jesus didn’t throw the moneychangers out of the Temple?

Dean Dough said...

Alan asked David to think about consequences. I've been doing some of that in light of Coram's comments earlier on. It might be good to remember that the consequences of the stands we take and the comments we make here are pretty minimal for the rest of our lives. Most of us are not personally acquainted with each other. Most of us operate under pseudonyms, and those who appear not to be may be putting up a front :^}.

Besides irritating other members of our households who would rather we spend time with them, how is anything we say here going to make our lives much better or worse? Seriously, short of conversion/deconversion or some less drastic but significant attitude adjustment?

Even then, who says any one of us interacts with other people in person they way we interact here? Or will interact differently with anyone in person because of something we learn here?

There are benefits to having a space for "virtual" relationships, or "simulated" arguments, if you will. The distance may free us from some useful restraints, but it also protects us from the consequences of our own foolishness. When these kinds of discussions bleed over into real life, things can get messier.

Coram Deo said...

Yeah Dean, I'm sure Rho would never share the Gospel with a person in real life, and I'm sure you're out there pounding the pavement every day with a fistful of tracts in one hand and a KJV in the other.

The sad reality is that people like Brabble, David, The Jolly Nihilist are really going to suffer in hell forever lest they repent and turn to Christ for salvation.

They're prolly not going to get that information from their "real life" circle of friends.

They're prolly too socially polite in "real life" to tell a Christian friend that he or she is an orifice.

At a minimum here, and at Triablogue, and a few other places they visit online they will hear the truth, and they will be forced to deal with Scripture, where they may, by God's grace alone, come to know the truth that sets them free.

In Christ,
CD

Brabble Frabbitz said...

Coram, may I be so bold as to ask for some evidence that this assertion is true? The fanatical Muslim also tells us we will all go to hell -- you included -- unless we embrace Islam. Why is your threat credible and his incredible?

I still find it amazing that God gives Adam detailed information about weeds choking the ground, women having painful childbirth. But no mention of a penalty infinitely worse: endless suffering after death as a result of the sin that had just entered the world. The enormous time span when revelation existed without any plain mention of hell is inexplicable. Steve's attempts to uncover veiled, got-to-be-looking-hard-for-it references to hell late in the Jewish canon do little if anything to mitigate such difficulty.

Coram Deo said...

Brabble,

A couple of quick points, Islam - as you probably already know - is a false religion; just like all other religions with the notable exception of Biblical Christianity.

Re: your objection to God not going into a theological explication of hell with Adam...have you ever heard of the concept of "progressive revelation"?

God also didn't tell Adam, or the OT Jews that they must repent and trust in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, per se.

While the entire Bible is God's Word, and all scripture is profitable, the NT casts light on the OT.

By seeking to interpret the NT with the OT you've gotten things exactly backwards once again.

But we've already covered that.

In Him,
CD

Rhology said...

Islam is internally self-contradictory in many respects. That's the main way I know it's not true. Perhaps Islam's biggest mistake is claiming it is building on the foundation of the Taurat and Injil, when that is manifestly untrue. But there's lots more. Funny you should say that - I'm almost halfway thru my annotated reading of the Qur'an right now.

Brabble Frabbitz said...

Rhology, I do salute you for taking the time to plod through the Qur'an. You have more patience than I, obviously.

Rhology said...

"Plod" is a great word to describe it.

Although some Surahs are really interesting. Surah 19 is very much so.

Paul C said...

Which is predicated on the false premise that Alan is rich. But if you're going to analogize from 1C Palestine to the 21C America, then you also have to make comparable adjustments in the socioeconomic system for your argument from analogy to be valid. A rich ruler in 21C America would be analogous to, say, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, not a Bible translator in Oklahoma City.

If you're going to "analogize" from 1C Palestine to 21C entire world, then Rhology is rich by any and every standard. Why is the point of comparison limited to the US? Oh, I know - because it makes it easier for you to avoid thinking about the poor.

steve said...

Paul C said...

"If you're going to 'analogize' from 1C Palestine to 21C entire world, then Rhology is rich by any and every standard."

So he's rich compared to Carlos Slim Helu.

"Why is the point of comparison limited to the US? Oh, I know - because it makes it easier for you to avoid thinking about the poor."

So he's rich compared to Mukesh Ambani, Li Ka-shing, and Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Alsaud.

David said...

What is the income and/or wealth level at which someone is declared "rich" in the 21st century?

When one scoffs, insults, attempts to humiliate and/or violently assaults, is one breaking the commandment to love your enemies? Is the commandent to love a conditional one?

steve said...

David said...

"What is the income and/or wealth level at which someone is declared "rich" in the 21st century?"

Now you're backpedaling from your original claim of "rich by any standard." You just make things up as you go along.

"When one scoffs, insults, attempts to humiliate and/or violently assaults, is one breaking the commandment to love your enemies? Is the commandent to love a conditional one?"

Do you feel "violently assaulted"?

Do you view yourself as "the enemy"?

steve said...

David said...

"When one scoffs, insults, attempts to humiliate and/or violently assaults..."

Yes, Alan has that effect on people. He's one scary hombre. When Cain Velasquez met Alan, his hands got sweaty, he began to stutter uncontrollably, and he asked Alan for permission to go to the little boy's room.

David said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David said...

"Now you're backpedaling from your original claim of "rich by any standard." You just make things up as you go along."

Uh, no. You’ve confused me with Paul C. I don’t believe that I ever used the phrase “rich by any standard”. I don't believe that I ever referred to Alan as "rich", however, in the absence of a defined income bracket, it's hard to know either way. I’m just trying to figure out what “rich” would mean in the context of the 21st century.


Do you feel "violently assaulted"? Do you view yourself as "the enemy"?

I was not necessarily referring exclusively to my interactions with just Alan here. This is part a question about these interactions, but it's also a more general question, too. In any event, you’ve skipped over the other actions (scoffing, insulting and attempting to humiliate). In short, you haven't answered the question.

Does it matter if I’m an "enemy"? I guess it's up to you and/or Alan to decide if I'm an "enemy". You can call me a neighbor, if you’d like. I believe that there is still a commandment to love.


“Yes, Alan has that effect on people. He's one scary hombre. When Cain Velasquez met Alan, his hands got sweaty, he began to stutter uncontrollably, and he asked Alan for permission to go to the little boy's room.”

Who? What? Is this a reasoned answer to my question? Or just more insults in place of an answer?

Brabble Frabbitz said...

Coram said: "Islam - as you probably already know - is a false religion; just like all other religions with the notable exception of Biblical Christianity."

Maybe that's true, but simply asserting it doesn't make it so.

"...have you ever heard of the concept of 'progressive revelation'?"

Yes. And you think that invoking "progressive revelation" dispenses with the difficulty? God tells Adam and Eve that weeds are consequence of their sin. But he waits thousands of years -- during which time countless multitudes descend into hell -- before mentioning anything at all about endless torments after death. Again, we have clear warnings of dandelions and crabgrass, no warnings of hell. Does that *really* make any sense?

Simply playing the religious blowhard and consigning us to the pit isn't the same thing as presenting a compelling case for your point of view.

steve said...

David said...

"Does it matter if I’m an 'enemy'?"

It matters when you use that in your argument.

"Who? What? Is this a reasoned answer to my question? Or just more insults in place of an answer?"

Have you always suffered from this persecution complex? How many locks do you have on your door?

Paul C said...

"So he's rich compared to Carlos Slim Helu... So he's rich compared to Mukesh Ambani, Li Ka-shing, and Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Alsaud."

In terms of income: If Rhology and his wife earn $25,000pa or more, they're in the top 10%. If they earn $35,000pa, they're in the top 5%. If they earn $50,000pa, they're in the top 1%. So yes, if you're measuring yourself against the entire world in the C21, then Rhology is rich by any standard.

Unless by "standard" you mean "fallacious argument that helps me to avoid thinking about how rich I am and how little I do to help the poor". If you take the richest man in the world as your starting point, then Rhology is relatively poorer than him; but he's still relatively richer than most of the rest of the world, which is what we're comparing him to.

Don't worry, though Steve - I'm sure you'll find some way to justify hanging on to your riches.

steve said...

Paul C said...

"In terms of income: If Rhology and his wife earn $25,000pa or more, they're in the top 10%. If they earn $35,000pa, they're in the top 5%. If they earn $50,000pa, they're in the top 1%. So yes, if you're measuring yourself against the entire world in the C21, then Rhology is rich by any standard."

Of course, that's simplistic even on its own terms since you fail to make allowance for differences in the cost of living around the world–or even in the US. For instance, it's cheaper to live in Nebraska than San Francisco, not to mention various Third World localities.

Likewise, you measure wealth in strictly monetary terms, which is very ethnocentric. But that's not how all cultures measure wealth.

As a Bible translator, Alan has to be sensitive to cross-cultural contextualization. Something you need to learn about if you're going to analogize from 1C Palestine to the socioeconomic status of a 21C American in Oklahoma city.

Paul C said...

Of course, that's simplistic even on its own terms since you fail to make allowance for differences in the cost of living around the world–or even in the US.

Even allowing for differences in the cost of living, Rhology is still a rich man, especially once you take into account the many benefits that simply being born, raised and resident in the US gives you.

Likewise, you measure wealth in strictly monetary terms, which is very ethnocentric. But that's not how all cultures measure wealth.

Personally I don't measure wealth like that at all. Unfortunately that's the type of wealth we were talking about – the wealth that the rich man was so sad to give up.

steve said...

Paul C said...

"Don't worry, though Steve - I'm sure you'll find some way to justify hanging on to your riches."

I just can't bring myself to part with the crown gold bidet in my marble bathroom.

steve said...

Paul C said...

"Even allowing for differences in the cost of living, Rhology is still a rich man, especially once you take into account the many benefits that simply being born, raised and resident in the US gives you."

And God foreordained that Alan be born in the US, with all the benefits thereof, to enable him to work for God as a Bible translator. Were it not for Bible translators, you wouldn't even be in a position to quote, and misinterpret, the passage about the rich young ruler.

Paul C said...

Dear Steve,

I see that you debate in exactly the same way as Rhology – once one of your arguments is demolished, you simply switch to a different argument and pretend that nothing has happened. For the sake of the discussion, I'll assume that you concede that we are in fact talking about the same type of wealth that Jesus was referring to, that Rhology is in fact a rich man by C21 global standards, and that therefore Jesus' statement applies to Rhology (and of course to you). Do you have an actual argument against this, or will you keep jumping from pillar to post?

I just can't bring myself to part with the crown gold bidet in my marble bathroom.

While I doubt you have a gold bidet, it certainly appears that you can't bear the thought of giving up your riches. You'll say anything to rationalise why you are allowed to hold on to them.

And God foreordained that Alan be born in the US, with all the benefits thereof, to enable him to work for God as a Bible translator.

And God foreordained that the rich man in the bible story be born into riches as he was, yet still Jesus told him to give up those riches. What's your point again?

steve said...

Paul C said...

"I see that you debate in exactly the same way as Rhology – once one of your arguments is demolished, you simply switch to a different argument and pretend that nothing has happened."

To the contrary, your argument (such as it is) was always built on the faulty premise that what Jesus said to the rich young ruler is a universal command to all Christians, when that's obviously not the case. To take just one simple counterexample, Jesus relied on the largesse of an anonymous follower to celebrate the last supper in the upper room of the man's townhouse. Clearly the man wasn't a street person. Indeed, he was a man of some material means.

Jesus didn't tell him to sell all he had and follow Jesus around.

As was also pointed out earlier in this thread, when Jesus told the rich young ruler to "follow" him, he meant that literally, not figuratively. To accompany Jesus the way the Twelve were called upon to be with him day in and day out.

But since the Ascension, that's not a live option.

You and your two cohorts continue to willfully misrepresent the actual scope of the passage in question. Then you act as if Alan and I are supposed to be impressed by your transparent ploy. It isn't even a clever ploy

"For the sake of the discussion, I'll assume that you concede that we are in fact talking about the same type of wealth that Jesus was referring to, that Rhology is in fact a rich man by C21 global standards, and that therefore Jesus' statement applies to Rhology (and of course to you). Do you have an actual argument against this, or will you keep jumping from pillar to post?"

There's nothing in the passage to indicate that the rich man was rich by 1C "global" standards. Even by 1C standards, there were undoubtedly far wealthier individuals. He was simply "rich" in relation to the average Palestinian Jew. He represents the upper echelon of 1C Palestinian Judaism. By contrast, Alan does not represent the upper echelon of 21C America. Indeed, he's not even rich by Oklahoma standards.

And even if he were, that's irrelevant to the context of the original passage, where several variables are in play–such as the young man's self-deceptive sense of rectitude.

Coram Deo said...
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Coram Deo said...
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Coram Deo said...

Brabble Fratz said:
Maybe that's true, but simply asserting it doesn't make it so.

So you're allowing for the possibility that Islam is the one true faith? If so that's definitely interesting...surprising but interesting.

I thought we would at least agree that Islam is a false religion. So much for that assumption.

And again:
Yes. And you think that invoking "progressive revelation" dispenses with the difficulty? God tells Adam and Eve that weeds are consequence of their sin. But he waits thousands of years -- during which time countless multitudes descend into hell -- before mentioning anything at all about endless torments after death. Again, we have clear warnings of dandelions and crabgrass, no warnings of hell. Does that *really* make any sense?

Simply playing the religious blowhard and consigning us to the pit isn't the same thing as presenting a compelling case for your point of view.


I don't expect the truth of the Bible to make any sense to you because, as I've repeatedly pointed out, you are spiritually dead, blind, and deaf to the things of God; which fact you have repeatedly confirmed.

Insulting me may satisfy you, but it really does nothing to further your argument either, which is essentially, "The Bible is stupid and I don't believe it."

As I've also pointed out, I don't expect you to believe my words when you won't believe the Word of God.

You love your sin, and you love spiritual darkness, therefore you hate the light, thus you abide under the wrath and condemnation of the One true and living God.

18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. 19 And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. 20 For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. 21 But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.” - John 3:18-21

Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him. - John 3:36

You make yourself an enemy of your Creator, and He will justly destroy you forever lest you turn from your sin and rebellion against Him, and flee to Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. - Matt. 11:28

Lay down your sin, and take up your cross.

In Christ,
CD

Brabble Frabbitz said...

Coram, of course we agree that Islam is a false religion. It's an ugly one, too. My point was that you make assertions without proof just as Muslims do. And when I asked why your assertions should be assumed true, your answer was, "Because my faith is true and theirs is false." I think you can appreciate the weakness of that answer.

I also posed a question in light of your many stern hellfire warnings. Why did God announce to Adam and Eve that weeds and painful childbirth would be consequences of their sin ... but never utter a syllable about hell? You snorted something about "progressive revelation." But that doesn't get you off the hook in the slightest. You still have numberless throngs -- people with no inkling of post mortem hellfire -- going down to perdition century after century after century. And yet, God takes the time to articulate the coming of weeds into the soil instead of warning them about hell.

When I call you on this profound difficulty, you simply tell me the problem is my spiritual blindness.

Really, Coram, I think "I don't know" is a much more acceptable answer than *that.*

Coram Deo said...

I also posed a question in light of your many stern hellfire warnings. Why did God announce to Adam and Eve that weeds and painful childbirth would be consequences of their sin ... but never utter a syllable about hell? You snorted something about "progressive revelation." But that doesn't get you off the hook in the slightest. You still have numberless throngs -- people with no inkling of post mortem hellfire -- going down to perdition century after century after century. And yet, God takes the time to articulate the coming of weeds into the soil instead of warning them about hell.

Why are you complaining to me about how God decided to reveal His truth?

When I call you on this profound difficulty, you simply tell me the problem is my spiritual blindness.

LOL!

God reveals the truth about hell, and many other things, in His Word, as He sees fit, but you point to Adam and Eve and claim that because didn't reveal things in the way you'd like that it's a "profound difficulty"?!?

Bwah ha ha ha ha ha!!!

That's rich! And extremely silly.

Really, Coram, I think "I don't know" is a much more acceptable answer than *that.*

I've never claimed to know why God chose to reveal His truth in the Bible as He did.

I hope you don't fault your favorite human authors and/or filmmakers for not giving away the end of the book during the introduction; or for generally not adjusting their work to satisfy your personal preferences.

Can't you see your own hubris in this thinking? Your blindness is truly mind-boggling.

In Christ,
CD

Brabble Frabbitz said...

OK, Coram, so you're fine with people having no warning whatsoever about hell -- during a period of ample revelation -- but knowing plenty about chickweed and crabgrass. We've got that much straight.

And no, I'm not complaining about the way God reveals things. On the contrary, it seems clear that the doctrine of hell was a later theological development, possibly the result of contact with Persia.

If that's mind-boggling blindness, I'd say your mind is too easily boggled.

Coram Deo said...

Brabble Fratz said: OK, Coram, so you're fine with people having no warning whatsoever about hell -- during a period of ample revelation -- but knowing plenty about chickweed and crabgrass. We've got that much straight.

Because if they'd had the sort of ample warnings about hell that, for example, you've had; they would have repented of their sins and asked God's forgiveness and not ended up in hell forever - similar to your response to hell - oh wait a minute...

And no, I'm not complaining about the way God reveals things. On the contrary, it seems clear that the doctrine of hell was a later theological development, possibly the result of contact with Persia.

Sticking with the thesis "The Bible is stupid and I don't believe it" I see.

Okay.

Well, off to church!

In Him,
CD

Brabble Frabbitz said...

"...asked God's forgiveness and not ended up in hell forever - similar to your response to hell - oh wait a minute..."

So why EVER warn ANYONE about hell?? What's the point?

"Sticking with the thesis 'The Bible is stupid and I don't believe it' I see."

I take the Bible at face value. Some of it IS stupid by modern standards, exactly what we'd expect from ancient, Middle Eastern nomads. Some of it, on the other hand, is profound and morally lofty.

That approach is called "intellectual honesty." I consider it a good thing.

Paul C said...

As was also pointed out earlier in this thread, when Jesus told the rich young ruler to "follow" him, he meant that literally, not figuratively. To accompany Jesus the way the Twelve were called upon to be with him day in and day out.

Yes, I assumed that Jesus was talking literally, and we know exactly what that meant, since Peter exclaims “We have left everything to follow you!” So Jesus was asking the young man to literally give up everything – all his wealth – if he wanted to be perfect.

We've established that Jesus gave the young man three separate instructions: to follow the commandments, to give up his wealth, and to physically follow Jesus. Obviously nobody living today can obey the last instruction, but the first two instructions are entirely possible.

I assume that you follow the first instruction, to obey the commandments. Why then do you not follow the second instruction?

And even if he were, that's irrelevant to the context of the original passage, where several variables are in play–such as the young man's self-deceptive sense of rectitude.

You have literally no evidence that the young man suffered from “a self-deceptive sense of rectitude”, and there are no other variables in play. You're right about context, of course – and the context couldn't be clearer. Here's Jesus on wealth:

"Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth”; “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me”; “But woe to you that are rich, for you have received your consolation”; “whoever of you does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.”

There's nothing in the passage to indicate that the rich man was rich by 1C "global" standards. Even by 1C standards, there were undoubtedly far wealthier individuals. He was simply "rich" in relation to the average Palestinian Jew. He represents the upper echelon of 1C Palestinian Judaism. By contrast, Alan does not represent the upper echelon of 21C America. Indeed, he's not even rich by Oklahoma standards.

And so the argument falls apart under its own weight, point on top of incoherent point. The rich man wasn't that rich even by C1 global standards! Jesus was only instructing the “upper echelon” to give up their wealth! Rhology isn't even that rich, compared to that family down the street!

No doubt had you been present at the time, you would have gone to the young man and said “don't worry – you're not rich compared to Carlus Slimmus, so you don't have to give it all up.” You'll do anything to avoid facing the simple truth, pharisee; that you love your wealth just a little too much.

Paul C said...

As was also pointed out earlier in this thread, when Jesus told the rich young ruler to "follow" him, he meant that literally, not figuratively. To accompany Jesus the way the Twelve were called upon to be with him day in and day out.

I assumed that Jesus was talking literally, and we know what that meant, since Peter exclaims “We have left everything to follow you!” Jesus was asking the young man to literally give up everything – including wealth – if he wanted to be perfect.

Jesus gave the young man three separate instructions: to follow the commandments, to give up his wealth, and to physically follow Jesus. Obviously nobody living today can obey the last instruction, but the first two instructions are entirely possible.

I assume that you follow the first instruction – why then do you not follow the second instruction?

And even if he were, that's irrelevant to the context of the original passage, where several variables are in play–such as the young man's self-deceptive sense of rectitude.

You have literally no evidence that the young man suffered from “a self-deceptive sense of rectitude”, and there are no other variables in play. You're right about context, of course – and the context couldn't be clearer. Here's Jesus on wealth:

"Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth”; “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me”; “But woe to you that are rich, for you have received your consolation”; “whoever of you does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.”

There's nothing in the passage to indicate that the rich man was rich by 1C "global" standards. Even by 1C standards, there were undoubtedly far wealthier individuals. He was simply "rich" in relation to the average Palestinian Jew. He represents the upper echelon of 1C Palestinian Judaism. By contrast, Alan does not represent the upper echelon of 21C America. Indeed, he's not even rich by Oklahoma standards.

And so the argument falls apart under its own weight, point on top of incoherent point. The rich man wasn't that rich even by C1 global standards! Jesus was only instructing the “upper echelon” to give up their wealth! Rhology isn't even that rich, compared to that family down the street!

No doubt had you been present at the time, you would have gone to the young man and said “don't worry – you're not rich compared to Carlus Slimmus, so you don't have to give it all up.” You'll do anything to avoid facing the simple truth, pharisee; that you love your wealth just a little too much.

Coram Deo said...

Brabble Fratz asked:
So why EVER warn ANYONE about hell?? What's the point?

Mercy. Grace. Compassion. All undeserved, by the way.

And said:
I take the Bible at face value. Some of it IS stupid by modern standards, exactly what we'd expect from ancient, Middle Eastern nomads. Some of it, on the other hand, is profound and morally lofty.

That approach is called "intellectual honesty." I consider it a good thing.


As a dead-in-sins rebel you would think that dismissing the parts of God's Word that you find offensive, and picking out the parts that you think - for some indefinable reason - have "moral value" (whatever that's supposed to mean) is a "good thing". But you are spiritually deluded being a slave to sin:

9 The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, 10 and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 11 Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, 12 in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness. - 2 Thess. 2:9-12

But God doesn't think what you are doing is a "good thing", and He will righteously and inflexibly judge you on the last day for your high treason, and consign you to eternal punishments lest you repent and turn to Christ as your Lord and Savior.

How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has spurned the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace? - Hebrews 10
:29

For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” - Romans 10:13

In Christ,
CD

Brabble Frabbitz said...

"Mercy. Grace. Compassion. All undeserved, by the way."

By your own admission, it doesn't do any good to warn people of hell, because they're dead in sins and won't listen. So how are such warnings a display of mercy, grace or compassion. And what kind of "compassion" watches someone fry forever in a lake of fire??

"As a dead-in-sins rebel you would think that dismissing the parts of God's Word that you find offensive, and picking out the parts that you think - for some indefinable reason - have 'moral value' (whatever that's supposed to mean) is a 'good thing'. But you are spiritually deluded being a slave to sin:"

You pretend it's obvious that the Bible is God's ultimate, authoritative word. But it's only obvious to people who willfully decide to believe it wholesale, ipso facto, regardless of whether it lives up to that belief.

If it were plainly and unmistakably the Word of God, then I *would* be a rebel for not accepting all of it. But that's not the case. For example, it's not obvious to the average, rational person that a story about a talking donkey or a woman becoming a pillar of salt must be true -- quite the contrary. And most people nowadays don't find it obvious that a woman should have her hand cut off (even in and Old Covenant setting) for grabbing a guy's nuts during a fight. THIS is what you contend for, and frankly, it makes you look a bit like a dunce.

"...'moral value' (whatever that's supposed to mean)"

This canard that you, Steve and Alan trot out constantly is so tiresome. First of all, just for the record, I'm not an atheist (not that I expected you to know that). Second, it makes no sense to affirm that only those following an ancient collection of writings by desert nomads have any legitimate sense of morality. Horsecrap! If that were true, we'd have nonchristian nations like Japan steeped in rampant murder, mayhem and sex orgies in the streets ... and that is NOT the case. People work out morality, whether or not they can prove technically it's absolute, objective and valid in any time or corner of the universe.

Coram Deo said...

By your own admission, it doesn't do any good to warn people of hell, because they're dead in sins and won't listen. So how are such warnings a display of mercy, grace or compassion. And what kind of "compassion" watches someone fry forever in a lake of fire??

Hell is one truth among many. God may use the truth of hell to cause some to flee the judgment to come by flying to the cross of Christ for remission of sins.

In another case God may use the amazing truth of the Eternal Son stepping from His throne of glory and taking on flesh, to live a life of humble servitude, and to die an agonizing and shameful death on a cruel Roman cross for His enemies to draw men to Christ.

In either case it's compassionate of God to offer warnings and grace to any of His sinful, wretched, hateful, undeserving creatures who shake their puny fists in His face, while breathing His air, eating His food, and squandering the life He gives them in one continuous act of rebellion.

But some will listen, because He has mercifully, graciously, and compassionately purposed to save some from the judgment to come.

God wasn't (and isn't) obliged to save anyone - because everyone deserves to "fry forever in a lake of fire" - and the truly amazing part is that they will choose to go there because they stubbornly refuse His free offer of mercy, just like you.

You pretend it's obvious that the Bible is God's ultimate, authoritative word. But it's only obvious to people who willfully decide to believe it wholesale, ipso facto, regardless of whether it lives up to that belief.

God's Word is the ultimate authority whether anyone believes it or not. God's Word doesn't become authoritative because people believe it, it is authoritative in and of itself.

Obviously if we were to appeal to something else to validate God's Word then that something else would be the ultimate authority.

Ultimate authorities are funny like that.

If it were plainly and unmistakably the Word of God, then I *would* be a rebel for not accepting all of it. But that's not the case. For example, it's not obvious to the average, rational person that a story about a talking donkey or a woman becoming a pillar of salt must be true -- quite the contrary. And most people nowadays don't find it obvious that a woman should have her hand cut off (even in and Old Covenant setting) for grabbing a guy's nuts during a fight. THIS is what you contend for, and frankly, it makes you look a bit like a dunce.

Mmmm hmmm...it was far more likely for the backwater rubes of ancient times to believe God's Word than for sophisticated modernists...oh wait a minute; all the disciples except one were murdered for teaching and preaching God's Word, the church has for centuries been subject to persecution and martyrdom because of the offense of the cross, and Christ Himself was murdered for bearing testimony of the One true and living God.

Maybe there's something else going on with the irrational hatred of the One true and living God, His Word, and His people?

The reason you don't believe is because deep down you hate God, and you love your sin.

Your problem isn't intellectual, it's moral.

You know it, and I know it.

In Christ,
CD

Coram Deo said...

This canard that you, Steve and Alan trot out constantly is so tiresome. First of all, just for the record, I'm not an atheist (not that I expected you to know that). Second, it makes no sense to affirm that only those following an ancient collection of writings by desert nomads have any legitimate sense of morality. Horsecrap! If that were true, we'd have nonchristian nations like Japan steeped in rampant murder, mayhem and sex orgies in the streets ... and that is NOT the case. People work out morality, whether or not they can prove technically it's absolute, objective and valid in any time or corner of the universe.

It should give you pause that the moral anarchy you've mentioned isn't happening to the level described in your imaginary dystopia.

Since God created men in His image, all men are His image bearers. That image has been horribly disfigured and corrupted by man's plunge into sin, but there it is nonetheless.

It's only by God's common grace, and the residue of His image in men that restrains them from being as evil as they possibly can be.

God's law is written on men's hearts, which is why everyone knows he or she abides under the wrath of God.

All are lawbreakers with a conscience constantly wagging its accusing finger in their face crying guilty! Guilty!! GUILTY!!!

You have an accusing conscience within you, an angry, wrathful Creator God above you, and a yawning hell beneath you; and in your quiet moments when you're all alone with your thoughts you inescapably, unavoidably know it.

You must be born again.

Repent.

In Christ,
CD

Brabble Frabbitz said...

In either case it's compassionate of God to offer warnings and grace to any of His sinful, wretched, hateful, undeserving creatures who shake their puny fists in His face, while breathing His air, eating His food, and squandering the life He gives them in one continuous act of rebellion.

I deny that being born imperfect is the same thing as being in unremitting rebellion and shaking my puny fist in God's face. BTW, why do you guys ALWAYS mention the "puny fist" thing? By citing puniness, you're revealing your "might makes right" paradigm: "You'd better do what he says, because he's a lot bigger and stronger than you. You're puny."

God's Word is the ultimate authority whether anyone believes it or not.

Ah, love the reasoning here. You believe the Bible is God's word because it's God's word. Can't argue against that.

"...all the disciples except one were murdered for teaching and preaching God's Word, the church has for centuries been subject to persecution and martyrdom because of the offense of the cross, and Christ Himself was murdered for bearing testimony of the One true and living God."

So have the founders and early followers of other faiths.

"The reason you don't believe is because deep down you hate God, and you love your sin."

Do have any idea how silly that sounds? No ... you don't.

Your problem isn't intellectual, it's moral.

Well, you got me there. I admit, I like to play the horses with my mom's retirement money. But is that SO bad?

Anyway, I think our discussion has run its course. Feel free to have the last word. I've got more important things to do right now, like ironing my underwear. See ya!

David said...

So, I go away for the weekend, I come back, and ... still no answers to my questions. So it goes.

Coram Deo said...

I deny that being born imperfect is the same thing as being in unremitting rebellion and shaking my puny fist in God's face. BTW, why do you guys ALWAYS mention the "puny fist" thing? By citing puniness, you're revealing your "might makes right" paradigm: "You'd better do what he says, because he's a lot bigger and stronger than you. You're puny."

Yes, the truth stings I know; but you and I are finite creatures and the One true and living God is the infinite Creator and judge of the universe, and therefore He is free to dispose of all His creatures precisely as He sees fit.

This is why it's unwise, even suicidally insane, to shake one's puny fist in His face. Even blasphemy is permitted by His infinite patience for awhile, but the bills will come due someday, and then you'll realize that you've written many, many, many spiritual IOU's presuming on God's grace that you can't pay Him back for, but it will be too late.

Ah, love the reasoning here. You believe the Bible is God's word because it's God's word. Can't argue against that.

Actually it seems that you missed my reasoning altogether. God's Word would be God's Word even if no one believed it. My belief, or lack thereof, doesn't make it one iota more or less true. It's true by its very nature, not by human consent.

Christians are mercifully allowed to recognize God's truth by the illumination of His Holy Spirit, however, which is an amazing, undeserved, and gracious gift.

So have the founders and early followers of other faiths.

So says you, but you fail to distinguish the qualitative differences between Christian martyrs, and the so-called martyrs of the false world religions.

For example, what were the "martyrs" doing that earned their martyrdom?

What caused him or her to be a target?

What were the actual reasons for martyrdom?

If we're talking about Muslim "martyrs" you must know they're actively seeking their own death, and the deaths of their enemies, in hopes of attaining heaven since their false religion offers absolutely zero assurance of redemption.

If the "martyrs" are Hindu or Buddhist, we know that many of these false religionists are actively engaged in violent and/or revolutionary activities against human governments and/or other religions, therefore they are not truly martyrs, but are revolutionaries killed in armed struggle.

It's also possible that Buddhists and Hindus may be killed during such struggles directly and indirectly as "innocent by-standers", which is true also of hapless Muslims.

These deaths are not martyrdom, but rather are casualties of war, or possibly genocide due to political/governmental/tribal factors, not because they won't relinquish their faith.

Clearly "religious" people kill other "religious" people, but these killings are primarily nationalistic and territorial in flavor, not martyrdom in the true sense.

Apart from Islamists who are highly lethal to both Muslims and non-Muslims alike, the killing of non-Christians solely because of their deeply held religious beliefs, and their steadfast refusal to convert to another religion or die, is rare to the point of being almost non-existant.

Anyway, I think our discussion has run its course. Feel free to have the last word. I've got more important things to do right now, like ironing my underwear. See ya!

It's too bad that you care so little for your own soul.

In Him,
CD

Paul C said...

So says you, but you fail to distinguish the qualitative differences between Christian martyrs, and the so-called martyrs of the false world religions.

This is pure gold. What exactly are the "qualitative differences" between Christian martyrs and martyrs from other religions that makes all those others not martyrs? See if you can give an answer without making up a new definition for the word "martyr". I bet you can't do it.

Rhology said...

That the martyrs for Christ died for the True God, and the other martyrs for lies from Satan.

Paul C said...

That the martyrs for Christ died for the True God, and the other martyrs for lies from Satan.

Go back and read the actual comments made by Brabble and Coram, Rhology. That way you might contribute something that actually adds to the discussion, rather than just trying to get some attention.

Rhology said...

Right, attention. On my own blog. Gotcha. I'll work on that.

Paul C said...

It surely hasn't escaped your notice that the discussions on your blog are more intelligent, interesting and constructive when you're not actively taking part?

Paul C said...

Reading that last comment back, it's far more offensive than I intended. I apologise. I intended it to be an encouragement for you to actively engage in discussion rather than take your usual apologetics-by-the-numbers approach.

Coram Deo said...

This is pure gold. What exactly are the "qualitative differences" between Christian martyrs and martyrs from other religions that makes all those others not martyrs? See if you can give an answer without making up a new definition for the word "martyr". I bet you can't do it.

The differences were explained in the context of my comment.

My use of the word martyr was in line with the primary dictionary definition which is a person who willingly suffers death rather than renounce his or her religion.

In Him,
CD

Paul C said...

Fair enough. Not worth pursuing. Thanks for answering.